Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why do you write your blog?

I've been wondering about this lately. Well, not so much why others write theirs, as why I write mine and whether this is sufficient reason. I write it for myself, and if others enjoy it that is the icing on the cake. This sounds a bit perverse, but I read something similar in another blog I can't find again now, so it's not just me!

There are two reasons for this. Presenting an account of what I have done in public helps to motivate me to get something done in the first place. Secondly, I live a rather isolated life and publicising my gardening endeavours changes that a little.

I want only those people to read it who actually care about it, so I deliberately try to resist prettification and tricks that might make it more appealing. On the other hand, I hate to think that people might comment because they feel sorry for me, if for example there are no other comments to a particular post: I want them to comment because they had something to say, just as I do. And yet I want reading my blog to be enjoyable for the ones who put a little effort in, so quite often I sneak my nicer pictures in a little further down a posting, as a reward! At other times I weaken and feel more attention-seeking, and I pick a tricksy title (ahem, like this one) and some eye-candy (of a strictly horticultural kind, usually) to start off with.

Originally I didn't intend to blog every day. In fact the plan was quite specific and different, and the blog's URL gives it away. I have an old gardening book, from the 1930s although my edition is 50s, which sets out tasks for the garden on a weekly basis (with further sections on what to do generally over a month too). I wanted to try to keep to it for a year and I thought this would make a good, structured blog. But when I began on the garden it quickly became clear that it needed so much remedial work that there would be no time or energy left to get round to the tasks specified. Now, it seems that perhaps I will manage it some time in the next few weeks, which is very exciting to me! I will say more about the book when that time comes.

But I wonder why other people blog, and what they get out of it, and whether they get in quite as many existential tangles over it as I do?


  1. Emily Interesting comments some of which I can identify with.
    I only recently started blogging as a visual journal of the garden, because it was so exciting to be able to garden again after having Lyme Disease.

    Then I thought it would be good to have links into good information on Lyme Disease with the lack of awareness there is and controversay about diagnosis and treatment. Lyme Disease may well prove to be an underlying cause of many major auto immune illnesses and at the least will revolutionise medicine ( Now if you think I am deranged then look at some of the links on my blog especially Judith Miklossy's research).

    I came across Karen's An Artists Garden blog by accident on google and through that met many more and was introduced to by Karen to Blotanical.

    Blotanical sucks you in and although good to see so many blogs of interest can distract from the original intention ie to catalogue my garden progress. However I am pleased so many other gardeners read my blog because it is helping to spread awareness of Lyme Disease particularly amongst gardeners who are especially vulnerable.

    The greatest reward for me was to hear my daughters enjoy reading it and that after discussing it in the pub many of their friends and their mothers have also stopped by to look at my blog and returned not just for the garden posts but also for the Lyme Disease information.

    I enjoyed writing this so I am sorry if I have gone on I am resting from a good morning in the garden.

    As a novice gardener Margery Fish's book We made a garden was very inspirational for me and I think of my plants and garden much in the way she used to write although I do not have the technical knowledge or vast variety of plants that she had. If you haven't already been to her garden in Somerset it is worth a visit if you are in the area.

  2. I think your post pretty much sums up why I blog too. I used to keep a garden journal, so my blog is partly an electronic version of that, but far, far better, in that I can post pictures and see what's going on elsewhere in the world. I find that writing things down helps me think things through, and of course the advice from other bloggers is invaluable.
    Since my husband died, I really miss having someone with whom to discuss new plants and ideas, and blogging has helped hugely with that.

  3. Hi Emily - I appreciate your blog and I do enjoy what your write. Your blog is interesting and it is good for me to see what is growing in your yard - different from me.

    I blog because it is fun. I like to share the goings on in my outdoor fun as I garden or whatever. It also makes me more accountable and therefore encourages me to get things done. (I tend to say a lot of "I'm gonna do or I need to do" and not following through)

    I also find this blogging world addictive. I can't get enough of reading others blogs and sharing photos.

    Have a great day... Becca

  4. Obviously there are different reasons people blog. Why do I? Truthfully, I'm not sure why I started. But in the process I've "met" some very nice, interesting, talented, intelligent, artistic, people who otherwise I'd never known. That's the upside for me.

  5. Emily I love your blog. Your presonality shines in it. I can only imagine if I ever met you, that you would come accross the same (make sense). I started blogging as an online journal, with photos and what I was doing in the garden. I found and folowed others as a learning tool. When I started getting followers I was blown away that people actually were interested in what I had to say. I have connected with so many interesting people such as yourself, that I would never have the pleasure knowing if not for blogging. How else to connect with gardeners around the world. It has been an amazing experience for me, crazy enough...I feel as though I know these bloggers, even though I don't. I am more fascinated by what others are growing and doing in their gardens. What tips and tricks do they use, what and when do they fertilze. I never expected any of that. It was just an online journal...and here we are....chatting from Mobile to Horley....who knew? And between all those miles, and all that water...we are in the same zone!

  6. I started my blog when I started my gardening adventures for 2 reasons. 1. To use as a garden journal to learn from my mistakes. :-) 2. I was searching for information out there for true novices (like what does something look like when it is ripe) and I really couldn't find any - so I thought, if my journal can help someone else (and perhaps entertain) then great!

  7. Your reasons and my own are very similar, Emily. This is a question that every blogger asks themselves from time to time (or should, if they don't). I do write for my own pleasure, and I also write to share a little glimpse of my life with others. The blogs that I read, I READ. :)

  8. Hi Emily, First, thank you so much for stopping by today and giving me your support - I really appreciate it and you're right staying away is good for healing. I've been doing a few other things and just checking back now and then. Also, thank you for adding 'best wishes' for my Dad who is on the mend.
    I like to blog as a garden journal where now I can refer back if I want to know what time of year a plant blooms, it's name if I lose a tag, pictures of what it looks like and great input from other gardeners. I've found the interaction with other gardeners the best - where they planted the same plant and how it does for them, maybe I need to move mine, something else that makes that plant happy that I didn't know about. All of this is helping me to be better at my gardening. And believe me I need all the help I can get.
    I've been going through your posts and your gardens are beautiful. I can't wait to see what's blooming when and where as you post different things.
    I also love old books and like you probably better at buying than reading them. I too, love old buildings and often see some I'd like to sit down and paint - if I could do that sort of painting!
    Thanks again for stopping by and I'll be back to see what you're up to! Linda

  9. Gosh, all these gardeners. Now I have to go and look at their blogs too. So little time.... I started for pretty much the same reason, to keep a diary of our garden. But for me, more than that it was progress of our life out here in County Clare, Ireland. We have 5 acres so it's not a traditional 'garden' as such. I've loved looking back at my blog and seeing how things have come on.
    I also blog about my trips, when I have one, more for a change really. I like to 'mix it up' a bit. I do think about 'readers' when I write now. Not the English but what might be an interesting post. Other times I just want to put in a shot so that I can remember it. Hope that makes sense.


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