Tomorrow I am giving a second blogging workshop at Luton Central Library on behalf of The View From Here. As I am actually being employed to do this I feel I should not be making jokes at my own expense or about my competency hence this will be a semi-serious post. After nearly five years blogging I hope I've leant a thing or two to impart to beginners. I now know, for example, that "spam" isn't just processed pork, "tags" aren't just the labels which I leave sticking out of the back of my cardigan and "cyber sex" isn't just something robots get up to.
So, I've been blogging since December 2007 which is, frankly, amazing. I only wish I could apply the same stamina to the two hundred and sixty three diets I've been on in the same time. Unfortunately though, I'm still rivalling Jennifer Lopez for the biggest backside in the Western Hemisphere.
Since I began The Witty Ways of a Wayward Wife the blogging world has changed enormously both technically and socially. I can do so much more with the blogging tools now at my disposal whereas from the social viewpoint many of the bloggers I once visited have ceased blogging altogether or post infrequently. Some people have transferred their interest to Twitter or Facebook and some have simply moved onto pastures new: life changes. In the meantime, I have learnt how to blog by religiously shunning my housework during the day, writing in the middle of the night and abusing British Telecom whenever the internet connection goes down.
In my early days of blogging I enjoyed a large amount of social interaction. However, as the interaction in the blogging world has declined and I no longer have the time, or perhaps even the desire, to network in search of more blogs or readers I continue to write to please myself and hope that if anyone drops in they will enjoy themselves and stay for a while. ( And if you've been dropping silently by my blog for a while then I thank you and hope you find something to enjoy in amongst all the random gibberish.)
So when I first started blogging, outside of just having fun and needing a creative outlet, my ambition was to get published. I didn't really correlate having a blog with that ambition but, as it happens, writing on my blog and elsewhere on the net has helped to develop my skills as a writer. I would recommend it to any aspiring author as a valuable tool for personal development. I could kick myself in the shins for not making the most of some of the opportunities I've been given but, then again, bearing in mind some of the family crises (most of which I consider non public material) I've had over the last few years survival seemed more important than writing success.
In respect of my overall ambition of publication, I hope it is getting closer. A first ramshackle novel lies in the bottom drawer and I am currently writing a second which, I feel, is far more mature in every way. I've abandoned the pretence of writing a literary novel for the time-being and I'm indulging my humorous/sentimental side. My humour may still go down like a lead balloon but at least I won't have a total clash of genres as I did before. It will be the kind of book that either you will love or hate. I'm hoping for the lurv stuff obviously but I'll settle for the hate mail because at least then I'll be able to write some cracking good off-my-head ranting blog posts which always give me a sense of deep personal satisfaction. (As do my letters of complaint to school.)
So back to my blogging journey which has been a fairly colourful one. In between all the humour and general silliness on my blog it has been one interspersed with numerous traumas; the deaths of four family members, my three cats and two of Master Ben's chickens. I've had four car crashes, one of my posts copied onto a soft porn site and some total fruitcake devoting a website to me. I've ranted and raved about a good number of subjects and very probably I've offended a good deal more people (including all of France and Germany) with some very bad jokes.
All in all, it's been an interesting journey and I haven't even posted about half the stuff that happens to me! (Because, believe or not, I do actually have boundaries I don't cross.) However, I think I've still got enough stuff to carry on for a good deal longer - and after that?
Well I can always make stuff up. Yeah... I quite like making stuff up. So long as it doesn't involve dough or pastry.