I haven't blogged for ages. I have had an excuse. So far 2013 hasn't gone according to plan. For the first three months of this year, writing was the last thing on my mind. I have now gone back to it with gusto, but I got to thinking about blogs. Should I bother?
Before the crises of the year (hereinafter known as COY), I had a merry old time on Google Reader (why did they stop it?), going down the list of blog posts from all the people I subscribe to, and then going on to discover new blogs from their blogs. I've had a laugh, I've learned some invaluable lessons, I've sympathised, empathised, and downright disagreed. But blog reading was a fine sport, and so was blog writing.
Back from the COY, my Google Reader had hundreds upon hundreds of posts. I couldn't read them all. I didn't know where to begin. So I marked all as read and decided to start anew. And then I didn't. I've read a few, commented on a few, but I haven't retained my sense of joy and of longing that I used to when I opened the reader (hereby replaced by Feedly, which looks good but the posts are piling up). So I got to thinking. Why do I read blog posts? Why do I write blog posts?
Firstly, reading. Why do I read blog posts? It depends. Sometimes I just want to have a laugh. Sometimes I just want to be reassured that I Am Not Alone. There have been some fine 'day in the life' posts recently from Author Allsorts, which are well worth a read. Sometimes I want to learn, and there are some very good blogs out there which help with research and ideas. Try Essie Fox's The Virtual Victorian, and Lee Jackson's Victorian London. Even if you don't want the research, they make for fantastic reading. When I'm writing, any tips are always gratefully received, and there is a wealth of knowledge out there in the world of bloggery. Recent posts by Vanessa Harbour and Nicky Schmidt are fine examples.
So, writing. Why do I blog? This is more difficult to answer. As a writer, albeit unpublished, I feel I ought to. It goes with the territory. I think blogging as a published writer is a different kettle of fish. Then there is more purpose - selling books, ultimately. For me, then? I guess it's a way of reaching out. The writing community is such a friendly one. Other writers understand why I talk to myself, why I can sit for ages looking at a blank screen, why I can block out the entire world when I'm, as they say, in the flow. It's the water cooler thing. It's saying something and knowing there are others out there who will get it. It's being part of something.
By writing this, then, I've answered my own question. Blogging is a Good Thing. I will blog and I will read blogs. Right then, where's Feedly?