Writing stuff

A blog is a funny thing.  I am feeling a bit lost with mine at the  moment.  What is it for?  I wonder if I should just decide once and for all what I want to do with it and stop fannying around.

Some of my favourite blogs are gardening blogs, written by passionate and knowledgeable and fascinating people.  I love gardening.  It is one of my great passions too.  Often I will blog about my garden and will use the blog to inspire me to get out there with  my camera and to really see what is happening rather than rushing through, weeds in hand, on the way to the compost heap.
But I am not a great gardener.  I am not an artist with plants.  I am not a plantswoman.  I am just someone who likes to grow things, most of the time.  I don't garden in winter or in the rain and cold.  Sometimes I just get bored with the relentless tide of creeping buttercup and bindweed and the way things die.  I love Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on other people's blogs but I am never organised enough to have the perfect photo to hand to join in.  So is this a gardening blog?

Some of my favourite blogs are parenting blogs.  I love the pithy and witty way Who's the Mummy writes about bringing up her little girl or the honesty with which Exmoorjane chronicles the highs and the lows of family life.  Sometimes I write a bit about my own family but I am too aware of their right to privacy to say much about my adult children or my parents and, let's face it, there is no anonymity here so it needs a special moment like the birth of my grandchild to make me break my usual reserve and open my heart up.  I have to write about my family sometimes because they are such a huge part of who I am but this is a parenting blog?

Some of my favourite blogs are just written by people who are extraordinarily talented writers who could take any topic and have you laughing or musing or catching your breath.  I don't really know whether I can write or not.  Sometimes I come across something I wrote a year or so ago and am quite surprised that I was the author.  More often I struggle to find the words I want and sometimes the reason I use a lot of photos is that I just can't find words.  So am I a writer? I suspect not.

I love blogs about food and am a keen eater and cook but rarely write about it.  I love blogs about books and am a fanatic reader but rarely write about that either. I suppose if anything this blog is often about the place which I love dearly but it must hardly start the heart racing when I tell you for the umpteenth time that the light on the other side of the valley is very beautiful this evening.

So go on, please tell me if you can spare the time.  Should I write about one thing, properly with passion and fervour, instead of skittering about from place to place like a rather clumsy butterfly?  And if I should, what should it be?

Or should I just carry on whittering quietly to myself in the corner?

Comments

  1. You are SO not alone in this. I find myself pondering this exact question about my blog. Mine has turned out to be (in my eyes, at least) a bit of a Curate's Egg - good in parts. I think I decided when I started writing it that it would just be about anything at all that I fancied writing about. I didn't want to label myself from the beginning as one thing, only to find myself veering off at a tangent later. Much better to incorporate the tangents from the beginning. I also fret that I don't write enough but I'm aware that, although family members won't agree with me (and we're having an ongoing argument about it right now), I'm not a natural writer and I find it quite hard work. So I've decided to just not really worry myself too much about it - I'll write when I can be bothered but only about something that really interests me. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You carry on! I love your blog! I don't think that writing a blog means that you should keep to just one subject if you don't want to. Because yours is so varied it means that everyone can identify with some if not all of it. I love gardening blogs & food blogs. But yours at times for me is very reassuring because it reflects how I feel sometimes. My main interests in life are food, gardening & my familly.

    So keep going. Please!

    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your blog just the way it is. I've asked the same question of mine. How do people stay on just one theme? The world is too big a place for that. You can write and beautifully too. So carry on skittering Mrs Butterfly. xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your blog should be primarily for YOU. If other people come along for the journey and stop to say hello it's fabulous and great making friends with people you would never normally have come across. But your blog should be where you can just be you. That's what a blog is for to me. All these things make up 'you', and I think it's a real joy coming to know people in this way. I often think that the people who know me in blog land often know me better than many people in my 'real' life and it eases the soul to know there's people out there that are fine with me just the way I am.
    Just be you - that's good enough.
    Nellie x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Elizabeth, I too love your blog exactly as it is. I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say it is about a place more than anything, and it is precisely your skills as a writer that DO make our hearts skip when you tell us about the light on the side of the valley. Most of us are in no way lucky enough to live somewhere as beautiful as you, and being able to experience it through your intelligent and thoughtful eyes is a real treat, coming as it does without the silly trappings of magazine spin and styling. I like the level of detail you offer about your family and personal life, which is enough to make us feel at home with you and not so much that we are overwhelmed. Please write about whatever you enjoy - then we are likely to enjoy it too. X

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love it here. Don't worry and don't change it. Whatever you're writing about I enjoy reading.

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh blimey don't get all thematic on us. It's yours, do what you want when you want. It's easy to get scared by other people's but sort of pointless, too. Keep on keeping on. We love it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. One. You are a writer.

    Two. You are an elegant and accessible writer.

    Three. A definite personality comes through what you write. People on paper are often different from themselves in person so, if ever we meet, I might find you are completely different from how I imagine you. None the less, on paper you give the blog coherence, consistency and continuity.

    Beyond that . . . well, heaven knows! I strongly believe a non-commercial blog is the 'owner's' property to do with as they will.

    There are some awkward things to balance out though because readers do seem to group around particular kinds of blog. In theory you should feel free to write about music this week, postal services the next, weeds in between . . . but readers sometimes can't cope with too much variety and may wander off. And if you decide to make a big shift and turn a garden blog into a family one (for example) you may find yourself getting to know a completely different group of people. I've tried to solve this by having more than one blog. That way, I can do whatever I like but in distinct places. It means I haven't built up the kind of large readership enjoyed by some of the bloggers who concentrate all their effort into one area but it does enable me to feel I am in control of my own creativity. And I mind about that.

    Mrs Jones says it all in her last sentence.

    Esther

    P.S. I don't know why I read your blog. It isn't the content. To some degreee it's the geographic setting but more probably it's something to do with you. For a long time I used to drop by from time to time and read and admire and be uncertain whether I had a right to say anything. Strong personality lives here kind of thing. And if you said anything on my blog, I'd feel terrifically honoured. So you could probably write about the undersides of chairs and I'd still turn up to see what you are saying!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think of most blogs as a sort of journaling. This is what I enjoy about yours, it takes the shape of whatever is on your mind or in your life at the moment. I enjoy reading about your little corner of the world!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm with the skittery butterfly approach!
    Dan
    -x-

    ReplyDelete
  11. Skitter on. It is YOUR blog. I come back to gardening, but I also write about whatever. Recently mentioned a book I had read, and was stunned when the author dropped in and left me a comment. Do you grow yellow Welsh poppies? (If a blog is too finely focused, there is only so much you can write about so little. Then it gets repetitive and boring) Skitter on ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Elizabeth - I enjoy your blog - and it is made all the more special for me as I have visited "your place" which is very magical.

    When I first started reading you - I thought you were a "writer" so I was surprised when that was not your career.

    You write beautifully - and see, I even turn up to read you when I am computer-less.

    K
    Sorry I am signing is as anonymous because on not my computer it is too much palaver to do it otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your blog gives a real sense of your life and your home - it's one of the very few I return to. So keep on keeping on.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh Piffle woman you blog is not contrived or staggering under journalistic efforts to be witty or piffy, you write well, and it comes across that you write about your life and garden and not for applause AND I think ( not that what I think coutns for much I know but none the less I think)its a good read so stop underselling yourself do what you are good at and that is being you and giving people enjoyement reading about you and your life.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your blog is your blog, you dont need to label it one thing or another, use it as a sort of journal to record the things that matter to you, the things that interest you, to help you clear your mind, think things through. I have found that my best blogs, the ones that cause the most response are the ones I just write without much thought to get something out of my system.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just the way it is please. Your life, your place, your time, beautifully observed.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So there you are Elizabeth, you have it on authority that we all love what you do so please don't stop doing it! When I started my blog I was very egocentric and couldn't resist counting anybody who called in and then I met real people (if only in cyberspace) Not everybody likes what we write - that's life. The second sentence you've written on 'Leave your comment' is the reason why I blog!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh wow! I go out to Welsh class and come home to a slew of comments. Thank you all for taking the trouble. It is fascinating to find that people seem to actively like the mish mash of stuff that finds its way here. I do very much agree that my blog is mine to do with what I please, but the longer I have been blogging the more I have realised that is a bit disingenuous for me to say I write for myself. I love the comments and the dialogue. I do, after all, I find, write to communicate so I care what the people who read this think. Not that it would make me write something I am not interested in and don't care about, but I had been seriously wondering whether I was just flopping about in an annoying way.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think following the nose (or the inspiration) is the only way to go...Just be yourself, for what point is there in trying to be anybody else? It'd be like putting on a straight jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ah the thing is Jinksy, you wouldn't be being anything other than yourself if you restricted yourself, you would just be using only a bit of yourself. So it wouldn't be inauthentic, it would just be partial, if that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dear me, Elizabeth - as someone just commented on my last post - "what a lot of thinking!" Please stay flittery. You aren't just any one of those things - gardener, cook, family member, author, observer of weather and light, you're all of them, and a lot more besides. And that's what makes you so eminently readable. Start to specialise and you'd lose a lot of regulars who like to see what's come up for you today, and who love the variety in your life that you convey so well.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your blogs are always so readable; they draw you in and you have a lovely mix of subjects. They are 'must-read' blogs. Don't change the format or the voice but just go on chronicling what you feel important. If you are stuck - just re-post what you wrote a year ago and tell us what you think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I never miss one of your posts. Please continue to go on as you have and write about whatever comes to mind when you sit down. I love that your blog is not about the same thing week after week - I like the variety.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Listen to your heart. Write about what you love - hang on, that's what you do and so well!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I really don't know why you're doubting yourself. You write so well.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It does take a blog a bit of time to find its footing, I think. My blog started when I had a children's book under contract and was supposed to be making "connections". Well, the book contract got cancelled (yes, sad!)but the blog continues and has become a place to post photos and remarks and each Sunday a quote I love - and it gives me great pleasure. I have a friend or two who criticize my blog posts saying my time would be better spent on "real" writing - but I feel this is just as "real" as any of my published poems - and I have made some lovely blog friends. So long winded me is saying - just post what continues to please you and you will find, looking back over it, that it has a style and a substance you were not even aware of, and that it works (as yours does).

    ReplyDelete
  27. Elizabeth, you have a book in you somewhere.

    Neil.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Of course you write well. You do it all well. I like the mixture and don't feel the need to categorise. It's about you and your life and your interests - that's enough!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love your blog it frequently has me catching my breath or just nodding away silently in agreement. You are talented and please please carry on just the way you want to - it's great!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love your blog the way it is, a little glimpse of some one I would like to know in a far off land but also who lives in an area I have visited and enjoyed.
    From Australia it is far off!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You sound to me like ALL of us. No blog should be restricive. Personally I enjoy reading about your house renovation, your garden stuff, and about WALES.

    Keep it up. Bisou, Cro.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Surely yours is a 'Life Blog,' with all its wonderfully eclectic facets. Yours is a particularly lovely life blog, as all the comments clearly testify.

    Please don't change.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Don't change a thing Elizabeth. I always feel better after reading your blog and that's a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Em I can never imagine you ""flopping about in an annoying way" but it does conjure up a wonderful image!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'd say it's a blog on "your life" and from the amount of comments very enjoyable just keep up the good work :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Elizabeth, I love the way your blog moves from topic to topic so please keep it like that. Perhaps it is because I share so many of your interests that I like it this way, but I really enjoy seeing where your lovely words are taking me each time. x

    ReplyDelete
  37. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I just wished to write what I happened to be interested in on that particular day. If I can't think of anything in particular - I search The Times, read a chapter of one of my favourite books, or go down the lane with my camera. Rarely is there a day when I can't find something to write about - and enjoy doing so.
    I would say - relax - let whatever takes your fancy appear on the page - and enjoy it.
    Have a nice weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've been blogging fairly regularly for over 8 years, and I've found that I can only do that when I write about what interests me — and that changes on a regular basis.

    You probably lose/gain a lot of readers this way, but if you don't write at all it's hard to hold many readers' attention.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Elizabeth, I was weeding this afternoon and thinking about your blog, (this is before I read this latest dilemma-of-direction post), and I realized how much I enjoyed the variety in your posts. I actually had the thought, that many bloggers are passionate about their pet topic, to the point of being blinkered to the other joys in life. And that what I love about your blog is that you write with great love about the things that matter to you, and they are the things that matter to me, and that is why I love your blog. If I could write half as well as you I'd have kept up my own blog, but I'd rather read yours than write mine!
    Remember, that many of us reading, are stricken with envy of your lifestyle, and so soak up even the most mundane aspects of it. Please don't change a thing!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would imagine that anything you're comfortable with and that catches your attention or ushes you into wanting to share it with your readers is good enough.

    Sometimes, after a time writing a blog, it's but natural to begin to wonder if this is what the readers would like reading, and maybe if one puts the heart into it, the readers will like it anyways for its sinerity.

    ReplyDelete
  41. You have to write as yourself, really. If you try to think of a way to write that doesn't 'fit' you, then you might be setting yourself for a fall.

    I've been blogging on and off since 2004, and I've changed a lot since then. My current blog was supposed to be a journey of self-discovery after withdrawing from a prescribed tranquilliser, but it's taken an entirely different direction, and I'm quite pleased about that.

    Just blog about what pops into your head, whatever feels right to you at any particular moment. I've not read many of your posts yet, but have your blog in my feed reader and love looking at your photos. I shall read more of it now.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wow! Do I understand what you are going through! Having said that....I really like your blog that is why I follow you! Don't change a thing!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you so much to everyone who took the trouble to respond. I do appreciate it very much. I think I shall just keep on flopping about!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your blog is about you, what you are interested in, where you live, and what you do. That is good enough. I think your writing style is entertaining, honest and informative. I enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think judging by the response you had to this post, there are a few who disagree that you can't write! And Elizabeth, I have some of exactly the same worries for my own blog. I'm a jack of all trades, master of none. I aspire to be a writer but then read proper writers blogs and they sound so much better than mine. It makes me curl up under a stone when I think for too long about what to writer.

    In your case, I should just stick to what you are doing...it's rather lovely that your blogs meander, rather like a lucky dip - one day I might take a look and there's a lovely little corner of your garden or one day, you will have written a little common sense piece that pings a cord. Just by being yourself, you touch people, whatever you write about.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  46. I think the beauty of your blog is its quiet, reflective tone. I always find it a very calming place to be. But I completely understand blog dilemmas. If it's not giving you much pleasure, or is frustrating you, a break might be in order? I reckon you'll soon be back...!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Why should you be one dimensional? Real people aren't about just one thing, so why should your blog be any different.

    I know someone who is soon to publish a book in a specialised field, for this author, creating a large blog following is an important part of the marketing so he keeps the blog very focussed.

    It's YOUR blog, write what you want.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am late here Elizabeth but have shared some of your wonderings about blogging in the past. I certainly want you to continue blogging about anything and everything, you write so well. I would just go with the flow if I were you, it's what I tend to do. I feel it is a bonus to be able to write for the joy of it and not for money or a deadline. Maybe it is therapeutic, who knows? Keep going!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Elizabeth - this is the second time in 2 days I have come across you in completely different places (online). So I thought I'd drop you a note to say Good Morning from a fellow holiday cottage owner who also blogs and has a Facebook page and has posted a video of my hens with their chicks.
    I know we've hardly met but I'd like to comment on your ponderings about the focus of your blogging. Please relish the freedom of writing a blog with no agenda. I am sadly constrained with mine.
    I enjoy writing my blog and sometimes, like you, I look back on my work and smile rather than cringe. But any similarity ends because I am working within boundaries, my blog doubles (well actually its primary purpose is) as the marketing tool for my holiday cottage. I find it more than a bit constraining to weave Alton Towers into everything I write - off season I allow myself a lot more fun. So relish your freedom; I see no reason to add boundaries to your blog is none is required.

    It has been a pleasure to 'meet' you and I look forward to doing so again soon.

    Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  50. I enjoy stopping by your blog and have followed it for awhile. I would say please don't specialize. The blogs that most interest me have a bit of everything. It is the person behind the blog that is of most interest, and how that person expresses her passions in life.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Skitter away. I've only just discovered your blog. How could I resist taking a look at anything with the words 'Welsh' and 'hills' in the same title? I've very much enjoyed what I've read so far and you can tell me about the beautiful light across the valley as many mornings as you want (with as a many photos as you care to take) :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. What lovely pages you have. I came across your blog much the same way I have discovered other wonderful treasures across the www universe - quite by accident, throught the links on another page.

    What I love, as much as the stories, poetry, photos, and secrets of every day life, is the camraderie and the luck of meeting and hearing about people around the world. It is this chance meeting of strangers that I really love. Seeing life through the keyhole of a story or pic on line through their eyes is magical.
    I have four separate blogs that I write, just to make it easy for me to keep track of them, themes are all different, but overall the same. I look forward to coming back here for a visit on another day. Keep writing and thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments are the best thing and the conversations they produce are the whole purpose of blogging for me. Do tell me what you think!

Popular Posts