Friday, October 26, 2007

Me and My Blog (Or Who's a Silly Blogger Then?)

I’d been thinking about writing a blog for some time and when my husband set one up for me last year I felt I really should use it. So, feeling extremely nervous and self-conscious I wrote my very first post on 22 July 2006. I was still working full time then and didn’t write anymore until April this year after I’d retired.

Basically I am a shy person and at first I found it really difficult to write about what I thought. Who on earth would want to know what I think anyway and why should they? I go to a book group and another member usually asks when we’re deciding which book to read next “who is this person and why should we read what they’ve written?” Thoughts like these were going through my mind and then I thought well no-one will know what I’m writing unless I tell them about the blog and I’ll just write for my own satisfaction and so I began.

Soon I thought this was a bit self-centred and as I got a bit more confident I very, very occasionally dared to add a comment on someone else’s blog, using my blog name as the contact. I was amazed when someone actually added a comment to my blog and that person was an author – Linda Gillard, whose book
Emotional Geology I’d mentioned in the post! Brilliant. I didn’t feel I was writing in isolation anymore and I realised I actually like people to read what I’m writing and to add their comments.

Stuck In a Book asked in one of his posts what do you call people you only know through blogging? He suggested “e-friends”. Like him I feel a bit embarrassed talking about FRIENDS when I've never met them, but what else can you call them? I feel I do know a bit about some of the people whose blogs I visit, well I know what books you like, what food some of you like to eat and to cook, which places you like to go on holiday, and what your other hobbies are apart from reading and writing. I do think of you as “friends” and I am so pleased you visit my blog.

Through Site Meter or Google Analytics I have some idea of where you live and how you found me. It’s broadened my horizons. I now have a much better idea of where countries are and where for example Connecticut is in America and that there is a town called Cheshire in Connecticut (of interest to me because I was born in Cheshire, a county in the north west of England). I am amazed when I see that people from Cyprus, Scandinavia, India, Italy, Australia, Iran, Singapore, Peru and so on have visited me. I feel so much more cosmopolitan.

Most visitors to my blog are from the US and the UK, but surprisingly after that comes Romania. How did they find me? I noticed that the number of visitors rose quite steeply after I wrote about Lewis Carroll and his interest in photography and all the people from Romania had arrived at my blog to read this post, directed from a site called Fototarget, but how did Fototarget find it? Anyway if you’re reading this in Romania, welcome and I hope you weren’t too disappointed. I knew very little about photography before but now I’ve realised that I am very interested in it and its history. If you can get BBC Four a new series started last night called
The Genius of Photography. It’s brilliant and well worth watching.

Another intriguing question is related to some of my posts that have been translated into German and posted on other blogs – why on earth do they want to do that? My post on
Astrid and Veronika is in German on “Travel” blog, I can’t imagine why, the book has nothing to do with travel. My last post on the Verneys of Claydon has been translated and put on “Hugh Health” blog. It’s called “Das Verneys von Claydon” and this has such a nice ring to it that the book may become called that in my mind from now on. But I think people reading it hoping to find out about health will be surprised to read about the medical practices in seventeenth century England that are described in the post.

So to all my e-friends thank you for visiting and I do hope you’ll come again and I really like to read your comments.

11 comments:

GeraniumCat said...

Your early paragraphs sum up my feelings exactly! I've only been blogging since August this year, but I started out very diffident - I still am, but there have been wonderfully welcoming responses to my tentative comments. I still struggle to find things other than books to write about (not too much of a problem since reading is my greatest pleasure). Would love to write, as you do, about wonderful places I've visited, but there's not much opportunity. So I especially enjoy vicarious visits on your blog.

BooksPlease said...

Thanks for your comment. It's great isn't it to find other people who also love books? I forgot to add in my post that that is one of the most rewarding things about writing a blog. So nice to 'meet' you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I recently found your blog, and I am chipping in here because I was born in Cheshire too, but am now living in Normandy (France, not Surrey!)
Carole

BooksPlease said...

Hi Carole, I don't live in Cheshire now either, but not as far away as Normandy. Do you have a blog?

litlove said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of book blogging! It's lovely to have you as a part of it, and I always enjoy your posts. I feel I've made some fantastic friends through writing a blog - it's the community spirit that makes it so worthwhile for me.

Lisamm said...

I agree, it is so interesting to find how people discovered your blog. I found you through the Read with Abandon meme on Booking Through Thursday. I'm very new to blogging and have not yet truly opened up in my blog entries for fear of.. what? Judgement, perhaps? I don't know, but I hope to be able to write more freely at some point!

Dorothy W. said...

It's interesting to look back and remember how frightened I was to leave my first comment -- it seems silly now, but it was really scary at the time! I've wondered how to name the friends I've made through blogging -- it feels like I should distinguish between real-life friends and blog-friends, but do I really need to? I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm glad you're blogging!

Tara said...

Lovely post, you've articulated some of my own thoughts so wonderfully. I also love looking at the stats to see how people found me and where they're from.

BooksPlease said...

Litlove, I'm so glad you're back blogging.

Lisamm, hello. You're right - it is difficult to open up for me too, but it has got easier the more I've written.

Dorothy, yes isn't it strange to be scared, but that's just how I felt. You're right - we don't need to distinguish between different types of friendship.

Tara, it's fascinating to see how people from all over the world connect up about books. There aren't many people I know personally who read as much as me.

I'm glad I'm book blogging along with all of you.

Stephanie said...

Great post! I have found that the book blogging community is just so wonderful and supportive!
Stephanie
www.thewrittenword.wordpress.com

danielle said...

It is the interaction between readers/bloggers that I find so enjoyable in this experience. I feel like I have a sense of what each blogger I visit might be like (to some small degree anyway). And I find it fascinating, too, to see where people happen to live that pass by my blog--I, too, wonder how on earth they found me! I've never had any of my posts saved and translated somewhere else--how cool. In any case, I look forward to your posts and try and read daily on bloglines!