I was surprised when I read Helen’s blog yesterday to realize she has been blogging for 5 years. As we started blogging around the same time, this means I have been blogging for 5 years too!
I was struck by the anniversary, which had largely passed un-noticed, as writing this blog has been preying on my mind for the past few months. To stop or to continue? That is a question.
A lot has changed on the UK garden blogging world in the past 5 years, not least a huge increase in blogs which touch on all things horticultural. While there are now many well written and interesting blogs around, part of me does feel that the “fun” of my early blogging days has evaporated. It has all become so earnest now. Some of the feelings around the lack of fun is probably due to the excitement of those early days fading slightly, will anyone read my blog? Whose blog will I discover today? What will I learn? That wonderment is missing for me just now.
A few years ago we seemed to have a jolly time. VP organized “The dinner Party” in February 2009, how entertaining it was creating the post for this meme, and visiting other blogs to see who their chosen dinner party guests were. Shirl also did a fun meme based on the 3 plants you would have on your desert island and who could forget the Emsworth Village Show in 2008 and 2009 organised by Emma T.
I am sure there are similar memes around to-day and that I am not spending enough time online to discover them. The garden blogging world seemed a much smaller place 5 years ago.
With some of the Joie de vivre missing, the behind the scenes “nuts and bolts” of blogging is troublesome more-so perhaps as my chosen platform is a self hosted wordpress blog, so something always needs mending or updating. We are bombarded with blogging advice from every corner of the world wide web;- how to protect our images, how to protect our written work, how to monetize, how to get more comments, more followers, using social networking, pinterest and so one. It is bewildering and dizzying. The amount of spam that I receive is wearing, but also the influx of requests for link exchange, guest posts, and advertising. It is the advertising that irritates me most. After receiving 3 increasingly irate emails from a company asking no, demanding my rates for placing an advert on the blog I responded rather brusquely stating that if the representative from the said company had actually REALLY read my blog – they would notice that I didn’t carry any adverts.
The very nature of a gardening blog means that it is cyclical – it’s January, it’s snowdrops and so on throughout the year. I have not lost my enthusiasm for all things gardening (Well perhaps a little, but then it is January) I just fear that I am becoming terribly predictable and dull. (err for those that are interested I have one snowdrop in the garden).
I don’t want to stop writing this blog – it is handy to look back and see what the weather was like this time last year, or what was flowering in May, or when did I get rid of that camellia. Somehow I need to recapture that Joie de vivre and look forward to writing my blog and reading other blogs.
Possibly the first step towards this is to actually carve out some time once a week to sit at my computer and write my post, rather than having a free floating “my blog, my blog, my blog” running through my head which is so debilitating. I used to do all my blogging late at night, but I have discovered that I sleep so much better if I turn off my computer a few hours before I go to bed.
So while I yearn for the simpler more innocent days of 5 years ago when I knew nothing but merely enjoyed the process, that is not going to return. Having written this post to-day, it has cleared my mind a little, and for a while once a week I will “show up at the page” and we shall see where that leads me.
What about you? If you write a blog are you one of the “old timers” who has been blogging for a few years, or is your blog still young? How do you feel about your blog?
If you read blogs regularly, what content keeps a blog fresh for you, what do you look for. Do leave a comment or write a follow up post.