Friday, 4 June 2010

Golly!


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.

17 comments:

dinahmow said...

Blogger is eating my Idle Thoughts comments again!

I tried to say that I began blogging for similar reasons. And I love the connections and the friends I've met.
When I am busy and don't write regular posts I do sometimes feel a tinge of guilt. Then I remember that this is not a paying job. The cats, of course, see things differently and insist I take their dictation more often!

Isabelle said...

Ah! I'm first!

You are extremely riveting, Rachel, with the enormous talent of making an entertaining entry out of little nothings - not to say life-changing house-moving preparations. As soon as I found you, I moved you up to the top of my Favourites - it helps that you blog most days so one always has something interesting to read even on evenings like this when one has sworn not to read any blogs because it's late and one has lots of marking to do. I can't think of anything witty to say, though, because my brain is all used up, so I'll go now and let someone else get a word in.

Von said...

So glad you persevered, it's all been worth it, especially for the spiderlings and this revelation today that you've been to The Land of Oz..I missed that I guess, came in too late.

Karen said...

You realize that I come for the cats (and then go on to their blog, too). No eye-rolling here.

I love to travel by myself (coast-to-coast road trips here in the States four times; a year studying in Austria where I was the only one from my university to be there) so I wish I had known about your blog back then so I could have cheered you on from the sidelines.

Keep up what you're doing, Rachel. You are such a great writer.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You could , of course , write a private blog . Though why you'd want to turn writing in your journal into a daily battle with Blogger's spacing escapes me .
But I would miss you droning on .....

Marie said...

I remember how thrilled I was when I received my very first comment. It was like all my Birthdays had come at once!! I blog because I love writing and it's an excellent way to test the waters . . . I confess that I also love the feedback, which thankfully has been pretty positive thus far.

Lucille said...

Hat with wide brim jammed on. I read a long way back into your blog after I found you and was interested to see that even though you are aware that you now have a big audience, your voice is just as natural and funny and perceptive as it was when you were just 'talking to yourself'. I think the tricky bit is not morphing into the sort of person you think your commenters want you to be. I had one mean and bizarre comment once early on and it threw me into such a lather of self doubt that it nearly stopped me. I'm so glad I didn't, because I have learnt to be more trusting that 99% of the people (like you) out there are nice, funny, interesting and good to know and it would have been a pity to miss out on meeting them. Now I must just pop over to that other blog to visit my surrogate cats. All the fun, none of the corpses.

Sue said...

Haven't got my best hat on I'm afraid but I just wanted to say that I do enjoy reading your blog, so please keep it up.

Rattling On said...

I agree with what you say about the start of a blog, and maybe having some real gems in there as all the stories pour out. But...I for one have been back to your old posts and read them. When I like a blog (as I do yours) I often read right back, so I'm not missing something!!
I'm a big fan of 'real life' blogs, seeing what people are up to, finding out about where they live etc.
I'm not wearing my best hat.The dog mauled it some time ago, and there's been no need to purchase a new one since. But I'm imagining wearing a beauty...

susan Frances said...

My " best hat" is an old woolly pull on, that gets rammed on my head for winter dog walks, so will forget that while I comment! I am regretful that I missed your earlier post, as I have so enjoyed hearing about your ups and downs, and the trials of getting your beautiful home ready for someone else to enjoy,( that fireplace is very pretty) and especially anything regarding the cats( always so funny). It would be good if your blog had the facility to put previous posts randomly at the bottom of the current one, as some of them do...then I could catch up with your past!

the veg artist said...

I back-read everything when I found your blog, so even though I wasn't ready it in real time, I know about Harry and Kevin.

Why does your FEEDJIT make it appear as though I am from Aberystwyth? Does some internet wiring make a very large detour on the way to Newcastle?

Isabelle said...

Dash it. I wasn't the first. I forgot about your comment monitoring.

Ah well, I'm the only one to comment twice on one post. So far. Which I shouldn't be because I'm not blogging, I'm marking. Watch me go. (Zoom.)

Anonymous said...

My best hat is a dreadful denim number for painting in France and has never been used since that disastrous art course in Carcassonne. So I'm not wearing it.

I love your writing, and have gone all back through the archives, several times...and been moved to tears by the loss of the two cats. I may not always post a comment - I owe you a proper email to explain! - but I empathise with the vast majority of what you write, though I'm far less tidy! Just not the spiders, OK - the son's terrified of them.

Please keep blogging!

Jan x [over-using exclamation marks because of the heat]

Anonymous said...

I am certain that your blog is appreciatively read countless times more than comments are made. I do not comment often because, unlike you, I am unable to put thoughts in words with ease. You are - as someone else as said - top of my "favourites", so keep it coming. OllieV

Fran said...

Hate hats but like your blog.

love those cupcakes said...

I was going to respond with some witty remark or other but the ruddy feather in this hat is making me sneeze and I can't concentrate.

Marcheline said...

I can totally relate (not that I ever get 25 comments on anything... showoff!) to that moment when the blog turns from monologue to conversation. I decided to just roll with it, and enjoy it for what it has become, even though it is not what I started out to do. Having friends all over the world is so great!

Related Posts with Thumbnails