There are several reasons why I love blogging.
1. Self-expression. I can express myself with words and with photographs. Photography delivers a double hit of satisfaction as it can be a thing of beauty in itself as well as a way of recording something lovely that you have made.
2. Instant gratification. Obviously you have to spend time writing a post, taking photos, finding links, sometimes doing a little research but once you have finished you hit publish and there it is, out there waiting to be read, or ignored, but there for you to admire even if no one else does.
3. Being in charge. I love this. I like being able to choose how my blog looks, what I write about and how often I post. Who wants to be a clone of another blog? The Coffee Lady has written an excellent post about blogging your own way here (and do read the comments too).
4. it is a record of my life. I love looking back at old posts and seeing what I was up to, what was flowering in the garden, what the children were saying or what I was cooking.
The fifth reason why I love blogging is the best reason.
5. Making connections.When I began blogging I knew no one who was interested in the same things as I was, no one who crafted, read the books I read, or cooked from scratch. The other mums at the school gates would look at me in astonishment when I mentioned any of these deviant activities. When I started blogging I realised I was not a freak after all, that there were women out there with whom I could connect.
I never imagined when I began this blog that I would actually meet some of those marvellous, creative and funny women, nor that they would become real friends (the 'sock group ladies' as Curvywitch calls us). But I have and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Then there are those bloggers who I haven't met but who feel like friends just the same because of the connection with their blogs. Bloggers like Annie, Lynn, Megan, Lucille and Mrs Bean (who likes the same books as me) and many more.
And then there all those readers who don't have blogs but who regularly comment or email me, you feel like friends too. Toffeeapple, Pati, Kari, Faye, Bonnie in PA and Barb in GA and many more I appreciate your comments enormously.
I believe that a blogger who doesn't allow comments is missing the point. It is after all how we make those connections and although people may read your blog if you don't allow them to respond how will you connect?
Having said that I no longer allow anonymous comments. I am not particularly happy about having to make this decision but it seems to be the only way of stopping the unmanageable amount of spam that was getting through even on my most recent posts. The spam ranged from infuriating nonsensical garbage to graphic descriptions of sex toys. I had had enough so I made the decision to only allow comments from people with an internet identity.
I had a couple of emails from readers about my decision. Both readers were under the impression that they would no longer be able to comment. As I explained in my replies this is not the case. You do not have to have a blog in order to comment. If being able to comment really matters to you then you will have to set up a google account or an OpenID but it is free and easy. Many, many regular commenters have done it and I think it is preferable to having word verification (hateful for commenters) or moderation (I'd still have to read the spam).
Remember that you are more than welcome to email me instead. I always respond to emails, even unpleasant ones.
On my link bar under my blog title there is a page with a list of some of my favourite blogs. I have recently given it a shake up and added some new ones so do take a look and maybe visit some new places and make those connections.
The photos today are entirely random and for decorative purposes only.
Still loving the yellow forsythia against the Bristol blue.
Winter bites back.