Today I want to celebrate my Golden Jubilee post (50 posts since March) with a bit of talk about blogging and what it’s done for me. Litlove writes a fantastic post on trying define the blog genre here. I’ll pick up on some of things she writes that speak most particularly to me.
I encouraged my husband to start a blog because he is opinionated, forever writing off emails to people about things he cares about (in the software world specifically). A day after his blog began, I thought “I want one too”, wrote a post about a bad day with my kids, and I was off. What started as mummyblogging quickly turned into something else: I found I wanted to write about the books I was reading, the movies I was seeing, even the food I was cooking. I wanted to write about what it feels to be a transplant in a culture that is not my own. I wanted to write about my weight madness. And I just wanted to write.
I wouldn’t call it a diary, because I don’t want to bore others and myself with repeating my daily life: wake, feed children, clothe children, deliver children, fetch children, feed children, deliver children, entertain children, feed children, bath children, read to children, kiss children goodnight – not that entertaining, really. It’s not a pulpit because I don’t proselytise, it’s not a soapbox because since South Africa’s been free for 12 years I don’t have major political issues and I’m not advertising my skills since I already have enough customers.
My blog is a place where I am. It’s a place where I like to be. To quote Litlove, I’m making sense of my life through words. I think the best thing for me has been developing a voice that I like the sound of. This has translated into finding a creative voice too. A few years ago, I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and while I loved the idea of morning pages (three pages written every morning as an exercise in stream of consciousness and liberating the trapped narrative voice), I couldn’t get it together. My blog has helped me free my narrative voice, and stories are emerging. A novel that I started two years ago has come back to life, but from a better, fresher angle.
I like the idea of an audience. I hope to entertain, and amuse. I like engaging with people who are interested in similar things. I love it when I trawl WordPress’s Tag Surfer and find a new blog that speaks to me, or when I read someone’s post and think “you are my kind of person”. Litlove talks about the community element of blogging, and that’s what makes it so much more real for me than morning pages or a journal. I like the public nature, the element of discovery and the randomness.
And it’s working for others too. When I started blogging, WordPress had 230 000 members, as of today, there are 310 000. I don’t want to read them all, but I hope they’re having as much fun as I am.