I’ve had a month of completing Susannah Conway’s April Love prompts, here on my blog and over on my Instagram account. It’s been a beautiful, reflective and immersive experience and I’ve enjoyed finding moments to think about each subject and to practise gratitude for my life and everything in it. I’ll definitely be joining in with August Break again later in the summer.
What I’ve really come to realise, at the end, is how much I enjoy writing this kind of way too. The prompts definitely acted as a key to unlocking my writing passion again, which has been a really positive experience.
Often, I have periods of thinking that I’ll quit my blog. That I’ve had enough, that it’s just another chore or that I don’t have anything of value to say. In the five years since I started Margot & Barbara, blogs have changed considerably. Far fewer of them seem to be the old diary-style writing that I enjoy. There are definitely not many with home made logo designs: I painted mine with watercolours and then scanned it in! They’re much slicker, with better photography, design and promotion. But the flip side of that is (from my perspective) many bloggers start blogging with immediate expectation of success too. As though it’s not about the hours of love you put into your blog, but perhaps what it can offer you. Although that rather depends on your definition of success, it seems that blogging as a business is a big draw for many new bloggers.
Some days, I think that the art of writing isn’t something that many bloggers prioritise as much as they should. Images may well give great first impressions, but good writing will keep me on your site. Not that I’m saying that I’m a great writer–far from it–but the years of practice have helped me to find my real voice; one that I hope you’ll read throughout this blog. And yes, I know I always start sentences with conjunctions, but rules are made to be broken! I think that knowing it’s a grammar rule in the first place is part of the pleasure I get in breaking it. What I love most about blogging (apart from the wonderful friendships I’ve made) isn’t all the extraneous activities; it’s simply the writing.
And I think my best writing comes from telling stories about my life.
I’ve tried, and enjoyed, writing about other things–and I’ll write about them here again–but I love the practise of sharing what I know. What I know is my story. April Love has been a way for me to connect with that again and reaffirm that feeling; one of understanding that this is my kind of successful blogging. Blogging from the heart, about the things that matter to me, in order to make a connection with the world.
One of my favourite writers, Alexandra Franzen, said that you have to write for the person who is reading. The one who waits for your work. The one who has been impacted by what you say. And that, even if your audience is only that one person, they’re enough for you to keep going.
“If you write something and share it–and your words help one human being to experience a better day, or a better life–then your work is a tremendous success. You never, ever know how your words might influence someone else’s life.”
I like that. My personal blogs are the ones that I know resonate with my audiences; they tell me. I do blog for you, my readers. But even if you weren’t here to read, I know that I’d keep writing, just because I get so much from the contemplation of subjects and release of thoughts that are in my head. It’s almost like a form of therapy; one that hopefully helps more people than just me…