Every now and then, it’s nice to take of stock of the things I do and why I do them.
Blogging, for instance. It’s easy to get discouraged because of my readership is small, especially when I read other blogs that I love that have a lot of followers. It’s times like that when I have to remind myself that having a lot of readers wasn’t even in the top three reasons I started this blog. In fact, this blog was meant as a place for me to practise writing. It’s my space, and it doesn’t need to be anything else.
It’s good, too, to remember the underlying truth of blogging: if what you’re writing isn’t worth it in itself, it’s not going to garner readers. And conversely, a small readership is no indication that a blog is unsuccessful, and certainly no reason to stop writing.
So what are my reasons? Here are the four big ones, in no particular order.
1. Publishers (and increasingly, employers) like to see what kind of work you’ve done in the past, whether you post consistently, and what kind of social media following you’ve already garnered. In the meantime, the blog gives me a place to hone my writing skills.
2. I get to share with a small audience of friendly people without any experimental techniques affecting my marks at Uni or my novel.
3. Since my family and friends can’t keep with my life as easily by phone and in person as when I was in the US, a blog seems like the best way to give them a glimpse into my life.
4. And I get to make new friends on the internet. I can’t believe how much emotion I feel toward some of the bloggers I follow, the ones who talk about their feelings, experiences and daily lives. I sometimes go to start a conversation by saying, ‘A friend of mine…’, and only afterward do I realise that it was actually someone on the internet. Someone I don’t even know ‘in real life’, but in whose life I feel invested because they’re kind enough to share it with me. And when my life is terrible, they give me a little peek into theirs and I can see that maybe it’s not such a terrible day, after all, if they can see such wonderful things.
So, whether you’re new to the Far Outer Hebrides of you’ve been here from the beginning, welcome to my world. I hope you feel at home here.
Just don’t eat the flowers.