Many of my friends and family know I write a blog: how many of those friends and family actually read it I can’t say. I can tell you how many people view my blog in any given month, week or day, but I can’t tell you which of those views are people I know in the real world, and which of them have found my blog through one of the medias I post it to. I post to facebook where my friends and family can see it, and to twitter. From twitter it gets re-tweeted by people who enjoy what they have read, so that their followers can read it too. Some people share it on facebook, again so that their friends and read it. My blogs also get posted onto Haynet which is a blogging and social networking site for equestrian and country people. This brings in more likes and comments from people who don’t have an account to comment on my wordpress.com blog, but have an account on Haynet so they can still give me feedback.
This post was prompted by someone asking me ‘does it help you?’. I’d never really thought about how writing a blog had affected me before, only really about the feedback from others – did it make them laugh, or cry, or prompt them to think about something? The blog I wrote back in August about the argument that shooting magazines should be a ‘top shelf’ product produced a couple of interesting comments by people clearly passionate about the issue, and a discussion on twitter with another blogger, @blindequestrian, with whom I often end up in political discussions! I enjoy getting feedback – when someone retweets the link saying they enjoyed reading it, or it made them laugh. I feel like I’ve made someone smile that day, and that’s a good thing. But to think about how it made me feel to write a blog was an area I’d never really thought about.
I don’t know what made me start blogging. I think it was a combination of reading other people’s blogs and wanting to share my story with Oscar. This is where Haynet really came into its own – there’s loads of people with a wealth of knowledge from all different backgrounds and disciplines that knew where I was coming from, and could offer advice and support. Writing about the good and bad times I had with Oscar means I can look back at them now and remember what an amazing summer we had, and remember things I had forgotten.
I enjoyed writing at school. Keeping within the word limit on a creative writing piece was always a difficulty for me, as once I start writing I find it hard to stop! I guess it’s like people who enjoy drawing or painting – it’s my art. At times during my A-levels I’d have an essay or a coursework to write, but have total writers block and not have anything to say. I used my blog at these times to just write SOMETHING, to get my brain into writing mode and then I would find it easier to write my coursework.
If something upsets me or makes me angry, the first thing I want to do it blog about it. But writing a blog when you’re angry is NEVER a good idea, so to write about it I would have to calm down, think it through, and usually after you’ve thought something through it isn’t half as bad as you first thought. It keeps you level headed and sane and stops you stressing so much.
WordPress gives an abundance of reading material. I follow 39 blogs on WordPress on a variety of subjects – some of which are updated regularly, some not – so there’s always something new to read. I also use the Freshly Pressed feature to see what WordPress is recommending. It gives 16 blog posts of the editors’ choice which change regularly, and there are some fantastic writers on there. It gives you material you wouldn’t normally read, from all over the world.
The final reason I love my blog is because it makes me think. I wrote ‘A Letter To My 14 Year Old Self’ after seeing one of the Daily Prompts on WordPress. Things like this, and things I read in other blogs really do make me think, for example Growing Grace Farm. Although a lot of the posts on this blog have a religious influence and I’m not religious myself, there’s always something that can make you think. ‘Whatever We Do To The Web, We Do To Ourselves’ is one that I read recently that made me think. I Want To Be A Farmer inspires me to be determined and never give up on my dreams. And the things that I see, do and read inspire me in my writing.
And I hope that in my writing, I can inspire somebody else.