Friday, 15 April 2011

Writing on the Wallpaper

After all the vain threats to whack the kitten just now, I notice that John and I tied with 37 comments each (until I conceded by adding a further one on his site, as a result of fear and a cry for help). I even ended up with a few extra followers, despite being the villain.

One commenter actually said that he could not understand why I was so keen to have comments left, because he thought that bloggers only wrote for themselves. Only for themselves? Is this a symptom of low self-esteem? I would not bother to write a word if I thought that absolutely nobody was going to read it, but I would carry on writing pages of this drivel if I thought I only had one reader, but I suppose that is called a 'letter'.

There are several sure-fire ways to increase your ratings in any social media outlet (particularly red-top tabloids), and I think I managed to tick all the boxes - except sex - at once. Heaven knows what would have happened if I had thrown sex into the mix. The editors of The Sun newspaper have - along with All-In Wrestlers - long ago discovered that people love to have someone to hate, like the pantomime villain at Christmas - "BOO!"

When I recently tried to send a video-clip to a 28 year old friend of mine, he kept saying that he hadn't seen it yet, as he had not checked his email for a while. After about a month, it dawned on me that nobody under the age of 40 who is not in business actually uses email these days - they all use FaceBook.

Then I realised that hardly any sane person under the age of 40 has a blog either, which explains why there are so many mad old men and women out there in the blogging world (myself included, btw!).

I have long since stopped reading any blogs which deal with the problems of writing in general, and getting yourself an agent/publisher in particular. I'm sorry to any of you Bookanistas who might still take a peep at this blog every now and then, but nothing sends me to sleep quicker that writing about writing - yes, I know that this is just what I am doing here, but not for long.

If you blog purely to get advice about the practice of 'writing', fine, but my advice is just get on with it and keep your angst to yourselves. In any event, short of finding you an agent just to shut you up, what is anyone else going to tell you that you do not already know? That it's difficult? You don't say! Contrary to what everyone seems to think, I don't believe that writing is a lonely, solitary business - you meet all sorts of people whilst wandering around in your own head, and sometimes you begin to wish that they would just leave you alone (Uh-oh - he's starting to sound like he has a medical condition...)

Then there is the Lifestyle blog, which seems to consist of house-proud, obsessive-compulsives who cannot ever settle on any particular shade of Lavender for their tidy/cluttered study, so resort to the comfort of cake-making to take their minds off it. A friend of mine bought a new house once, and invited me round soon after he moved in. He asked if I would like to take a look upstairs, and I said 'no thank you'. Incredulous, he wondered why on earth not, and I told him that I had already been upstairs in a house once before, and I knew all about 'upstairs', so didn't need to look at his, thanks very much.

I imagine that it can get quite lonely on a remote and rural homestead with only chickens or sheep for company, and that blogging is a good way of getting out and about to share thoughts and ideas with other creatures who have brains a little larger than the average pea, but I live in the middle of town and am surrounded by other people - so why do I run a blog?

Well, of course I am a bit of an egomaniac, but I like to be entertained as well. I kid myself that about one post in every ten or so is entertaining to other/some people (actually, let's not be too modest - I bloody well know it is), but I would make sure that the success rate would be higher than that if I was being paid for it. In fact, the people paying for it would insist that it was higher than that, or sack me. So I have no incentive to fail or succeed in whatever I am doing here, which means I can usually get away with a refreshing splash of insults to enhance the genuine compliments that I sometimes give out to fellow bloggers. Having said that, I think I might have picked up a couple of unbalanced stalkers from the 'pussy' post.

Here is a blogger who never fails with her evocative mix of prose and pictures - you can smell the sea in her writing: Sarah Toa. You won't find her sharing the pain of writing with polite but unwilling strangers.

So why do you blog? Be honest.


  1. I blog to pass the time while the cake is in the oven, you know, the one I bake as a distraction from choosing the precise shade of Lavender for my tidy/cluttered study.

  2. Aww thanks Tom!
    And I was just thinking about writing about writing about ... writing.
    Why do I blog? Because I want to be loved, because I need an outlet for the ripping yarns that bang around in my head, because in blogging I can bypass the slush pile on the publisher's desk and just get it out there, because I can get feedback - and because I want to be loved ...

  3. Ah, I see, Mice. Actually (and I sincerely mean this, folks), I am constantly amazed at how you can turn out such a classic and polished Lifestyle blog AND keep it charming and amusing at the same time - I always read it, and there's always something in it for me - honest! (I am also amazed at how damn cute your kids are too - they look as if they have inherited your humour).

  4. I'm sure you are, Sarah T - I know you are.

  5. I started in 2006 because I had not long moved from a multicultural, busy, friends on tap- city and found myself fairly isolated ,in a tiny Welsh village .
    My work life chnaged drastically from an all encompassing managerial role to a junior position and on reflection I think I felt a little lost.

    My blog changed from a kind of personal therapy to a diary of life here....
    Having followers I guess panders to my need to be needed (perhaps I ama follower hoarder?)

  6. People out here are always asking me "Would you like to look round the house?". My answer is a predictable "No thanks".

    In reply to your question; it helps cope with insomnia!

  7. Well you are needed John - that's obvious from the comments! I still think you should have your own series - maybe if you got someone to come round and do a guerilla report on you, you could get one on TV?

    I've just been listening to an American comic writer called David Severus (I think) reading his own stuff on the radio, and he's brilliant. I'll look him up tonight when I get back, and see if there are any recordings to post.

  8. I blog for my own amusement really, it started out as a foodie/diet blog but now it's just a collection of trivia that amuses or interests me. Plus it helps pass the time - like Cro I am an insomniac.

  9. I am a secret blogger. My hubby knows's a long story.

  10. My blog initally started out as an online sketchbook of sorts, to help get me out of my creative rut. I documented a silversmithing course which I had started, the course was then cancelled, but the blogging stayed.
    I like being able to post about whatever is in my head (it's pretty random!), and the fact that I have followers who actually leave comments is wonderful. It makes me smile :)

  11. I like to blog because I never tire of showing off all my critters!!!
    Ok, ok...........and because I am needy.

  12. I blog because I like talking to you

  13. My hubby knows nothing about mine either; I like to hide my critters; I like talking too Moll.

  14. I didn't know what blogging was this time last year. I told a friend that I would like to keep a record of a year in my garden, as I didn't know how much longer I would be able to manage it, due to my health. She said that I should start a blog as an easy way to combine image and text - and here I am!
    The year is nearly up and it's gone a bit off piste. My friend didn't warn me about the comments bit, which came as a surprise, and which I really enjoy.

  15. I bet you are a hoot to know in person...witty and...scarey!!

  16. I love David Sedaris - have read most of his books. Your dry wit will agree with his Tom. As for why I blog. For me. It is a way to keep focused on the positive things in life when they sometimes are not - I didn't want a bitchy blog, just some fun and lightness. I'm surprised you didn't say something about those crazy dog and cat bloggers.... Ann

  17. Several reasons. Because I wanted a diary of sorts to document family gatherings, trips, ideas, work etc.

    I wanted to promote my business (didn't help)

    I wanted to improve my photography skills (it has)

    I work from home and it provides connections to's like my coffee break with virtual friends

    It's addicting.....those fluffy, sweet and sometimes insincere comments seem to beckon me.

    I need positive feedback.....a needy trait according to some...I'm insecure and seeking attention....

    I tried turning off the comments once and lasted a day....

  18. Just scarey, Donna. I posted up David Sedaris reading is story about "8 to 10 black men" from You Tube without watching it all the way through yesterday, then - to my horror - realised it had been hi-jacked by some very sinister people with guns! I took it down immediately, but what on earth were they doing? Was it to do with 'black men' and the fact that Sedaris is gay???

    I'm working toward the point where I don't need to write anything in order to get comments, Raz - that's how needy and lazy I am.

  19. What have you got against sex? It's an important and interesting subject that no blogger should ignore.

  20. Well, Bananas, over the years, I have noticed that there are a small number of websites devoted to nothing but that subject, so I just thought it had been done to death.