Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Writing

I've written elsewhere in this A-Z Challenge about social media and what it means to me. As I said in that post, I'm pretty certain I would never have taken up blogging were it not for the fantastic bloggers and writers I met on Twitter. Let me tell you, there are some exceptional bloggers there. I think the fact that they were very encouraging and generous towards me when I first floated the idea of blogging is what really made me take the first steps.

The first thing I had to do if I wanted to stand any chance of survival as a blogger, was to make up my mind that it is not a competition. I'm not trying to write something that is as eloquent or as knowledgeable as someone else. The fact is, I couldn't. That acknowledgement led me onto the second thing I needed to consider - what would I write about? I quickly made up my mind that my blog would not have a specific theme or subject matter.

Therein lay my first challenge - without a subject matter, I would have to dream up topics to blog about. I'm a somewhat dispassionate person, so it takes a lot to get me ranting about something, or at least feeling strongly enough about something to 'put it put there'. I thought about combining my blogging with my photography - and to an extent I have done that by, most of the time, including one of my photos in my posts. But I wanted to avoid it becoming a pure photo-blog.

I think the best piece of advice I received was from my Twitter friend and blogger extraordinaire - Barbara Scully (From My Kitchen Table). She said, simply, "write from the heart". This has stood me in good stead during both the fruitful and the barren times (take it from me, they happen!) of blogging. The only problem with writing from the heart is that it requires a certain amount of baring your soul, your inner thoughts, and as you know if you read my 'T' post recently, that is something that does not come naturally to me.

This probably raises the question in your mind - why? Why did I decide to start writing a blog? There's no easy answer to that. However, I have long had an interest in words - puns, limericks, etc. For example, I delivered most of my best man's speech at my brother's wedding in limerick form! So, to some extent my interest in starting a blog developed from this. But on a more serious level, life is too short - if you have an inkling to do something, then go for it. So I did!

I've turned out to be a bit of a hit and miss writer. Until recently I've barely managed a post per month on average. This is hardly going to set the blogosphere alight! However, on March 31st this year I heard of the A-Z Challenge for bloggers. Initially I said 'no', not for me. How could I possibly find time to write a post a day for a whole month. My track record was certainly against me. But I woke up on April 1st and played the biggest April Fools trick on myself - I signed up for the challenge! Life is too short - remember!

I don't know where my blogging will go after this challenge reaches it's conclusion next week. One thing I do know - I will continue (though definitely not at the rate of one a day!!). I will continue to incorporate my photos where possible. I will mostly steer clear of discussing the great issues facing us as a nation - there are bloggers in my circle of friends who address these things far more eruditely than I ever could. I won't promise to stay away from religion - too much invested in that for me not to express an opinion. There may even be the odd rant. But above all, I will be trying to stick with Barbara's advice and 'write from the heart'.

PS: if you would like to sample some of those fantastic blogs / bloggers I alluded to above, just scroll down on the right to the 'Blogs I Follow' section. They are all linked there. Enjoy.


  1. Enjoyed your post and found some excellent blogs to visit too!

  2. Writing from the heart has always worked best for me. When I try to force it, whether it be blogging or working on a story, I stumble and you can tell when you read what I wrote.

    Glad you decided to jump in on the challenge. =)

  3. So glad to find your blog. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.