Wednesday, 14 October 2015


I belong to an increasing number of Facebook groups and recognise that I am spending more time and more time there.  So much time that I loose hours every day.  Time that once I would have spent visiting blogs. Strange that something that was such an important part of my day has become overshadowed.... 

I have also questioned the purpose of my own blog posts.  Anyone who blogs will know it can take hours to put a post together. And I mean hours! Do I want to spend so much time doing this when there are so many other things I want to do?  So I asked myself:

'Blogging - what's the point?'

And what's interesting is that right on cue, my online friend Julie wrote a very thought provoking post.  It made me think more about blogging and What is the point?  Well, here's some of the answers I came up with relating to my own experience:

Why blog?
Well, first I love connecting with other people and I am blessed with some wonderful friends and family.  But they don't always share my interest or 'get' what I do. It can be frustrating or disappointing to have something exciting/other to share and no one (who understands or appreciates what is involved) to share it with.  But when I signed up for my first online course which led me to start a blog I soon discovered that there are people out there like me!!  Yes, really!!  Others who get excited by all the things I do and love.  So not only do I have a connection but I also get to learn new things and pick up new ideas, because blogging is interactive and others share too. It can be really exciting and enjoyable as well as having a purpose. 
What to blog about?
That is a question I often ask myself.  I have lots of diverse interests and love taking photos and living a creative life.  But I also love nature, reading/books, exploring new places in my campervan, learning new things, spending time with friends and family, food and anything to do with it.... I could go on but you get the picture!  I don't want a blog that solely focuses on one of these and when I think about the blogs I most enjoy reading they have a common theme. They encompass different parts of that persons life and so you get to know them as an individual. And that's what I want too.
A sharing of ME!
And while I know some posts may hold more interest than others I hope there is enough balance to invite visitors and followers of my blog to return.


Over time I have developed a connection with friends and blogs that I follow regularly.  A casual comment can lead to conversation and more, and this year 'more' was meeting three people I got to know through blogging.  First there was Bernice when I visited Coventry and again when she invited me to stay with her, then Eileen when I visited Wiltshire, and more recently, Helena.  We had a wild and windy walk along the Firth of Forth and it was wonderful to see the spots where Helena takes photos to post on her blog. They already felt familiar!

For me, visiting a blog is sometimes like popping into a friend for coffee and a chat. You never know how you will feel when you leave, though sometimes that friend may have a wicked sense of humour and there's a good chance you will go away with tears in your eyes and an aching belly!  Other times I visit a blog and find myself buzzing with new ideas that can lead on to other things, or read a post that leaves me thoughtful, happy, or sad. Because sometimes difficult times might be shared and I respect those who can write from their heart and get a balance of 'real' life and its ups and downs. It makes me feel more connected with a person, and that's the difference between some 'professional' bloggers who make an effort to have everything perfect. Don't get me wrong! Staged photos, good presentation and well written posts are to be admired but I want to be able to relate to the person - not feel that we are worlds apart.

I do not blog in order to gain recognition and any comments left are icing on the cake. No - more than that.  They can leave me with a big smile, the feeling that I had had a big hug, or a visit from a dear friend. Never under estimate the meaning of a few words thoughtfully left.... which is why I feel sad that I have neglected my own role in this. Interestingly when Julie wrote about comments (yes, I make no apology for mentioning Julie again!) it unravelled a lot of interesting discussion. And I recognised my own pattern:

1. Technology. 
I sometimes use my mobile to read blogs but leaving a comment is sometimes challenging or s-o time consuming.  Sometimes I just give up or just leave brief words, but that doesn't satisfy me and sometimes I decide to revisit when I am on the computer. I may forget, not have time, and so the reasons roll.....
2. Lack of time.
I have been preoccupied by other things (mundane chores/life necessities), and Facebook. I have increased connections and 'business' networks, arranged to run book making workshops and demonstrations at local events. There have been meetings and formalities because creating a life you love takes effort and time. And Facebook. 
3. Time doing other things.
I have read, walked, spent time in my campervan, blogged, developed new ideas and planned workshops, visited places of interest, got out my crochet, enjoyed lots of creative time and the company of others, made attempts at de-cluttering and organising, learned new things,
been sailing, to workshops and residentials, and I enjoyed the summer and break from my routine.

I And what I learned through all this is that there are only 24
hours in a day and how I spend them is important. I want to create regular time to visit blogs like I used to. Not because I want to increase my own following or number of comments left but because I have developed a addiction bad habit of wasting spending too much time on Facebook and I want to address the balance. But knowing this and doing something about it are different things so I am taking Julie's example and setting myself a challenge. I will be back with details once I have decided on a plan. 

Meanwhile I know I have waffled, rambled, and gone on but these thoughts have been waiting patiently to be released. If you are still with me to the end, thank you!  Yes!  A big thank you! I am taking the helm and steering a new course!


  1. Hi Sandie, I love reading your and others blogs, and, like you, have made several real-life connections through blogging - would you and I otherwise have met? I doubt it. For me, life has got in the way of blogging and other social media this year, but I still like to visit blogs, to find out how my friends are getting on with their lives, even though I choose not to share mine at this particular time apart from keeping up with my 365 challenge. I love that your blog has so many facets to it, even a blog about blogging! I am slowly re-engaging with real life, and hope to be replying to your letter of earlier this year very soon. Much love Joy x x

    1. You are quite right Joy, it is our love of photography that first bought us together and then we discovered lots of other connections. It has been lovely to meet you on two occasions - this would never have happened without our blogs.
      Sorry that life has got in the way of your posts this year, I have missed visiting and look forward to when you blog again. Good for you keeping up with 365.. Despite the enjoyment my weekly posts gave I lost momentum when I went to the Shetlands. I still take 365 photos but I had so much to catch up with on my return that this was temporarily shelved. I'd like to pick it back up as I think that was a great idea inspired by you!

  2. Wonderfully written post Sandie. Facebook has taken up more of my time these days after joining a new and chatty group but like you I am going to be meeting new friends next year through it.To create new and keep old friends you need to invest time and yourself, but it's always worth it. xx

    1. Thank you Kerry.
      I totally agree - Facebook is a great social network and I have made some good friends through being part of a group. I met some of them in Edinburgh recently for a book making weekend, it was wonderful!
      And you are right again! Relationships need investment of time and energy and that's why I want to refocus and spend my time more purposefully. Because the benefits are so rewarding! xx

  3. It feels good doesn't it to get it all 'out there'? To crystallize some of those floaty thoughts you've been having for some time - perhaps without realising it.

    That's what all this talk of commenting etc on my blog has done for me - and I never anticipated it running so deep OR striking a chord with so many other bloggers! It's taught me to trust what the writing 'experts' say about not being afraid to write about something very *specific* because, when you do, if someone is going to relate to it, they'll *really* relate to it. And if they don't 'get' it, that's OK too as they clearly weren't meant to be your audience.

    I'm sure people will connect with your post today for just those reasons.

    As for me - I've decided that, if I'm ever going to be fortunate to get work as a writer, my blog needs to reflect my writing. Otherwise I'll never dare send any prospective editors there to read it!

    Thanks for joining in the conversation Sandie - I have a feeling you've started one of your own ...

    Julie :-)

    1. Thank you Julie! It is indeed good to sometimes put your thoughts out there and you never can anticipate the response. Sometimes it is hard to articulate what you know/feel, and I was fully aware of the amount of time I have been wasting on Facebook. I don't mean time spent connecting with people I know, but that aimless scroll down pages that are interesting but not important or relevant. There is little gain and yet the pull is there to make one more click, one more visit.

      I don't know what writing *experts* say but I do know that when you write from the heart and are authentic then there is more connection. And you are so right - we shouldn't be afraid to follow our instinct, because being brave, and being specific is commendable. There will be those who 'get it' and those who don't. And that's okay!
      Your blog should reflect your writing Julie and I hope a prospective editor does pick it up one day because you truly do have a talent. Meantime keep doing what you are doing - you are doing a sterling job!!

  4. An excellent post, Sandie. It's interesting that you mention the 'connection' to others who share your interests as that's exactly how I feel about blogging. I look on the people online who I interact regularly with, as online penfriends where their posts are taking the place of snail mail letters, and in some ways I feel I know them better and know more about their lives than I do with my 'real life' friends and family.

    So happy to hear that you don't plan to abandon your blog!

    1. Thank you Eileen!
      I so agree about sometimes knowing more about the life of an online friend more than 'real life' friends and family. And I love that online friends can sometimes become 'real' friends and that we can get to meet!
      It is so important to have connection with others so that we can share what we do and feel understood and recognised. I'm glad that you are among those who do!

  5. I think that Number 3 is the most important, after all , if we don't go out and do things we'd have nothing to blog about! Julie has really made us think with her post hasn't she? I am so guilty of reading things on my phone and intending to comment properly from the computer later. However, that is the way that things get forgotten about. Whilst I like the fact that we can instantly 'like' something on FB or Instagram, it's not the same as leaving a proper comment on something. It feels very lazy to just keep pressing that 'thumbs up' button or the Instagram heart.
    All bloggers appreciate a comment even if it's just a 'love the colours in the papers you used in that book' or 'that post made me laugh' or 'I can really identify with what you've written'. While it makes me sound very old and crinkly, I think that whereas technology like FB and Instagram has made things easier to make an instant contribution it has taken away from commenting as it just isn't as easy to type more than a few words on an iphone! I do like to fire up the computer and write a proper comment!
    I think it will be a shame if people give up blogging because they feel they are a voice in the wilderness and I guess the moral to this story is treat other bloggers as you would like to be treated yourself and for us all to make more of an effort to drop a few words of comment because we all know how nice it is to read someone's observations about what you've blogged.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment Debs - such important points you raise.
      In this quick fix world we live in it is so easy to press like instead of leaving a few words - you are so right! Until now I'd not thought about blogging becoming superseded by other social networks, but technology is so fast moving that it is obvious other things will take its place in time. But for me, Instagram, FB, and other social networks offer different things to blogging and that's why I want to reconnect.
      You are right, just a few simple words let someone know that they are not alone, but I will also hold in mind reasons given to Julie why some people do not leave a comment. It never occurred to me that people might be shy, lack confidence, or have other reasons for not doing so. And so many people use their mobile instead of computer now, and just as you say, this can be a painful way to try and comment. So much easier to press like! I think we have all learned a lot from Julie's post and I love that it has led to discussion and understanding. I for one will be visiting and commenting more, and cheering my blog friend on!!

  6. How interesting to read your post today, the first day I have posted for a month or so. My first thought was Oh no! I do hope you are not going to stop blogging!
    When I first started blogging about 6 years ago it took me ages to pluck up the courage to leave a comment. I started being interested in scrapbooking and some blogs I found, seemed to be very tightly woven together and were impossible to penetrate!
    Blogging and commenting are a two way process for me, I post, I read I comment, even if, its just hello. I do think its nice to get a response, a return visit, a return comment. Particularly if you are contributing to the same meme. I also think if you are running a meme that someone contributes to you should at least say thanks, like you do! not everyone does.
    I don't expect/want a tit for tat relationship I had enough of those in real life, just a bit of friendly banter, a note to acknowledge that we are doing or are interested in the same thing. I also think Julie writes some excellent articles. I hope to get back to your 5in5 which I loved but have missed contributing to. I will catch up with Julie, particularly her 300 in 30 soon. Thanks for this post Sandie.

    1. Thank you Miriam - I so appreciate the time you took to comment and your thoughtful response. I agree totally, I post, I read and I comment. Sometimes it might be just a brief word or two, but acknowledgement that I appreciate the time that person has spent sharing because I know it takes time and effort. It is nice to get a response and to know that you are not alone, but more than that it is the connection with people. And I certainly think it is important to say thank you to those who contribute to my meme. I post 5in5 because I like small challenges and
      to share my photos rather than have them sit on my computer. But I like it even more when others join in and I truly appreciate the time and effort that involves.
      We all have times when life takes over and it is difficult to maintain momentum and I love that this online community is still there when I and others come and go. So,
      thank YOU Miriam for reading and commenting, and for being part of this special group.

  7. Goodness Sandie I could have written some of this, I too find my friends and family do not 'get' what I do - I am often asked why am I taking so many photographs. I have been blogging for a long time and like Miriam it took me a long time to start leaving comments but I am so glad I did, I have 'met' some lovely people some are still around some have moved on to other things. Right now I have a small number of friends who comment regularly and I call them friends because that is how I feel about them. I met 3 bloggers this summer and it was wonderful and hopefully I will meet others. Sometimes blogging is hard and life gets in the way but it doesn't matter I always get back to it as it is something I really enjoy.

    Thanks for a well written post.

    1. Thank you for taking time to comment Barbara, it's good when we feel that connection and know others feel the same way.
      It can feel brave or a big step to leave a comment or try to join a new group, but as you say it is often worthwhile and if you find it's not for you, at least you tried. We can miss out otherwise, as we never know what might come from that initial contact. I can vouch for this! Since writing this post so many other connections have been made and new people met.
      It is wonderful meeting up with fellow bloggers! Sometimes I feel so much time is spent writing posts, but I could just as easily spend that same time sitting in the car in a traffic jam, on my way to meeting a friend. Blogging means you can meet up without leaving home! Like other social media it can take you away from other things but I could easily spend this time watching tv or doing something else. It's about finding balance and keeping in mind what we gain. Like you, I do enjoy blogging and my world has really opened up since I started. Thanks again for your heart felt words.

  8. Well, you already know most of my thoughts on this subject! It's so good to read someone else's point of view too. I think you are absolutely right..a few words can make a huge difference to a blogger who has spent ages putting together a post. I don't enjoy FB and only go there if I have to but I can relate to the time aspect. Putting together regular blog posts does take time and it's always nice to know that someone has read it.

    I suspect this one will run for a bit longer. In fact I hope it does and we keep the conversation going

    1. I don't imagine Julie envisaged her sharing would start something so big! Sometimes it is just about timing. For months I have thought about my own imbalance but done nothing about it. And the post I have written today brings it all together. Sometimes it's as if the universe has something in store and we have to wait patiently and without knowing. So many new doors have opened for me this this past week, and this conversation and reflection feels an important part of it.

  9. Here's another that has enjoyed your thought-provoking post, Sandie :). It's the sharing of a common interest and getting to know people and be part of a community that I like; and, as you say, when those around you home don't 'get' what you do, it's just lovely to be with people who do! I have never got into either Facebook or Instagram because I find I can barely keep up with visiting blogs, let alone write posts of my own; and I hate feeling 'behind' in my blog reading (like now!) when my time and energy have been needed by those I care for. I have thought sometimes about just giving up on it all ... but not for long, because I would miss you all too much :). I guess that's why I blog ...

    1. I'm so glad you haven't acted on your thought of giving up blogging, Alexa!! I would miss your posts so much - they are high on my list of most inspiring, interesting and beautifully presented blogs! I sometimes struggle to visit as regularly as I would like and often feel left behind with reading. Lately it has been a case of catch up when I can, and I don't like that, so that's why I am making change.
      It can be exhausting in the role of carer, Alexa. You are doing a wonderful thing and please make sure you take time and energy to care for yourself too. It would be lovely to meet up for a cup of tea and a chat but distance gets in the way. At least blogging brings us together. Thank you for leaving a comment xx


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