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Why do you write? I write because having discovered it late in life I find I enjoy the process of creating something original I used to feel the same about knitting. Doesn’t laugh, everything worthwhile takes thought, energy and persistence. Once I got over the idea of ever becoming famous or rich from writing (few do), I settled down to doing it for fun, for pleasure or to satisfy an itch that I have about an issue. I’ve published the occasional article, but I don’t have the sort of drive that has me at it full time. If you are freelancing, it takes time to create a piece and wait for a response. If it’s a positive one then you wait until they fit your piece in to a particular publication, wait to invoice, and wait for the payment. If it’s a rejection then you need to review and rewrite then find another market. And the pay isn’t good considering how long you had to wait for it. Those people who say they write because they have no choice in the matter, well, I admire them. I’m not like that, on the other hand I do think that it’s a bit like aerobics; the more you use and develop your skills the more you are up for the challenges. So, where do people like me go if we have lots to say but have no outlet for our opinions? Social media I hear you say, but I call it unsocial media. Everybody and their dog does it. It’s never meaty enough to satisfy your hunger; it makes individuals feel a powerful part of the whole but I think it’s lots of twittering about nothing.

On the other hand, it’s hooray for blogs. I used to think that self-publishing was what you did when you couldn’t get anyone else to do it. That’s old fashioned thinking. There’s not the same sort of kudos as having someone else want your work enough to pay for it, but then again, there’s the satisfaction of immediate feedback and building up a following. The negative though, and I’ve said it before, is that when you are your own publisher you are prone to publish before you are satisfied that you’ve given it your all.

Who do you write for? Unlike some, I won’t say that I write for myself. If I wrote for myself, my notes would be in the dusty bottom drawer of my roll top desk. I posit an opinion and hope to find like- minded people who will read and comment on them.

Who do you read? I’ve been reading some of your blogs and find them interesting and sometimes entertaining. There are some blogs whose opinions on issues I might find offensive. I admit to the occasional lapse, but in general I stay away from them. There’s no way really to convince someone with a firm opinion about an issue that they are wrong. Since joining WordPress I’ve visited and read all sorts of posts coming from mother and father blogs; I’ve collected recipes and recipe blogs and learned a lot from what other people have to say about how they write. Because I am Australian, I try to hunt up Aussie blogs and see what people on them are interested in and how they feel about things local. I don’t see any reason to limit myself to blogs with the same theme or as mine. I try to read as widely online as I ever did in print.

I find it fascinating to be meeting people electronically that I would not get to know in the usual way. I like visiting their corner of the world and finding that although we are different, in some instances we are the same. Sometimes that’s comforting.

When I began this piece I was planning to write about Followers. It seems to have mutated into something else altogether. So I’ll just dedicate a paragraph or two to this original intent. Not being involved in unsocial media I don’t get many Followers, but till recently I have been appreciating the ones that arrive on my doorstep. There’s a little orange plus sign in the notifications section telling me I have a new Follower. Orange has recently become my favourite colour. Sometimes, Followers comment or like a piece that I’ve written so I get to find out why they like me. That’s important to me. I always follow up and check out their blogs in turn. It’s only good manners and I do it because I’m always interested in finding a possible kindred spirit and having a good read.

Sometimes Followers are selling something, sometimes it’s a lure to get me over there and sometimes they genuinely like what I’ve had to say. I would rather have regular visitors than Followers. One fellow blogger worked his way through most of my articles then Followed. That’s pretty rare, I don’t expect it, in fact I’ve never gone past three or four articles myself when reading someone’s blog, but when it happened to me I admit I was thrilled That’s one end of the spectrum. The other is (and that’s the reason I thought I would write about it) a person who Followed last week but my stats page said no visitors that morning. I can’t imagine what the thinking was, but it really is the limit, the ultimate insult to a blogger. So, if you are reading this (most likely not), please don’t Follow me unless you’re planning to follow me. (Is that too subtle for you?)

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8 thoughts on “Why do you follow?

  1. Is the follower following by email Mary? If so, they might read your post there without visiting your site. Email notifications can be a quick way of seeing if a particular post is of interest to be followed up with a Like or comment. That works for me sometimes if reading time is short.

    • Bruce, I hadn’t thought of that angle. But my main gripe is that someone has decided to follow, clicked the button but not the like to show what it is that got him or her click that button in the first place and no comment. That zero stat at a time when someone clicked the follow button was what set me off in the first place.

  2. I have to say all the one’s I follow it is because I read what they write. If someone likes mine or follows, I will go to theirs and read several articles and then follow. I haven’t found any yet that has not made me interested. I have found a few through the reader. It is definitely hard to keep reading them all so I mostly return the read when they like mine and then on less busy times I will go through my follows and read articles. 🙂 Good blog. You always write such thought provoking blogs. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    • It is hard reading them all, Jules. Every now and again when I have an hour to spare, I go through the followers and commentators archives and visit. I don’t want to let go. Hope your Christmas has gone well, darling and a lovely new year.

  3. What I like about blogging, is the possibility of actually talking to your reader… or on the other hand, talking to a writer you like. I wrote long before there was an internet… and it seems that this form is allows more intensive communication. But tastes and interests are so different from one person to the next, that very often we discover that our readers are not nearly as close in interests as we might imagine when we first get started. Best wishes to you in you blog experience.

    • I like talking to my readers too, Shimon. It’s the instant feedback that I crave (even if it’s negative but constructive, I like it). I don’t get a chance at that sort of thing when I’ve been published in print.
      I’ve been thinking of your comment about not really knowing your readers as well as you originally thought you did. Well, that’s natural. We all put our best foot forward when we meet people. The bloggers that I like are like minded people. There may be some differences, but generally I like what they have to say. Words will sooner or later give people away. I’m glad to say that I haven’t been wrong yet, but I like to think that if ever I was wrong, I’d shrug my shoulders and move on.

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