In the week the Man Booker prize was awarded to Marlon James it seems that writing is more topical than ever at the moment. I have been blogging for just over a year for Selfish Mother and made the jump to creating my own blog last month.
Since I have been blogging I’ve been learning about how to write in a ‘blog’ style but also how to appreciate the writing of other bloggers and learn from them. There are some fantastic writers out there, with really interesting blogs and I love reading their work.
I think writing as both a career and a pastime has evolved hugely over the years. From a time when one aspired to be a novelist or a journalist, there are now so many more avenues to take in order to be able to experience life as a writer. After all, we’re not all destined to be the next Marlon James or Hilary Mantel. And whilst we may dream of being the next big thing on Fleet Street, chances are for most of us that dream won’t come to fruition either.
But with blogging, ordinary folk have a voice.
My love affair with writing begin when I was a child. I had a typewriter and I wrote stories. They were my ‘novels’. All fiction, mostly romantic, sometimes surprising to the adults who read them as they sometimes had controversial content (think illicit affairs, that sort of thing). I loved writing. I dreamt of being a novelist and I dreamt of being a journalist all at the same time. I was going to grow up, move to New York and write for the New York Times. I had a bit of a crush on all things American so this made sense. (I even kept a book about America in the bathroom!)
As it happens I never did become either of those two things but I have dabbled in the occasional local newspaper column and I am writing ‘my book’, although it has taken a few years to get just a few pages in. I can only write my book when I think of the next bit and the inspiration for the characters doesn’t hit me often.
But I digress; this article isn’t a ‘woe is me’ feature about how I didn’t achieve my dreams. For I did achieve and have achieved many other dreams. The point is that I still love to write and I still do write and I think having an outlet in the form of blogging is so wonderful.
I created my blog in Tumblr and I was a bit stunned when I read that there are several million bloggers already on there. I don’t know why I was surprised but I suppose it just highlighted how many people are out there doing the same thing. And you could see that as a negative – that you have lots of competition and that nobody will read your blog. Or you could see it as a positive reflection on the power of writing; that so many people have the will and the means to write and there is such a richness of accessible content out there.
Blogs, novels, articles, essays. It never gets old and it never gets tired. We should continue to celebrate the written word and the wordsmiths. And through writing we can offer a support network and a comfort to readers in an often challenging world.
I hope to be able to carry on with my blog. Not to be read my millions, not to receive lots of ‘likes’, but to be able to document my thoughts, feelings, dreams, and experiences so that my written words have their own place. My little corner of the internet, my little corner of the blogging world, and hopefully a place for my children to visit when they are older to read about what was happening when they were young. And who knows, maybe it will inspire them to be the next generation of writers. .