Friday, 4 June 2010
And gosh! 21 Comments for that last post - and only one of them was from me. I've never had so many before, and I'm ridiculously pleased.
A new blogger asked me rather plaintively the other day "How long before people start reading (her blog)?" and I said she should go back to my early days and see how many (many!) times there were no comments at all after my posts, and not to despair; readers would come. In those early days, I loved the act of posting something so much that I really was doing it just for myself. Knowing that someone had read it was icing on the cake, really, but not essential.
But it got me thinking: do I - could I - do that now? Just write for myself? And the answer is that I don't know.
I looked back briefly to the beginning of 2008, when I took my first tentative steps into the blogging world, receiving almost no comments for months, and am sorry in a way that no one had read about my beautiful cat Harry, so loved, so suddenly gone from my life, or knew that dear old Kevin had been on the verge of kicking the bucket a very long time before he actually did have to be helped, protesting to the last, out of his frail and ancient existence.
Or that I had been in the most terrible blue funk about flying to Australia alone, and then had the most marvellous, unforgettable holiday there.
I suppose it is perfectly possible to blog privately; to fiddle with the settings so that posts aren't made public. That would return me to what I really intended this blog to be about: a record of a new life after early retirement, as I struggled, still quite fragile and exhausted, to understand the evolving shape of my days, one at a time, on into the unforeseeable future. A diary, but written knowing that Your Mother, in the shape of other bloggers, would read it when you weren't around.
But I wouldn't like to go back to those commentless days; I love the feedback, the openness, the opportunity to link to other people and their lives that Comments and Followers offer. And it's fascinating to see what provokes a healthy crop of comments too - you do rather go for sadness, housework and domestic ineptitude! and can be wonderfully witty and self-revealing in reply - but I can honestly say that I don't aim for those topics deliberately. I can drone on about the cats, for example, knowing that most of you will be rolling your eyes and likely to stop reading mid-sentence, but if I feel like droning on, I generally do. Authentic? yes; riveting? er... no, but it's my diary, not authorship, and I'm amazed and delighted that it has remained such fun.
Your thoughts, as ever, will be most welcome. You may even consider wearing your best hat while you're at it.
Posted by rachel at 22:34