Saturday, 9 November 2013

Day 9: My blogging story

A while ago Saskia (who I 'met' through #BEDM) tagged me for a Liebster award.  I never did anything with it, because life got in the way, but I really liked some of the questions she had been asked and that she asked in turn.  They got me thinking about my blogging story, and so here it is.  I'd love to hear about yours too.

How and when did you decide to start blogging?
I think it was summer 2010.  I was pretty late to the party with regard to discovering blogs, but after reading an article in The Guardian about fatshion bloggers I discovered a whole exciting world.  As an ex-fanzine writer, the self-published, independent, potentially radical ethos of blogging really appealed to me.  It took me ages to actually get any further than just setting up a Blogger account, though, and
my first post didn't go live until March 3rd 2011.  In it, I wrote about my memories of writing zines, and about how I hoped blogging would be as much fun.  It has been, and then some...

What's the story behind your blog's name?
"Writing words which can only be your own," is a line from The Smiths' Cemetery Gates.  An admission: I didn't actually come up with the name myself.  Almost a year before I actually began writing here, I put out a plea on Facebook for blog name ideas and a guy I used to date suggested it.  It was very much a "well, duh..." moment.  I love The Smiths; I knew my blog was likely to be wordy... how had I not thought of it before?!  I ended up changing the "which" to "that" (by mistake I think), and I'm now of the opinion that it's a slightly unwieldy name for a blog, but I still think it suits me.

What's the best post you've ever written?
That's a tough one!  I'm proud of quite a few posts actually.  I acknowledge that, when it comes to blogging, I'm a mediocre photographer and pretty lazy about making and doing, but what I can do is write, so most of my favourite posts are quite wordy (see, that's why my blog's name is perfect!)

My granny died in January and the post I wrote that afternoon, In Memoriam, is one of the most from-the-heart and quick to write posts I've ever done.  I still love it, and hope the rest of the family agree that it's a fitting memorial to her.

I really enjoyed writing Misadventures In Internet Dating and every word of it is true (yes, even the Hitler guy).  Thank goodness my story has a happy ending!

My travel posts from backpacking across America in 2011 and South Africa in 2012 are probably only of interest to me, but I love having a record of those trips.  My final post from South Africa, Last Days, is a favourite.  Of more use to my general readership, Paris On A Budget is a lovely way for me to remember one of the best weekends of my life, but contains lots of handy hints too.

And finally, I am really proud of Thursday's post, Ten Steps To Feeling Body Positive, which has already had more views than most anything else I've posted in a while.

What are your favourite and least favourite things about blogging?
I'll start with the negative: my least favourite thing by a mile is the commercialisation of blogging.  I've seen such a move recently from genuinely interesting, unique blogs to ones that only seem to exist to flog stuff.  It seems like some bloggers are keen to become part of mainstream media, but the whole appeal to me is that blogging existed outside the mainstream.  I went on rather a rant about the whole thing here, which caused a lot of debate on Twitter.  What makes me sad is that, as it gets more commercialised, some great bloggers are becoming disenchanted and giving up.  But I prefer to continue plowing my own little furrow of poor photography, wordy rambles, makes, music and books rather than reject the whole process.

As for favourite things, that's EASY!  It's all about the people for me: I love the connections that can be made through a screen.  I'm not the most sociable or outgoing of people, so making friends via a page or a screen has always worked well for me.  When I wrote a fanzine in the mid-90s, I made some fantastic friends after they wrote to me for a copy (sellotaping their 50 pence piece to the letter, of course) and blogging has turned out to be similar.  Although I have yet to properly meet any of my fellow bloggers, plans are in the pipeline and I'm determined to put faces to some of the names that crop up in my comments section and my Bloglovin' feed.


  1. What a great idea to combine the questions and this topic! My blogging story isn't that long, since I've only started in March this year, but I'm really amazed how much you can learn in a little over 6 months. And the lovely people you can meet :)

    1. Thanks for providing such great questions in the first place!