Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Finding Your Blogging Voice

When TT took to the blogwaves, I was was writing for two of us, and with the very specific remit of describing the process of preparing for our first craft fair. It had to be very textiley and promote the work and thoughts of two very different people, yet speak with my voice. I think it failed on all counts, as on one hand I was told there wasn't sufficient textile content, it was too much 'my' voice, on the other I had friends telling me that they were waiting for the blog to develop and I should let my own voice come through more. What do you do? Well, that resolved itself when the partnership dissolved and I was able to let the blog go its own sweet way.

However, there still remains the issue of how to pitch the blog. I think of the blogs I best like to visit. You can see them in my blog list - there are others, but these are the ones I visit most often. They have several elements in common. Their content is based generally around food, textiles, with a little family,  and gardening thrown in.They are colourful, entertaining, and pretty straightforward, being, I would hazard a guess, fairly representational of their writers' personalities. They don't present the world through rose tinted spectacles, but neither do they dwell too much on the downside of life. They can occasionally present a serious topic for discussion without it ever becoming too heavily philosophical.

Yesterday I followed a few threads to other posts and came across a discussion on exactly this topic, which side(s) of yourself do you expose for public scrutiny on your blog, and do you present yourself warts and all? The comments were fascinating, with the consenus being, I guess, that balance is all, be yourself, if something really touches you don't hold back if you feel comfortable about talking about it publicly, and write for yourself - if people like it they will come back, if not, they won't.The comment I left said more or less that, and I added that if my blog-posts generated such quality discussion I would feel blessed.

So I'm hoping I'm more or less hittng the spot, I hope the blog is entertaining, and informative ( I'm sounding like the BBC now!)and I hope that I can continue to please myself. I'd like to write more about books at some point - not the embarrassingly huge numbers I possess, more review-like.I'll probably get round to doing a bit about folk/acoustic music. I'd like to introduce the non-bloggers among you to more of the blogs I enjoy reading. I'd also love to do a post based on the Somerset Studio magazine "Where Women Create", perhaps taking a Textile Jaunt out and about to visit people and find out about where they stitch, bake, pot, get down and dirty in the soil - who knows....once you start taking a thought for a walk it's amazing what you come up with! I realise, of course, that none of these ideas are exactly original, but I'm sure they will bear being given another airing.

I'd just like to say something about comments. Pre-blog, I left the occasional comment on other blogs. Usually, I felt that I was a total stranger who wasn't 'one of the girls' ie one of the frequent commenters and that the blogger probably wondered why on earth I was bothering to say anything. Now I realise that it's important to comment, for me, because I know the blogger wants to engage in debate - however lowly - and that comments are really appreciated. Especially if they have something to offer in the way of opinion, suggestions, and personal experiences. It also gives you a sounding board, and lets you know that you are not blogging along to an empty room! So comment away! I do reply to each one, and I have to say that I have met some lovely people, bloggers and non-bloggers, by engaging in this way.

 I don't see me ever having an on-line shop, I won't be advertising and I'm not into awards and stuff like that, so what you see is what you get, I have no commercial agenda. I do have a warped sense of humour and it gets the better of me sometimes, but I try and keep it in check, mostly, on the blog.

So that's it, really, this post. It's been a bit self indulgent, I suppose, being in a rather more thoughtful frame of mind than usual. The photos have no rhyme or reason, they were just sitting about in the files, uploaded to break up the text, give it a bit of colour. If you have any thoughts on the topic, I'd love to hear them. Catch you next time.


  1. I've been thinking about my blog voice a lot over the last week or so. When it comes to writing my blog, the words just stop! They won't come out. Maybe it's because I write for a living. It can take me an age to even come up with a paragraph sometimes. I think you have a real voice in your blog - I enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Hi Lynne,
    Your personality shines through on your blog, and I enjoy reading every one. They always taught us in speech class to consider your audience, and you always seem to hit the nail on the head! And your textile artwork is to die for, that log cabin quilt is so colorful, gor-geous!!

  3. Thank you both for your comments. Claire, I think you are probably right. If you write professionally, you must have a mind-set, which kicks in as soon as you begin, thought arranging themselves in an orderly, logical progression, with a clear agenda already determined. With the blog - I find myself turning over the odd comment in my head at any time of the day - or night.Soemtimes a phrase will present itself and I'll think, hmm yes, I'd like to use that. Soemtimes I know the topic/theme already, and then I take pertinent photos and really, it's done. I've always been what is known in my home town as 'gobby' so I never have a problem having something to say! A list of suggestions for future posts might be a starting point for you.

    Dorothy, that is so kind of you, thank you. I do think of my friends, generally when I write, but now I try and broaden the mind's eye as it were as I know people are reading the posts who don't know me. If you write dead straight stuff, then that is fine, but if your tendency is to vere off into the absurd you have to rein yourself in at times! And thanks for your words about the stitchin' stuff....I had better get a wriggle on, I'm running out of things to photograph!


  4. I love your blog and the way you write it, and all the wonderful textiles you include.... I think I have very little to say, but I try and record things for me and the kids to look back on. It always pleases me if someone takes the trouble to comment. I can see from your blog roll on the side of your page I am not one of your favourites! (should I have said that) probably not....
    Sue Xxx

  5. ...but I am a follower, Sue! In fact I need to change that as am there under my email address, it didn't do my profile picture and textile treasury for some reason. I did say I was a technophobe...

    As for the blog list, I never think to update it and so I shall. Forthwith!

    And I think the blog being a personal journal is also very valid. Had I a young family to blog about it most certainly would. I'm sure I'll be including stuff this summer when the Kiwis are here for a holiday. (can't wait!)


  6. Hello from sunny Spain,
    I am your newest follower.
    I found this particular post of yours interesting indeed because there are some areas which coincide with my own thoughts which I had throughout the first weeks of my blog life. I was very hesitate about how I should show my self to the world out there and I started off being rather nicey nicey and gooey which personally I found rather boring and really not me(that doesn't mean I am not a nice person!). I've finally decided but recently that my blog voice should reflect my true personality as much as possible. In this way I am being honest with myself and with the people who read my posts. Variety is the spice of life so although crafting is my main theme I am happy to go where my inspiration takes me where post topics are concerned
    I am smiling at your remark that you have a warped sense of humor ..... me too and it gets me in sticky situations sometimes... :-)

    Amanda xx

  7. Well hello back at you from not so sunny Norfolk, Amanda! Well actually it has been out today but as usual doesn't know what to do with itself. I best you don't miss English weather!

    Thanks for visiting - it amazes me where people arrive from, but then I do a fair it of blog-hopping so I shouldn't be surprised I suppose. Yes, be yourself and hope someone still likes you! Just going to pop across and have a look at your blog. Have a good week-end!

  8. I loved that angel patchwork, it is beautiful and such an artwork!

  9. Thank you, Gokce, I really enjoyed stitching that angel. She is going to be in an exhibition of angels in a church in town, to raise money for restoration.

  10. Ah, I thought, I recognised that comment ... it was a blessing to have you say it Lynne, thank you so much.

    I think you're absolutely right about bloggers liking people to join the conversation in the comments. Of course we respect that many people want to read but aren't confident enough to comment, or have no desire to. But I think, however much we write for ourselves, that finding our blogging voice won't happen in a vacuum, we need to have an idea who we're 'talking' to if we're to write in a truly authentic way.

  11. Annie, great to see you. Your final sentence says it all. I look forward to continuing our conversation!

  12. I don't post stuff I would find boring to read on someone else's blog. e.g. about personal life, children and extended family.
    I have one blog for dance. Which is very specific and another more generic. Mainly sewing centred but with occasional forrays into retro dance, folk music etc.
    We shall have to talk sewing....and music.

    1. Hi Sarah, well we all different agenda when we blog, whether it is someting very straightforward or more complex. I just find that I try and have a theme each time I post but I tend to drift a bit....and no-one seems to mind! I just like to think it is interesting...and when it isn't, people will stop reading!

      Nice to see you here!


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