Friday, April 18, 2014

Newcastle Writers Festival - Part 6 - I Blog, Therefore I Am

After missing out on getting into the radical Newcastle session, we were sure to be at this one early. Hosted by the wonderful Carol Duncan and showcasing the talents of the lovely Linda Drummond and the saucy Summer Land, this session was all about blogging, why they do it, and what they get out of it.

 This was a timely session to attend as I have been thinking about my blog and what it is lately. For many reasons. I had been concerned about it's title, I also wanted a by-line and to change my blurb. And I knew my blogs were long, and get a bit lazy in the editing process, that is to say by the time I edit it generally, I don't edit it for length at all!
The girls along with Carol were full of advice, ideas and thoughts on what a blog should be. My interpretation was it should be whatever you want it to be!! They spoke of how to get noticed, to get book deals and so on, this has never been my concern.
I started my blog, back in early 2008 as a diary of social events I have attended, mostly as I have a terrible memory, along the way I tried to remember past concerts, plays and the like, this was hit and miss which cemented the fact I needed this online record of my comings and goings. Simultaneously I embarked on a now paused project. I called it, terribly, The Best of Best of Best of. The project was to go through my CD collection disc by disc (alphabetically, such a Librarian!) and make the ultimate Best of Disc/Mixed Tape (which of course would be more than 1 CD) and write about why I choose those songs. I think I stopped in the early Cs, which was actually a lot of entries, but really sooo many more to go. I may pick it back up at some stage, who knows!?!
So over the years the blog has evolved, I include videos and photos now. When I turned 42 I got philosophical and made a list of 42 thing to do while I was 42 and reported back each month with how I was going, this has evolved into Monthly Round Ups, where I blog about the smaller things I did that month (a potted diary if you will) and another called Monthly Reviews, that details the best books read, DVDs viewed and Music listened to. I still review the big events and occasionally write other things that come to mind. It is rarely an opinion piece kind of blog, though I of course give my opinion on the topic I am writing about.
And people read it, many people read if the analytics serve me correct, which is endlessly fascinating for me. I still don't write for others, though if others read it and enjoy it that is ok by me!
Carol Duncan summed it up perfectly when she said in this very session, I was a Mood Blogger. And she is so true, I blog where my mood takes me or when I am in the mood to blog, it's sporadic, sometimes voracious, sometimes not. Lately I have been inspired by many events to write a lot. I cannot stop in fact, which is not a bad thing. I am not a writer, but I like to write. it's a good way to get things out of your head, I have so much inside my head, it's nice to let some of it go and drift out there. I do try to be conscious of it being pleasant and not ranty, though sometimes I do get ranty.
I learnt a lot listening to the bloggers and to others in the audience, mostly not to second guess myself, to keep it nice but personal, and to try and make the time for word editing. But mainly, to stick with what I am doing, I am happy with the tone and topic of the blog and I think those that read it are too, but you know that doesn't matter so much, as long as it is what I want it to be! And it is.
So I have not come up with a rewrite of my blurb, it will come in time I guess and I am still working on the by-line, something to do with mood for sure...copyright to Carol of course ;)
As for the title, I am going to keep it as it means a myriad of things to me, and not just the obvious connection, though that, funnily enough, is still important to me.

Because Art is Art, regardless of where it came from....

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