How many bloggers, I wonder, have also kept diaries or journals? Since 1980 I have been writing down my wonderings in big red books – a whole shelf of them by now – and starting this blog was cheaper than buying a new bookcase. But my real reason for the switch, I suspect, was a desire to go public.
My journal was always an open secret – unlike Sam Pepys who wrote his diary in code and hid it behind the wainscot – and so I never minded when my family sneaked a look. Let them mock, I thought, they’re only jealous! I stopped writing it because I wanted to conserve my creative energies for proper writing – stories, plays, poems, whatever.
Book publishing is an on-off switch – you’re either published or you’re not – whereas blogging offers a gentle continuum between private and public. You begin with no followers and write in the dark. When interest gradually arrives, you start to write for an audience – people on similar wavelengths whose blogs you read and respond to, in return.
The idea of being in a writers’ collective appeals to my idealistic nature – something cynics say you grow out of, although I find my idealism has only deepened with age and grandchildren. The world should be a better place and the internet seems to offer humanity its best shot at improving things. Human evolution, if it’s anything any more, is now a cultural phenomenon …
But I won’t run ahead of myself. Plenty of time to develop big ideas, when you publish a regular blog. Let’s stick with blogging … and lists. I may be knocking on in years but I’m just a whippersnapper when it comes to the blogosphere. Five months in, I’m like a kid with a new toy. Yeah, lists …
- Saving Drafts – just like doodling in art, this keeps the fun alive
- Thinking up snappy titles and eye-catching tags
- Ordering your posts with careful categories
- Surfing the net for Media to illustrate your posts
- Getting feedback for your stuff
- Starting conversations with people around the world
- Watching the Category Cloud reflect your developing interests
- Fiddling around with old posts to improve your Archive
- Learning new communication skills, both verbal and visual
- Having a constant incentive to write
When it comes to dislikes, so far so good … unless you count a slight suspicion that featured posts are mostly if not entirely upgrades … but let’s keep this post upbeat, eh? Perhaps the secret of increasing readership is to find a Niche, but for now I’ll just keep firing off at random as the mood takes me. Best therapy in ages and if somebody else likes it, so much the better!