To Blog or Not to blog…?

NB. This is a post specifically about writing and the writing process, not our RV travels. If you’re not interested in that, please feel free to skip over.

I am currently faced with a dilemma. And guess what? You’re about to hear about it.

It is now the second week of February and Loops and I are, once again, back on the road. In fact we’ve been travelling full time again since the first of February. And yet, I have not produced any blog entries about it.

Why? Well, it’s because I am struggling with the title question – to blog, or not to blog?

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Yes, sometimes my blogging office looks like this.

As you know I have spent a fair amount of time recently soul searching, pondering about what I would like my life to look like in the near future. I understand that last year I was too focused on this issue, which caused me to miss out on the opportunity to just enjoy the uncomplicated travel life that had been gifted to me. And now I find myself on the other side of that see-saw. Do I just travel and enjoy, without the hassle of writing a blog?

I consider myself lucky to have an interest in writing, though I don’t consider myself a writer as such. To me, a writer is a professional of the highest quality, who is paid for their thoughts and imagination.

I write because I can. I write because it helps free up space in my brain. I write because it allows me to divest myself of emotion that threatens to overwhelm me at times.

Writing is a creative outlet to be sure, both as a personal challenge and for an audience, trying to work out how to present information that will hopefully come across in an interesting and emotive fashion, be that good or bad, that someone (myself included) would want to read.

But the main reason for me to write has really always been a selfish one, so that I will not forget my life. So that if I reach a time when I am old and infirm, I will be able to read back on times gone by and be able to smile and recall my own personal adventures. I won’t ever have to fear losing my thoughts, because they are all written down, just waiting for me to read over them again.

However, for all of the benefit of writing my blog, it does come with a cost.

While some folks may be able to breeze through their thoughts, committing them to page in an instant, for me blogging takes time and energy. It takes time to record my paper notes, so I don’t forget people, places or events as we go. It takes time to sit down and compose a blog, hours in fact. Really, for me, the master of procrastination, a single blog will easily take a whole day to write, read through, edit and re-read. Then comes the time of uploading on the slightly finicky WordPress, adding photos (which comes with its own editing process) or videos (that would be another whole day for a video edit and upload to YouTube), before the whole process is complete and I can publish my thoughts online.

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Oh…the brain power….!

So when you look through and realise in some cases I cover only a single day experience in one post, it’s very easy to see how despite finishing our 2016 travels in November, it took me until the end of January of this year to really finish last year’s blog.

It really was quite a tiring experience at times to keep up with my story, and of course once you start telling people about something, in some ways, it becomes like an unspoken contract and commitment – I have to keep going.

Additionally, and I’m going to tell you this even though it makes me sound like a total narcissist, when I write things for my blog, I want people to like it. There, I said it. I really want people to enjoy what I write and find something good about it. I especially go really giddy when people ‘like’ a post, or even better, when they leave a comment. It gives me a sense of validation. And that makes me sound awful. Like I desperately seek people’s approval, but in some way, I guess it’s true.

And with that in mind, it brings into play another reason why I’m toying with the idea of writing or not, because if it’s for other people’s consumption and approval, I may as well quit now.

Back in 2012 when I wrote my Appalachian Trail blog, I did so through a specific hiking blogging site called Postholer. People interested in reading hiking blogs migrated to this site and so it was easy for many people to access your writing. In fact, in 2012, I wrote the highest viewed AT blog on the site – with over 82,000 views. I was really proud of that fact. I received almost daily comments of encouragement from both friends and total strangers throughout my hike, and it was like manna from heaven.

This year, my blog has been hosted through WordPress, where anyone and everyone can blog about whatever they like. It’s not a blog site aimed at travel or RVs; it’s not aimed at anything. And because of this (or potentially just because my writing style has become increasingly worse, you never know), measured in the same amount of time against my AT blog, this one has only received just over 3,000 views. That’s a mighty big difference. And the few comments I have received on the site have been from two or three people, already known to me. I have yet to receive any comments at all related to my writing style, content or travel suggestions; all things I slightly kind of expected and hoped for.

So that can sort of bum a person out, if you let it.

For now having said all that, I sat the other evening and did something I haven’t done all year. For the first time since we fired up Belle’s engine and chugged down the road, I went back and read some of my blog entries. And you know what, they weren’t bad. While I didn’t experience the same type of longing I get when I read back over my AT blog, I did find myself smiling and recalling certain moments of our life on the road. I am grateful that I have these thoughts at my disposal, whenever I wish to re-visit them.

In addition to that, I will admit that I receive regular emails from Desperado who tells me when she enjoys certain moments in the blog, my friends will talk with me and refer back to things they have read, Mr Mills keeps telling me I should write a book, and, probably most importantly, every time I talk to my grandfather he can’t help but tell me how much he enjoys reading and re-reading the entries and watching the video clips, and then he gives me the world’s biggest smile.

And that right there should really tell me all I need to know.

So will I continue to blog? Yes, I think I will. I think that I need to keep at the forefront of my mind the very real reason I write, and that is for me.

However, now that I will have a little more free time on my hands due to no longer studying my course (and yes, I technically realise I have all the free time in the world anyway at the moment), I have decided to challenge myself a little more creatively but trying to expand the videos that I am producing. Rather than just being a dashboard camera of our road travels, I’m going to try and keep more of a video log (that’s a vlog in the digital media world apparently). I’ll see what adding some live action into the mix does. If it doesn’t hold my interest, so be it, I always have my writing there to comfort me.

Ok, well, now all of that is off my chest, I guess I should get on with the real business of telling you where we’ve been for the past couple of weeks.

Here, I’ll give you a clue to start you off…..

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12 thoughts on “To Blog or Not to blog…?

  1. Dean Rickman

    I think you should keep writing them. Although I never usually comment, i do like to stalk you through your activities on your blog!!
    But if it takes up too much time and affects the enjoyment of your travels then you should stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Deanie. My own stalker? Really? That’s so sweet of you.
      Well now there’s no quitting is there?
      To be honest, I had no idea you were reading the blog, so glad to find out you are! 🙂

      Like

  2. Bunny

    Yeah, selfishly I love your blog because it makes me feel a part of your daily life and since I value your thoughts and feelings and opinions, this really makes me glad! I write for myself and I’ve had it distract me from life and I’ve taken breaks but I always end up back there, using it as a tool to make sense of the world. It is an amazing gift from the literary gods! Now I’m rambling…..looking forward to whatever your future blog/vlogging brings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 🙂
      And I like the idea of the literary gods very much!
      I totally understand your view of writing, I feel the same in a lot of ways.
      Check out when you feature in a couple blogs time…. 🙂

      Like

  3. Louise

    Hi Kerry – I hope you continue – Louise from Guide Dogs here – I read your blogs when time allows, and often comment to colleagues that you are a budding Bill Bryson!!!!! When I do get a moment to read you, (and I’m sure you remember how busy we can be) I am transported for a few minutes – like taking a virtual holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you are still following along 🙂 and I hope all is well at GD.
      I’m glad my posts give you an escape from the office every now and then.
      I’ve got a couple videos that I’ve been making which I’ll be posting up in the next couple of days – hopefully they’ll give you an additional holiday feel 🙂

      Like

  4. I think you should write and share…I enjoy your style, and the journey you are on! Writing your truth and how you feel as you go through all these experiences will have an audience. We have had a bluebird since 2011 and full timed for 2 years. I kept a log and some thoughts and when i look at it, it takes you back to the day and experiences.
    We have been off the road the last two winters. Planning to be out west next winter. I started a blog for sharing my family ancestry for my kids,nieces,nephews, etc. It takes hours and the more personal connections i have to the ancestor, the harder it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and compliments- I completely agree with your sentiments on being about to log thoughts and using them as a way to re-experience parts of your life, that’s one of the main reasons I write.
      And also Hello to a fellow Bluebirder! 🙂
      Fulltiming has definitely bee,, and continues to be, a joy and a stress all in one, but I am so thankful to be able to take this journey.
      As we are out west this year, if you can think of anything we should try not to miss, feel free to let me know.
      It sounds like you have a huge project ahead of you with your ancestry – that’s a fascinating blog idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been hopping around reading blog posts and watching videos. I haven’t started at the beginning and gone in order. So there are big holes in my understanding of your adventures. We’ve just gotten our bird. We have spent 4 nights in her so far, trying to find excuses to go get her out of storage and spend time with her. And I have to do the big “clean” since we were on the road those first 4 nights and there was no hoover around and minimal cleaning supplies. (as you talked about in your first post) I also hope you continue your posts, both video and written. It’s a little unfair, I feel like we get to know you, but you hardly know the strangers reading and commenting on your posts. You and I have exchanged emails, but I’m not Wendy, which it looks like my signature line says. It’s Susan from Colorado. Hope you are having fun in Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad these days I only have to do minimal cleaning when we move from place to place. I hated having to do the initial strip down of everything – I think my worst was the steam cleaner for the carpet in the cupboards and the sofa. I remember being particularly frazzled that day!
      I’m glad you are following along and I hope some of the posts and videos have useful information for you and your ‘Bird’. 🙂

      Like

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