Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blogging is best but what kind of blog?

Sometimes I feel I'm a dinosaur here in blogland. It's either that or I see the tumbleweed swirling along its streets. Or maybe the gulls flying over an empty canal is more appropriate. It seems so deserted here much of the time.

I love my blog and have never managed to 'get' the Facebook thing. It's way too frenetic for me and I find myself running my eyes down the 'homepage' wondering what on earth I can possibly contribute. This place - blogland - is my space. I am a little sad that so few people blog on a regular basis these days, well, in my old circle anyway. Many of the bloggers that surrounded the whole Who scene which started me off have given up their blogs in favour of Facebook. I often wish they'd return here - we used to have so much fun.

Still,  I can't help but notice that anyone involved in writing and publishing is very active on the blogging scene. The thing I miss there is the personal element as many of these writer bloggers do it for commercial purposes.

For instance, look at this list of blogs I enjoy. I love Fran's Bonnie of Clyde blog for all those lovely glimpses into her life on a boat in Essex with her allotment, her recipes and the inimitable Pete. I also love Anne Marie's blog as she always has something interesting and gritty to say. Added to that there is Grace with her dogs and animal behaviour issues, Halfie with his English canals and narrowboats, Gina with her wonderful creative way of speaking her mind, Mel with his anecdotes and observations about life in Ireland, String and her fascinating eclectic and spiritual insights....these are my stimulus and my entertainment too. I would be lost without my blog round.

That being said, I realise I have to move in the writing blog direction too if I want to promote my work, so what should I do? Make this Vereeniging blog ever more about writing and reviewing, or should I keep this my personal space about life here in Rotterdam and the Netherlands? If I do that, I'll need a new Writer's blog for everything I want to publish, and this includes reviews, guest posts, short stories etc.

Those of you who still visit me here, I'd be grateful for your thoughts and ideas. I don't want to lose the personal side because that's how I started here, but I know that blogging for my books is going to be essential in the future. What would you do if you were me? I'm kind of inclined to starting a new blog for the serious writing know, not mixing business and pleasure and all that, but I'm still not really sure.


  1. Well, that is an interesting question. Both your personal blogging and your writing blogging are both important. For me, I would miss your personal blogging, but understand the necessity for a writing blog. Not helping, am I?;)!!
    Would it be a negative to mix the both into one? I certainly would follow both, whether you write personally or professionally, your writing is wonderful to read.
    I enjoy blogger much more than FB. FB has it's good qualities, as far as keeping in touch with those who have given up blogging. But, I like it here.
    So, although I have been basically of no help here, Val. Since, my blogging has no purpose, as yours does with publishing your writings. Maybe try having both?

  2. I read this and came in to work early to comment (the only place I seem to be able to comment at the moment!) You are a true Bohemian :

    a person who is interested in art, music and/or literature and lives in a very informal way, ignoring the usually accepted ways of behaving

    So your blog reflects that. Your blogger friends are attracted to you and your blog because of all that you are and that includes the personal, friendly bits and your writing. I feel that I have met a friend and kindred spirit in you through your blog and would love to get together at some point to discuss barges, literature, life etc over a glass of wine of course! If you decide to go down the two blog route I will of course follow both, but I think you would be just adding another pressure to your very busy and interesting life. Okay that's my two pennies worth!

    Thank you for the lovely compliment about my blog xxx

  3. Grace, I know you are also a blogger at heart, like me. I value your comments and thoughts tremendously and am very happy we can 'meet' here in blogland. I am glad you think I could mix both into one. Fran has also suggested I stick with the one blog, so over to her now...

    Bless you, Fran. I think we are both bohemians if that definition holds good :) And I would also love to sit and share a glass of wine with you and talk about barges!

    Thank you for your very generous penny's worth. I really appreciate your thoughts on this. Maybe there is room for everything here, so I'll give it some thought. I'm not sure I could really go the full commercial blog route anyway, so an eclectic mix might be quite nice. I shall ponder...

    Have a lovely weekend both of you!

  4. Hi Val,

    I think I have a time problem. Facebook I only need to chat with my kids, if they are not at home or I'm here in my business and they are at home. I read your blog every time, but I write not often a comment. Sorry for this. I have to sit every day in front of this fucking PC and write one mail after the other and a lot of other stuff. This is the business today. There is a good saw written by a great German „Die ich rief, die Geister, werd’ ich nun nicht los." written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ("The spirits that I called, I don't get to shot of"). I hope this is the right translation.
    I love the blogland and I hope to write some more in the future. Have a great weekend. Love Stefan
    PS: we should write some mails in the future.

  5. I think Fran put it best for an answer to your question Val.

  6. Hi val, I'm going to put my dissenting hat on and suggest that you separate your blogs and try to explain why.

    The first reason is to avoid something I am afraid to slip into myself (and fear I probably have done so already), which is to have your writing and books dominate for blog to the detriment of all your other interests and topics. I have had the same thought about FB, and think, even thought I have a book page already, I might make a new account for the people I am closest to. I could fiddle with my lists, and may go that route, but I almost feel like FB has gone a bit out of control for me as I've met all these new people just from having the book come out. It's a bit overwhelming for me, and I think I need to put the genie back in the bottle.

    The other reason, which is related to the first but slightly different, is that you have a wonderful following who will certainly follow you to the writing blog, but you don't want to mix the two and make people feel like they need to. I know you've been at this much longer than I have, and perhaps this isn't a issue, but I am trying to be low-key in terms of saying, if you're interested in my writing, here's where you can find it, meantime, over here, life goes on. Otherwise, I almost feel like I'm hitting people over the head even though to be honest, a bit chunk of my life this year really is about doing this and it is going to be what I talk about inevitably.

    I hope some of this makes sense to you. Austin has made the remark that my thoughts are rather jumbled these days because of the constant chronic shoulder pain, and I fear he has a point. :)

    In the end, though, you have to do what's best for you, and what you can manage. As much as writing is your passion, there is a part of me that says you have to start thinking of it as your business, and maybe that means setting up a different virtual shop for it.


  7. Stefan, thanks so much for your comment. It's great to see you here. I really hope you will blog again before too long. We miss you x

    Grace, thank you for that vote of confidence :)

    Anne Marie, you always give me food for thought, and in fact what you say more or less confirms what I have been thinking. I hate the idea of being a 'business' as such, but I guess it is the only way to really promote what we do.I like being a bit eclectic in my posts, but at some point or somewhere, there will need to be a more concentrated effort on my writing. I shall think about it further, but I really appreciate so much that those who comment here feel it wouldn't matter from their own perspective. Of course, I don't know how many read my blog without commenting, but I know there are a few. Those people might well be put off by too much of a mix. Thank you again for your perception, dear xx

  8. Val my problems were triple : I needed to have a haven for my poetry, a place where I could write about my druid path and also my anecdotes of my ordinary life in Ireland.

    Well my solution was to have three separate blogs and it is working very well.

    I tried FB twice phew and gr'rrr it really isn't for me I found it to be rather shallow and trite.

    Incidentally I have just updated the poetry blog :)

    Good luck with whatever you decide and oh thank you for the very kind mention.

    Mel x

  9. It is a shame how blogs seem to have lost popularity. I was having conversation about this with another blogger over the weekend and he has noticed it too. Dam Facebook and Twitter.

  10. I think we live on a different internet - blogging is alive and well in my world! I didn't read my RSS feeds for two days and I've got 200+ unread feeds!

  11. Mel, you're right and I have now become a follower of your poetry blog. I suppose that is the risk though. One tends to read the 'main' blog and forget there are others.

    Stu, you've noticed it as well? Even you? Your blog is so popular too.

    Melissa, nice to see you here as well. Still, I understand why your own blog is so popular. You post about something many people LOVE doing and you give them so much to come back for too with your wonderful designs and productions. In a way, it is a different kind of blog world. I think if you have something to offer and demonstrate like that, you will always have followers aplenty!

  12. PS, I realise I should have mentioned Invading Holland as one of my favourite blogs too. Anyone of my friends who really wants to know what it's like to live in NL should read Stu's blog. It's as funny as it is true:)))

  13. I say, just go with it, Val!


  14. I'll agree with bookworm that Facebook is for keeping up with what my kids are doing (and Twitter is boosting a Klout score). I read (and write) a blog for the long-form insight: carrying a thought through to it's conclusion rather than tossing a maxim, telling a whole story instead of an anecdote. I follow a lot of the Dutch expat blogs and always find a lot that helps me to put my own experiences into perspective.

    The difficulty is always time. Engaged reading, thoughtful replies take time, and that seems to come over coffee about once a week. I wouldn't want to see you quit or change theme, but agree that having a different forum if you want to experiment with another form of writing makes sense.


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