I used to read a lot of blogs.
This was on the advice of the tutor who got me to start this project in the first place, because how were we supposed to develop our own blog if we never saw or connected with anyone elses? Of course, I read the posts that my fellow students wrote, although looking back I didn’t read them as much or as thoroughly as I was supposed to, and I certainly should have commented more, because I know blog comments used to make me feel like I’d done something worthwhile, and made me want to write better posts.
However, back in University I did used to read a lot of blogs, but very few of them were blogs in any way similar to my own. On the one hand, this meant I never found any bloggers to connect with, in the way that sites such as Bonjour Blogger recommend (by the way, if you’re ever thinking of starting a blog, particularly a lifestyle blog, that site is a good resource/ideas place. But, I did find a whole bunch of blogs written by people whose life experiences were radically different to mine that I couldn’t help but be fascinated and enjoy what they wrote.
For a while I obsessively followed the blog Raising My Rainbow, even though I generally have no particular interest in small children or how one goes about raising them, just because the blog author, Lori, is such as genuine and interesting writer, also she has a book out now which sounds really good and I keep meaning to read it. I also followed a bunch of photography blogs, one about living as a broke expat in Japan – I was all over the place, and I’m pretty sure I learned a lot from all of these blogs, even if it’s not necessarily… useful knowledge (I have never planned to break into any abandoned buildings to photograph them, though I guess when we’re all living in the post-nuclear/global warming/zombie apocalypse I’ll be well set up to build my secret base of survivors.)
At some point, I stopped reading blogs for pleasure, and I think one of the reasons for this was that since they all use different systems, there wasn’t a simple way to keep up with them all. I’m sure there’s some useful app or browser feed that would sort this for me, but I never figured it out. I also got really heavily into podcasts, which were definitely a lot easier for on the go and for keeping my mobile data package from exploding messily and expensively. I also don’t doubt it has to do with a lack of interest in blogging overall – the less I read, the less I wrote. In fact, you know what? I’m pretty sure that was the main reason, now that I think about it.
Something that proves my point even more – it was only once I started reading other people’s blogs again that I decided I wanted to start writing again. So at the beginning of a new month I got my act together and wrote a post called ‘Engagement is Harder than I thought‘ and when I went to Twitter to post it, that’s when I discovered that #Blaugust was a thing. And here we are.
I’m trying to read a lot of blogs. But just as importantly, I’m trying to write a blog too. For me, it seems those two things are completely and utterly connected.