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Blogging and Balance
We all like to have new followers for our blogs, and that is why most of us jump on to a blog hop, not to mention getting interest from visiting with other bloggers. But this week I have been reading Susan Hill's "Howard's End is on the Landing", and it made me stop and think for a moment about my use of the internet and my online activities.
In her book, Susan describes how she gave up buying books for a year and read only what was already in the house - long forgotten favourites, half-remembered purchases, odd things that had somehow appeared on her shelves. Not only did it enable her to settle back with some classics without the pressure to buy the latest best-seller, but it also re-aquainted her with the stamina to read long and deep works of fiction.
She limited her internet use too, and found that her attention span for longer books increased. Now I'm not suggesting we should all do this, but I realised that there is a subtle pressure to build a following on the internet, particularly for writers, who feel they must now have a "following" even before they are published in order to stand a chance of attracting a publisher. For published writers the pressure is even more, as they struggle to attract sales through a frenzy of online publicity. This can feel as though you are being bullied by the internet.
There is a plethora of advice about how to get your blog noticed, and it is tempting to try to follow it all, running yourself ragged in the process clicking madly on different advice sites and tips for bloggers.
So today I took a deep breath, to smell the roses. I have posted this a bit late because I wanted to spend time in my lovely garden, rather than in the virtual world. And I think it is important to blog for my own pleasure, not because I am trying to build an empire of followers - though a few more would be nice!
It's a question of balance, I think.