And in the beginning there was...

posted on: Thursday, 9 February 2017

Yesterday I went to a blogging workshop; my first ever. I have written a blog for over seven years and there I was, sitting around a table of contemporaries, talking about this strange thing I do when the thoughts in my head overspill. Blogs are such interesting things. For those of us who did it way back when (as I find those who read blogs tend to write blogs) there's a nostalgia; pre-Instagram, pre-Pinterest, when a blogpost could illicit seventy comments and there were blog awards and guest bloggers and a rarefied few who had 'made it' but an underbelly of many who hadn't. There was much forward-thinking. Blogging is a release for people who have something they want to say. And as terrifying at that is, launching your thoughts out in to the ether, it's been a rewarding and fascinating 'journey'. The word 'journey' was used a lot yesterday.


My friend Amanda took the session, along with the founder of the beautiful boutique 'Hero', Laura. It's Laura's brainchild and I have to say she's entrepreneurial in an admirable way. In the same day I chatted over text my other blog friend Simone and then in the evening messaged my other American friend Robin to talk dresses and politics. Then woke this morning to a message from my Australian friend Sophie (who incidentally also mentored my daughter in photography, long distance) suggesting a place where I could do some book research about houseboats! None of these women would be in my life had I not written a blog, so I think that is amazing and humbling. The world can be a small place. It's a modern phenomenon.

Yesterday I found myself describing how my blog had historically been something I have kept hidden from people in my 'real' life; it seemed to me that there was something about it that I wanted kept back, so I never publicised it. I never monetised it. I just wrote it. And then that portfolio of work became what I used to get onto my Masters degree; I had years and years worth of 'diary' entries to submit. Albeit a slightly quirky hybrid of my inner thoughts, theories, fascinations along with occasional doses of shopping guilt, home renovations, parental challenges, teenagers and most of the preoccupations that face a British 42 year old woman. I suppose the point is you never know where things might lead you.

One element I thought was interesting, when we analysed it, was that the quality we liked most in a blog was honesty; the absence of an agenda. A certain self-deprecation. This is my life, read about it if you like, if not move on to the next, no commitment necessary. The same applies surely to all methods by which we absorb information.  The media, friends, relatives, books, TV - we want an authenticity to it that feels hard to find. People don't say what they really think. The beauty of writing an anonymous blog is you can say what you think, so I generally do, tempered with some pretty pictures. And don't even get me started on what a 'flat-lay' is!

Of course there are exceptions and of course there is a degree of scorn, there are those who judge and belittle it as an activity. I remember my friend Mary telling me that someone had (rather offensively) described her blog as a 'little hobby' or such like. Infuriating! It is a little hobby but it can also be so much more. Judge at your peril but what I see is a group of diverse women making their way, thinking about stuff, getting things done, influencing habits, proliferating good.

Long may it last.

image via the elgin avenue

5 comments :

  1. As always Lou, perfectly summed up and you have no idea how much I enjoyed yesterday! Seeing you (after a long while!), talking blog shop with women at different stages of the J word and comparing the "good old days" with the way things progress forward now. So uplifting!
    Long may it all continue with all of us carving out our paths in this strange and wonderful world!
    Amanda xx

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  2. I'm with you - I was also blogging way back when; kinda miss those days. But the friendships we have forged with people across the world is amazing. I still blog anonymously and I find it very freeing because, as you said, I can say what I really think.

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  3. I still think that blogging is the best ....... all of the other social media sites are just photos without much communication .... they remind me of the modern day round robin letter .... all showing off and pouting !!! haha !!
    There seems to be much more camaraderie with blogging and definite connections and friendships are made.
    It seems to me, as an oldie, that people are very quick to move on as soon as another site hits the headlines. Modern technology moves on so quickly and I am a little guilty of it too as I do like a little browse on Pinterest but I will remain true to blogging.
    How is Simone Lou ? ..... please say hi from me when you are next in touch with her ...... is she coming back to blogging ? .... I miss her. XXXX

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  4. I didn't publicize mine to IRL friends for many years. I finally did when I had a small segment on local tv because of my blog. Even then I was terrified, but now a lot of my friends read every single blog post. So it's a nice feeling. Being a blogger is just part of who I am, so I'm glad I finally opened that part of myself up to others.

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  5. Thank you so much for the mention dear Lou! Like always I feel as though you have taken the words right from my brain and put them on paper! I am often so nostalgic for the early days of my blog. Back when people commented it felt like such a community, and now there is just so much pressure to produce, but it rarely feels like you get anything in return. That being said I could never just walk away. I've been blogging for over 9 years and I really don't know who I would be without it. I always joke it's like my thrid child, often annoying but still one of my greatest loves! The friendships I've formed through blogging, like the one with you, has been the most unexpected gift and knowing that you are reading is often enough to keep me going! Xx

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