In Which I Reflect on Blogging

I got this amaryllis bulb for Christmas and look at it now! Blooming!

In October, this blog will be TEN years old. I’m just 2 followers off 1000 and this is my 665th post.

Yes, that’s a lot of words and a lot of time and, I must admit, I sometimes wonder why I’m still doing it. 😦

Apparently, ‘blogging is dead’. I should be ‘vlogging’ (perish the thought!) or Instagramming (whaaa?) but I’ve only just got the hang of all this technology, so I can’t see me starting again with something like that.

I can’t help noticing that many of the blogs I used to follow ‘back in the day’ have disappeared. Or at least, their owners (is that the right word?) have diversified and use their blogs for book promotion or guest posts more than anything else.

People are doing other things, obviously (like writing their novels!). Hmmm. I have got a severe case of FOMO*

You see, sometimes, after soooo much time and so many posts, it is actually quite difficult to think of something to write about.(If you’ve got any ideas, let me know!).

But enough of this introspection and glumness! Let me tell you what I have been up to:

I went to see ‘Emma’ (the film) last Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although they have taken some small liberties with the plot. For example – there are bottoms! (What The Guardian described as “some startling buttock action”).

And then there was the Chipping Norton Literary Festival launch night, which I attended last Sunday. Ooh, get me. I am a ‘friend’ of the Festival, you see (anyone can become one. You just have to cough up £25!) and as such, I received an invite to the ‘prosecco-and-nibbles and priority booking’ night.

The High Street in ‘Chippy’

And very civilised it was, too.

They had a very fancy ‘booking system’ – to avoid nasty queues. As you arrived, you were given a raffle ticket (I was number 12! See, got there early) and the numbers were called out in turn and you could go and book your tickets.

So, amongst other things, I’m going to see Maggie O’Farrell and Marian Keyes. Wheee! I had a ticket to see MK once at Cheltenham Festival but I couldn’t go in the end, so this is extra special! I wonder if I’ll have actually finished her new novel ‘Grown Ups’ by then. I have only read about 10 pages so far. Every time I get into bed to read it, I fall asleep within about two minutes. I think I need to start again.

*Fear of Missing Out. (But you knew that).

PS: Are you watching ‘The Split‘ on BBC 1? Ooh, it’s good. I actually think it’s better than the first series. We’ve ‘binged watched’ it, I’m afraid. So we’re already up to episode six!

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17 Responses to In Which I Reflect on Blogging

  1. Fran Hill says:

    I binged on ‘The Split’ too, half by accident, because iplayer did that thing where it takes you to the next episode without you realising. That’s how I clocked that all the episodes were already available – whoop whoop! Really great telly (but the ironing lies undone). As for blogs, I’m still writing mine which I began in 2008, and I don’t think it’s changed from its original aim of observational humour with the occasional dark and serious memory post thrown in just to stop people getting comfy. Not sure I’m ready to vlog yet, but who knows?

  2. Linda Casper says:

    I enjoy your blog and write one too as an easy reminder/diary of what I did and when.
    I haven’t seen Emma yet but I did see Parasites which was good but not what I expected. I’m watching The Split but never thinks subsequent series are as good as the first. I’m hooked on The Stranger on Netflix at the moment.
    Leeds LitFest is taking place at beginning of March. I’m a volunteer but there is so much to see, hear and do that one is spoiled for choice.
    So, from your comments, you can see that your posts are interesting and long may they continue!

    • Thanks for your comment, Linda. I didn’t realise that lovely Leeds (it’s a place close to my heart as I went to the Uni) has a LitFest! I will take a look. It must be fun being a volunteer! My friend has been raving about The Stranger but I don’t have Netflix (daren’t let myself, as I’ll want to watch everything!!).

  3. Wendy Clarke says:

    Hi Helen. I’ve been thinking the same recently and could have written this same post. There is no doubt time’s are achanging and blogging is not as popular to the reader or writer. I looked down the list of blogs I follow and (like you) realised most don’t exist anymore. In fact, the only ones I read now are yours and my friend Tracy’s (both ones I enjoy) and I haven’t sought out any new ones. This is partly due to not having the time (due to the reason you gave above) and having more interaction now with people on social media. I’ve been blogging since 2012 and still do. In recent months though I’ve been questioning the point of it. In its heyday, a post would have had many comments under it but now people who read the post leave the comments on the Facebook where I’ve advertised it, rather than on the blog itself. I would also admit to being one of those bloggers you mentioned who now often use it to host other authors. The reason? It’s partly because of where I am in my writing life and partly because I’m finding it harder to think up things to say to a dwindling blog audience. I started my blog before I was on social media and made many writing friends through it but I often wonder if it (along with blogging in general) has had its day.

    • Helen Yendall says:

      Thanks for your comment, Wendy. It’s a shame, isn’t it? I used to love the days of vibrant blogs and blogging (yours and Kath McGurl’s ‘womagwriter’ blog spring to mind), when I used to get really excited by new blog posts and enjoyed reading all the comments and commenting myself. But nothing stays the same. I think you’re right – people often prefer to comment on Twitter or Facebook now, rather than directly on the blogs. It’s probably lack of time, as much as anything. We’re all so BUSY! And I’m guilty of this myself. I often read blog posts but then don’t comment and I should (I know how much I appreciate comments on my own posts!) – even if I do it on Twitter or Facebook, for the sake of speed! (Sometimes I try to comment on blog posts and the comment disappears or it says it will have to be moderated, so it doesn’t appear immediately or I just can’t do it for whatever reason. The system won’t let me. Which is very frustrating and off-putting!). It does get harder and harder to think of content, doesn’t it and if you feel (as I do) that the interest isn’t there, it’s hard to justify the time spent! But, having done it for so long, I’d also be quite sorry to give it up. So I’m not quite ready to do that yet!

  4. Bookread2day says:

    I look forward to reading your writing blog.

    • Helen Yendall says:

      Thank you, Clare. I enjoy your Tweets and videos about the books you’ve bought! (Perhaps we just need to all tell each other this stuff a bit more often!! If that doesn’t sound too much like a self-help manual!!)

  5. juliathorley says:

    I started my blog because I wanted to encourage myself to write more. It has worked in that regard although I don’t write as manyh posts as I used to, but it’s been ages since I had any new followers and, yes, the number of comments has dwindled (although I can tell from the stats that folk are still reading it). Also, my family read it, and my mum in particular likes to hear what’s going on, although she is a bit of texting demon really – and we do speak IRL! It’s not a chore to post at the level I’m doing it and I enjoy reading other people’s blogs, so for now I’m going to keep it, even if that makes me old-fashioned.

    • Helen Yendall says:

      I’m ‘old fashioned’ too, Julia! On the whole, I like blogging and I suppose, if I ever reach the point when it’s a chore and no fun any more, then I’ll stop. As well as the 1001 followers (it’s gone up since I wrote this post), some of my friends read the blog, to find out what I’m up to (!) and even though they don’t always comment, it does act like a little ’round robin’, I suppose, to keep them informed!

  6. Sharon boothroyd says:

    I wouldn’t want a blog of my own, as it’d quickly become a chore, so well done Helen for keeping going (and Wendy too!) I have a website (designed by my hubby) and that’s enough, as it doesn’t need a lot of time and effort. I’ve often been featured as a guest blogger though ( One of my guest blog posts was re- blogged 5 times in 1 day!) So if you’d like a guest blog post Helen, on aspects of writing, please get in touch.

  7. Keith Havers says:

    I haven’t blogged since August 2018, not through a conscious decision but just because I can’t think of anything to say that people might be interested in. I’ve also noticed that the number of bloggers is diminishing. The ones I regularly read now are yours, womag, Patsy and Kath.

    • Keith, I know what you mean. It’s not easy to keep coming up with content for a blog and I think once the gaps between posts get longer, it actually gets harder to think of something because you’re out of the habit! That’s why I try to post once a week, or so because if I didn’t, I know I’d struggle to get going again!

  8. pennywrite says:

    Really hope you and others don’t give up blogging about the writing just yet.
    Having written only 2 instalments for Patsy’s ‘Womagwriter’ recently, I now have greatly increased admiration for everyone who manages to keep a blog going for far longer than that!

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