Why I write
My earliest ambition was to be a trapeze artiste! I had just been to the circus, when my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was not the answer she was expecting.
My next ambition was to be an infant school teacher. She didn’t like that either. And when I said I wanted to be a writer…
… my family gave me no encouragement at all. My exam results in English did not indicate that it was one of my strongest subjects! I well remember my O-level English literature paper. Our teacher had told us in no uncertain terms to avoid the unseen poem. The question about Macbeth was along the lines of “Explain how Shakespeare uses rhyme in this play and the effect of it.” Rhyme? In Macbeth? This was not something I had analysed and I couldn’t think of anything to write. So I answered the question about the unseen poem; I had no choice! I did not study English formally beyond this point.
Having said that, I have been a pen-pusher for much of my life – letter-writer, meetings’ secretary and wannabe children’s author – studying the genre was fun. I won a prize at county level in a Women’s Institute competition for a children’s story once, but I failed to find a publisher for any of my writing and gave up temporarily.
Why I started blogging
When I was growing up I learned many expressions and sayings, which make the English language colourful. Some of them are very old; the circumstances in which they were first used may be obscure to a modern reader. One of my children encouraged me to collect them all together. As she is married and far away I decided that the easiest way for her to be able to look at what I was doing was to start a blog. (This way she would not be under any pressure to read it and comment straightaway, as she might be if I sent it to her by email.)
How my blog has developed
I realised very quickly that many expressions had their origins (or at least were used) in the Bible. So I began to end each post with one of these. Then I wrote a post which didn’t include such a saying, so I found a related passage from scripture to conclude that post.
After the first 39 posts I decided to provide a summary of what I had done so far and to unpack some of the titles of my posts. I usually use the category “Language” and appropriate tags. I avoid specific faith-related tags as I am not writing primarily for Christians and I hope that what I write about will be of interest to people who might be put off by more specific categories and tags.
Occasionally I have included a post which does not fit into my collection of sayings. One was about words ending in “th”; another is about the letter “p”. To mark my first 6 months blogging, I wrote a post about saving energy and resources and launched it as a blog carnival (or group writing project). This is my sixtieth post.
What have I learned in six months as a blogger?
- I have learned how to organise my material, so that I can write efficiently.
- Blogging is a form of social networking. I had no idea!
- Researching my material is interesting. I use reference books and the web.
- Reading other well-written blogs and seeing photographs posted by bloggers from around the world enriches my life.
- Pages can be used as well as posts for such things as contents, index, references and links.
- Other people can add to my knowledge of the subject I have chosen to write about.
- It is possible to take part in group writing projects launched on other blogging platforms. This post is written in response to Faithful bloggers’ challenge.
- I have some good real-life friends, who encourage me.
My blogging goals
I aim to publish at least two posts a week unless I am on holiday. I do not plan my posts in detail weeks or even days in advance. I have a file with my ideas in and much of it is organised into sections. When I choose a section to write about much depends on how I feel at the time. If I am a bit tired, I choose something I know I’ll find easy. Another time I might look for a challenge. I enjoy what I am doing and I hope readers can tell. I have only written one post which felt like stirring thick porridge! I wonder if it was noticeable. But writing is a discipline and if you let a bad day put you off, how long are you going to wait for a good day?
After all, (Psalm 118 verse 24) This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.