I started my blog on April 27th. One month ago exactly. I’m still a newbie, a probie, a blogging virgin.
I have had the writing virus for many years, so NOT writing is not something I like to do since The Voices don’t ever shut up and it can get rather crowded in my head, yet I am also painfully aware of the amount of stuff there is on the internet – good, bad and indifferent – and that there is little need for yet another food blogger gushing over broccoli.
I was asked just this week why I blog. Isn’t that just the tricky question?
The first response would be “because I can”. When I first went to university in 1993, the equivalent of a foodie blog would have been to photocopy a load of recipes and staple them to trees in my neighbourhood. I didn’t have an e-mail account yet (college provided us with an electronic message service of sorts), and we had A Family Computer at home that didn’t do much other than word processing and which was presided over by my father in almost military fashion.
Today I can snap a picture on my phone, insert it into an article and post it on my blog within seconds while sitting in the car waiting for my son to come out of the bakery with a baguette and the change. That’s just bloody brilliant.
The second answer would be “because I need to”. Having moved house more often that I care to remember and having lived far from my family my entire adult life, the Internet has been the most effective way of dissolving the geographical distance between people. Raising multilingual children is easier when they can talk to their grand-parents on Skype or Facetime. Showing your Mum your collapsed cheese soufflé to get a diagnosis on where you messed up makes it feel like she’s just around the corner. Friends from far away places stay in touch more when it doesn’t take paper, ink, and a carrier pigeon.
It can be a lonely life – even if you love where you live – when you can’t pop in to someone’s house for a cuppa and a chat. The blog is part of a wider community of people who meet and talk about common interests. Even if it’s in a virtual space, we are real people. The blog is a way for me to share knowledge and experience, but also a connecting point that allows me to learn from the lives, knowledge and experiences of others.
This past month, through search engines and pop ups and WordPress and FaceBook and visits to my own blog, I have become aware of so many interesting, fun and instructive blogs that I am really very excited about. I mean, have you read some of the stuff out there??? I am blown away by all the great things women and men are doing (not just talking about doing) and sharing via the Internet. The thing that strikes me most about blogs is the generosity. People share.
What an amazing thing it is to be able to read the posts of a woman in New York City one minute, with photos and recipes, and the next to watch a video of an Indian woman, filmed in her kitchen in Calcutta, explaining how to make chapatti! How fabulous is it to be able to share recipes and experiences across the world, how satisfying it is to finally understand how to fold a samosa because you could watch and watch again an expert do it right in front of you because they took the time to film or photograph the gesture and put it on the Internet!
(We won’t mention the trolls. Trolls are black holes of negativity who are just in need of a little love. Or a clatter.)
The third reason for why I have started a blog is because it’s fun. I have been asked for recipes many times, or asked what to do with ……………… (enter name of weird vegetable), and the blog gives me a platform to do this (without being an expert). I’ve spent rather a lot of time writing this month, but I suppose it’s typical of a beginner to get a bit carried away and post madly for a few weeks. I think I’ll have to pace myself…
How have I been doing?
In a month, I have had (according to WordPress statistics) over 600 views, about 200 visitors from 16 countries and over 100 “likes”… I have no idea how this compares to other new blogs.
I do have a few followers. 13, in fact. Thank you, followers, for reading my stuff. Please don’t hesitate to tell me if it’s rubbish – everything is perfectible.
So, here I am. Blogging. Let’s see how far it goes.