When I began blogging, nearly five years ago, I had one plan and several assumptions. The plan was to provide a vehicle for my writing – I had a book I wanted to publish and had heard that having a blog would be a good vehicle to ‘get my name out there’. I had no real idea how that might manifest itself and whether blogging was in fact the sort of thing someone like me- a novice writer with the conceit to think others might enjoy his writing.
You see, if I thought about blogging I thought about business people – serous professional people – producing serous professional stuff to a tight focused serous audience. Like the website at my law firm to which I contributed well researched, detailed pieces of dullness.
Which is where the assumptions came in:
1. Bloggers were serious people
2. They hid their true selves and you shouldn’t trust you ‘knew’ someone from their blogs
3. They were out for themselves
4. They would be likely to be critical and I should expect trolling
5. Bloggers are socially inadequate, possibly incapable of normal social interactions.
Of course none of these applied to me and there would be some, hopefully many, who like me tried to be true to themselves. But still there had to be weirdos. Yes?
It took me several months to put up a post. I was anxious. I wrote a semi serious piece on the Cornish language. It had two views. And a comment! A supportive comment too.
And that took me to others’ blogs. And other people and other blogs.
And they were lovely. Generous, thoughtful, considerate and, who knew helpful.
But still, behind it, I wondered, was this real? Were these people, in truth, as they appeared to be on their blog. Which, in one of those serendipitous moments I’ve come to associate with blogging, led me into an (online) conversation with Sacha Black. Mad woman had this idea for a get together, a physical meeting of bloggers. There were four of us, who organised the first Bash. We had no idea who might turn up. In the end there were twenty-five bloggers.
And guess what? They were exactly as their blogs suggested they would be. No hidden extras, no creepy strangeness. They were exactly as it said on the tin.
All of us commented on it.
Since that first Bash, we’ve held four and if there’s one common theme it’s that. People are as you expect.
Now I’m sure there are charlatans out there but we’ve yet to meet them. Instead they are sincere, open and welcoming. It’s easily the best thing about blogging.
I’ve learnt a lot, increased my productivity exponentially including publishing seven books. And that wouldn’t have happened had bloggers not helped me, given me tips, offered me beta reads, recommended editors, pointed out traps for self publishers like me and provided me with so much kind thoughtful support that I’ve been inspired to carry on.
But meeting my fellow bloggers at the Bash – well that is the icing on the cake.
If you get the chance, come along. I guarantee that, not only will you not be disappointed, but you will wonder why you’ve not been before.
Geoff is one of the founding members of the Bloggers Bash Committee. He lives in London and, as well as writing, loves to bake and enjoys watching cricket. He has a wicked sense of humour and usually ends up bringing lots of home-baked cakes to the Bloggers Bash. Geoff’s blog covers a variety of subjects, including travel, flash fiction, family memories and humour. You can find him over at his blog here, and check out his Amazon page here