First of all, thanks to all who responded to my initial three questions about blogging. Ahh, you're just great, so you are. If you missed it, then click here to put your oar in the comments box. There's no time limit, despite what I said earlier.
So to recap, for those who missed the last post, or for any goldfish reading, I’m doing some research for a talk I’m going to give on blogging. In the next wee while I’m asking my blogger readers some questions about their blog-life.
But before I wade in with your next set of questions, one commenter asked me via the email, whether I was going to answer my own questions. It is only fair. Here are my answers to the first three questions from the Misssives post What’s It All About, Alfie? (Which was very nearly What’s it All About, Archie?, after my sister’s father in law sang the wrong words, but only she would have got it, and you would have thought me a mental, so I reverted).
1. What prompted you to start a blog in the first place?
I was doing a lot of travelling in one particular year. First off, I took ten of my students on an exchange trip to Finland for two weeks. During that time I sent regular group emails to friends and family with stories of the goings on of my students and impressions of the land of Death Metal that is Finland. People seemed to find them funny and some people even wrote to me to say that they had read bits to friends or passed them on. Two months later I was off to Sri Lanka on a school trip with my husband (check me!). I was speaking to my own students about how I could set up a travel website so that I could put up my diary for my friends and family, and one of my students said I should do it as a blog. I didn’t know what a blog was. My students set me up with a Myspace page, and off I went.
This kind of thing would happen quite a lot when I was a lecturer. My students also showed me how to retrieve voice mail messages off my mobile, send texts and they told me what a MILF was. Since I left teaching I wonder what stuff I’m missing, now I don’t have them to keep me right.
2. What keeps you doing it?
It has an addictive quality, doesn’t it? Once back from Sri Lanka, I missed doing it, so I started blogging outside of travelling. Pretty soon I started reading other people’s blogs and this lead to the realisation that I was on the wrong blog platform. I didn’t use the acronyms OMG or WTF or LOL and I hadn’t a photo of myself with a fringe over one eye, my breasts exposed and my cheeks sucked in. Myspace was not for me. I moved to Blogger and started the Misssy M Misssives properly. One of the first things I started to read was Post of the Week which introduced me to others’ blogs. When I got first shortlisted for Post of the Week myself, I felt so excited I was nearly sick. Even though I don’t think it got me many readers, it gave me a bit of validation which I think I needed when I first started. In fact POTW isn't doing so well recently...you should all go over and start nominating blog posts you like to reinvigorate it, it is a great idea. See my side bar for a link.
Nearly three years on I would have to say that the readers and feedback I get is a part of the reason I still do it. But to be honest I’d still be writing blogs even if I got no comments. I can’t imagine giving up, it’s part of my life. Even my friends have started calling me Misssy. Misssy’s not my real name, you do know that, right? What would that say about my parents' literacy levels?
3. Has it evolved into anything different as time has gone on?
Well, yes and no. It’s not a travel blog anymore, because I’m not travelling all the time, more’s the pity. I suppose it’s just a personal blog, but I do try to tell stories rather than write a diary. Occasionally, I try different things, like I have recently stuck up a short piece of fiction, and then I had a heated debate which seemed to go down well. I rarely do serious stuff, so I suppose I err on the side of humour. I can’t see that changing. Life’s too serious as it is.
I'd also like to think my writing's got better. Because if it hasn't then.... oh dear.
And so to the next set of questions for you all. To the comments box with you!
1. Did you write stuff at all before starting your blog? Tell me more...
2. Did any other writers or bloggers inspire you when you started?
3. Has blogging inspired you to write material outside of your blog?
Again, email if you don't want to share publically. In the words of Dr Frasier Crane, "I'm listening..."
STOP PRESS: Part three questions now up. Click here!
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