How I’ve struggled with this blog! I started it because I wanted to start writing more, and share my experiences of moving to Ireland. But at the same time I started studying Italian at the university, and everything was so overwhelming that I couldn’t make myself write anything at all, other than Italian assignments.
After my exams I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with this blog. What do I want with it? Why do I want to blog? Who is my reader?
I’ve been blogging in different forms since 2008, but haven’t been good at it. I’ve had my blogs all over the place, tested platforms, ideas and more but have never been happy with them. I’ve written some good articles in the past that I wish I had saved, but in general, my content was rather crappy. I was too ranty and negative many times and later I was too stressed out from work to write anything decent. But blogging had something that appealed to me and I knew I wanted to continue doing it. I just wanted to do it better.
But I’ve been hopeless with blogs, always.
I started this blog quite prematurely, shortly after we moved to Ireland, before knowing how much free time I would have. After some hiccups, I’m now back here and I want to revive the blog and start writing again.
Before lockdown, I was still in a post-university phase, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I didn’t lose my job or get more free time than I used to have. But it became important doing something that inspired me, that would help me improve skills but also that would help me stay distracted from the bad news out there. When Udemy offered enormous sales on their courses, I finally signed up to do online writing courses. Doing this, it was natural that I also started thinking about this blog and how to best use it.
After my Italian course, I was exhausted and unable to write according to the plans I had when I first started the blog. To keep it going, I decided to make it more photography focused. This was a bad idea.
I planned to still feature West Cork but through photography. Then COVID-19 happened, Ireland went into lockdown and I’ve been hiding away to stay safe. Now, the only West Cork related subjects I can photograph are the neighbour’s cows.
After making this blog photography centered, I didn’t like it at all. Photography is a big part of what I love to do, but I much prefer to share photos than to talk about taking them. Also, exhaustion is fading away and I want to write again.
I want to go back to my original idea of sharing about life in West Cork, with photos as well as stories, but I also want to write about music – it suits the “life in Ireland” theme quite well, after all – and I want to include some posts about places in Abruzzo, Italy. Is that weird?
What are your thoughts? Do multiple topics in one blog turn off readers? And I want to hear YOUR thoughts. Forget about all “blogging how-to” posts you’ve ever read!
My opinion is that writing your own blog should be inspiring. If it isn’t, why do it? I liked the way blogging used to be… like sharing thoughts with friends. I read on someone else’s blog that reading blogs used to be like visiting friends, sitting down on their beds and hear them talk about their day. You would have a good chat and exchange ideas. I couldn’t agree more! I really miss that kind of feel in the blogosphere. Nowadays it’s more like visiting someone’s shiny office for a business meeting!
While there are good and interesting niche blogs out there, I love storytelling and personal stories. When I grew up, I consumed an enormous amount of books, and I loved writing. In recent years, content on the internet has become more and more easily consumed, in list form, short videos and similar. I love the written word, and I miss a good read. There must be other people out there who feel the same.
During the last few weeks, I’ve struggled with how to get this blog back together in a way that will inspire me to write but also that won’t be too confusing to visitors. What I really should do is to stop worrying about trends, stop listening to so-called dos and don’ts, and care more about improving my writing, creating something I’m happy about, and to continue writing. It’s hard to become good at writing if you don’t write. And to continue writing… it has to be inspiring.