Tilting at Blogging Windmills

I bought a magazine yesterday morning – a magazine all about blogging. Within it’s pages there are interviews with “bloggers of note”, lots of explanatory articles about what to write about, how to write it, when to write it, where to write it, and all sorts of other rubbish. And that’s just it – it’s rubbish.

Instead of doing what I had intended, and spending an hour visiting some of the blogs covered in the magazine interviews, I fell down a colossal internet rabbit hole (something I’m particularly skilled at, I should perhaps mention), and went on my own journey of discovery. For four or five hours. I’m not really sure how long I spent reading, liking, following, and commenting – but one blog lead to another, and another.

It was re-affirming in all sorts of ways. For the longest time I have wondered if blogging was dead. Maybe not dead, but certainly on life support. It’s probably worth qualifying what I mean by “blogging” – I mean people sharing the days of their lives – posting candid adventures, thoughts, hopes and dreams for others to trip over as they wander past. Anything else isn’t really “blogging” in my mind – it’s certainly something, but not “blogging”.

Anyway!

After a quite marvellous evening spent people watching through the words shared by others, I went to bed having discovered a number of wonderful writers, and wondered if my world might be just a little bit bigger than it had been at the start of the day.

This morning, while I should have been doing something else, I finally took a look at some of the “bloggers of note” in the magazine, and discovered something I hadn’t expected. Yes, their blogs were pretty, and professional, and polished, and HOLY SHIT THEY ALL WANTED TO BUILD THEIR OWN WALLED GARDENS. And you know something else? We’ve all got more engagement between our words and pictures and what-not than any of the “look at my pretty blog” gang. It occurred to me that the little circle of candid story tellers I count myself a member of are doing something right.

We’re not selling out. We’re not trying to create a brand. We’re just telling our stories, and maybe looking for one or two kindred spirits to share them with. We’re not stretching ourselves across ten social media accounts – posting little square photos, self obsessed videos, links to furnishing ideas, or any other bollocks. We’re just telling everybody how crappy our day was, or how (against all the odds) today turned out alright for a change.

Here’s to us, and our stories, experiences, hopes, dreams, disasters, and whatever else we choose to share (you know, instead of packaging, marketing, and selling it).

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18 Replies to “Tilting at Blogging Windmills”

  1. Great post!

    I’m glad to finally find someone who feels as I do about blogging. I, too, have read those magazines and articles about how to be a better blogger and found them mostly to be about how to become an internet presence and less about being an internet character that people want to hang around with. So, I guess I’ll probably never have a thousand followers. I guess I’ll never get 500 likes every time I post a sneeze. I’ll probably never be able to monetize my blog. But I enjoy doing it and that’s all that matters to me.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I’ve noticed that, too. I used to cruise the “Discover” stream to look for interesting blogs. That resulted in finding very few blogs that I actually wanted to follow. Now I don’t even cruise that stream any more. I like finding random blogs using tags. I’ve had much better luck that way.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Totally agree with everything that you have written. I am not writing my blog to be an internet presence. I have a story to tell and i wish to make others aware that men have eating disorders too. Most are not brave enough to say anything, however i just want to highlight the fact that it is ok not to be ok. My corner of the internet does that…….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Jonathan, I’m trying to promote a thread I’ve started a few weeks ago in an Irish blogging group. The group is largely peopled, it seems to me, by “commercial” bloggers, ie promoting products, and I have been trying to establish this thread for non-commercial bloggers like myself, ie no affiliations, not pushing anything, except our genius, wild(e), eh?!Anyway I was taken with this particular blog post of yours, and its resonance with what i am trying to get going, and with your permission, I would like to quote from it in the post I am ablot to do for my thread. That okay? Thank you

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I actually get pretty terrified at the idea of ever becoming one of those big blogger type people. I’d get way too anxious every time I hit post. I prefer being a part of a smaller circle! Although I am now keen on finding out what a walled garden is…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In terms of the internet, Facebook is a walled garden – the last thing they want you to do is leave. They have everything you need, right there – and while you’re in the garden, they can of course track everything you do.

      Like

  4. I’m sometimes confused by those who make it “big” in that their article looks like 100 other articles I’ve encountered under whatever search term I’ve done. And usually doesn’t even tell me what I came to learn. Just a lot of fluff and no meat to the topic.
    Here’s to our stories and all that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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