I've been rambling about this on various other people's blogs (here for example) for a few days now, so it's probably about time that I mention it here, as people are starting to talk.
I've been keeping this blog for a little while now (since March originally, and regularly since June) and I'm really starting to get interested now. I try to write for myself and what is interesting to me and not get too carried away with what I think might get me some visitors or perhaps a few comments. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a saint. I originally signed up with Blog Explosion to get a few people to swing by here and see if anyone liked it. Here's the thing though - I now spend hours and hours using Blog Explosion as a way to find new blogs (the idea is that you earn "credits" by surfing around other people's blogs and these credits are used to send traffic to your site).
Somewhere along the line I stopped being interested in getting readers, and became a whole lot more interested in what other people were saying. I think it has politicised me as well. Over the last few weeks I have read so much dreadful, racist shit in blogs (and I'm afraid to say that much of it is in blogs from the USA) that I have been forced to respond. I've started leaving comments on these sites. Nothing inflammatory, I just try and pick them up on what they've said. The kind of thing I'm talking about is where the war in Iraq is being fought against "rag wearing cave dwellers" or where Kerry's French ancestry is picked up as being the reason why he "surrendered" etc. etc. I've even started researching stuff so I can be a more informed commentator (and boy, does that sound pretentious). On the train on the way home tonight, I was reading The Times and a US Election special copy of Newsweek. I actually made some notes, which tells you not only that I am a tragic case, but also that you can expect more US Election related guff on here in the near future....
I've also been discovering what I like to read in a blog, and that's emotional honesty - a blogger who is not afraid to give themselves up totally in their posts, to lay themselves bare for their audience. Cracking examples of this are Ignorance is Bliss and Turtle Diary. Sometimes it's painful to read and sometimes it's wonderful ... I bet both of those entries were hard to write in their own way though. I have also been inspired by I, Brummie and Retro-Boy. Both are prolific and are in turns angry, political, funny but always interesting. I know I hold stuff back. I know that a few people at work read my blog, and C. sometimes tunes in and has a look at what I spend so much of my time doing when I'm at home. I know that I don't always say the things that are on my mind because I worry about what these people will think. I am trying to always be honest though, and I'm looking to you guys to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Shit. This post is turning into a love in, and that's not what I wanted to do. I now feel like I am going to be offending some of the other bloggers I regularly visit and haven't mentioned here. Listen - you know who you are. The reason I keep coming back to your sites and leaving annoying and sometimes totally irrelevant comments is because I like you.
And by the way... I got a couple of emails last week, and both of them were really, really supportive, perhaps even a bit worried. It was a crappy week at work, but I survived, and thanks for caring (it was probably the Justin post that did it, now I think about it). To misquote the great man, some blogs are better than others (and no doubt some blogger's mothers are bigger than other blogger's mothers.....)
21 hours ago