And, in my garden, for the last two days, we’ve heard the first sounds of spring: the POP, POP, ARRRGGH! of this season’s first games of table tennis.
OH has got golfer’s elbow (I’m saying nothing), so has got to play left-handed and I’m thrashing him in every game. Am enjoying it while it lasts!
If flash fiction (in this case, up to 300 words) is your thing, then take a look at the Worcestershire Litfest’s Flash Fiction Competition. You’ve got until 27th April to get your entries in and it’s £10 for 3 entries or £4 each if you want to send one or two (maximum of 3 entries per person).
This blog and little old me got a mention in an article by Simon Whaley in this month’s Writing magazine, as a result of which, I’ve got a new follower, Georgie, who lives on a yacht, sailing around the Greek islands (it’s a tough job, and all that…) and blogs here.
She’s asked me about blogging (‘Is it a legitimate form of writing?’) and admits to spending a lot of time either reading other people’s blogs or writing her own, to the extent that blogging is ‘taking over’ her day (and, I suspect, stopping her writing more travel articles, with which she seems to be having some success!).
I’ve come over all ‘agony aunt’ and here is my advice to Georgie and to anyone else finding themselves in the same boat… (if you’ll excuse the pun)
1. It’s all too easy to spend hours writing blog posts. When I first started my blog, I would sometimes write 3 blog posts a week! Eek! How did I manage that? Now I try to blog once a week (but sometimes even that slips). Most blog followers don’t expect a post every few days but if you leave it much longer than a fortnight between posts, they might start to lose interest.
2. Reading other people’s blogs and commenting also takes time. I’d say, limit yourself to, say 10 blogs that you really want to follow and allow yourself to read them once a week – and write a comment – spending no more than an hour or two and then, that’s it – no more dipping in! Most people don’t blog more than once a week, so you won’t be missing anything.
But it’s good to comment! Not least, because it’s encouraging for the bloggger, to have some response to his/her posts. If no-one interacts, there’s actually not much point in blogging. I know lots of people read blogs and never comment, even if they’ve enjoyed what they’ve read and that’s a bit like having a great meal and not leaving a tip. (Just saying…)
3. At the end of the day, unless you’re one of those lucky/talented people whose blogs get turned into books, like Judith O’Reilly (Wife in the North) or Julie Powell, whose blog about trying to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook, became the book ‘Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen’ and then a blockbuster film (‘Julie & Julia’), then your blog is mostly for your own edification and pleasure, so you need to monitor how much time you give it.
Some might argue that it’s a ‘showcase’ for your writing and that if you eventually publish a book, then you already have something of a writer’s platform but really..? Really, most blogs are just a bit of fun.
You can write and publish anything on a blog, which is part of the enjoyment, of course but there’s no selection process, no editor to impress, no money (mostly) to be earned. Which is probably why most blogs don’t last very long…!
So, blog away, by all means and enjoy the process. But think carefully about whether you want to spend most of your valuable time on the blog, or whether it should really take second place to other writing projects….