Friday, 13 August 2010

Two posts for the price of one

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

After my Andrew Sullivan link, here is your regular Friday post.

I've been thinking a bit lately about the nature of blogging. Actually, one of the oddest thing about starting a blog is that it does make you think about the whole enterprise quite a lot. A couple of the blogs I follow have been musing about what the point of it all is. I read a quote from one university professor who shuttered his blog because he said that you have to be happy and shiny and witty and clever the whole damn time, and no one can do that.

When I started this, I meant it as an extension to the book. Sarah and I were to muse on all matters relating to the modern female, and would put in all the stuff that we could not write in Backwards. In the end, for various reasons, it became my blog. At the beginning I wanted to do tap dances for you. I wanted to cover the waterfront: there would be food and feminism and politics and potent examinations of the zeitgeist. I wanted it also to be a conversation, and you have certainly kept up your end of the bargain; your comments have made the whole thing most unexpectedly delightful and stimulating.

In the end though, it has really become a most personal exercise. I can't quite work out if this is a good or bad thing. I am acutely aware of the solipsism trap. Yet at the same time, one of the things I love most about the blogosphere is the vivid glimpses into other lives. I like that warm human feeling you get when you read something from the other side of the world with which you utterly identify; the sigh of relief, the rueful laugh, the sense that you are not the only one. I love the small confessions of frailty or the what's it all about Alfie moments. I love the astonishing generosity, from both writers and readers.

I think the prof is right, in a way. I do want to give you my shinier, better self. There is an element of putting on one's Sunday best. I also feel a curious sense of responsibility: I now get actual guilt if I do not give you at least six posts a week. I think quite a lot about the balance of prose and pictures. I allow myself a little dog indulgence, which you very naughtily encourage, but am aware of the dangers of Going Too Far.

For some reason, I keep thinking of the lovely Donald Winnicott idea of the good enough mother. I do think there is a bit of a curse of perfection running around town at the moment, especially for the women. I have my own perfection genie, who sits on my shoulder and yells in my ear. But I wonder if the very point of blogging is that it is the very essence of the good enough. It does not have to be the most magnificent thing ever devised. As long as it is human and true and has a canine snapshot or two, perhaps that really is all right.

Here are your Friday pictures, which come, as always, with thanks for your lovely comments, and gratitude for the very fact that you take the time to come here and read. Today is a green symphony:







With some unadulterated beauty from the dog front:



Have a wonderful Friday.


  1. I found oddly that when I was having a terrible time with a protracted break up and then my father in hospital my readership went up. It spooked me so much I tend to avoid being too personal and now have nothing to say except the odd bits of vague angst or vague cheeriness as my job makes me reluctant to post anything too political.

    When it comes to solipsism we are all the stars of our own lives and by extension our own blogs, but I find you write so warmly and intelligently I keep coming back for more. I also really love your photography. It certainly perks up my days.

    I'm not upset if you do less than six posts a week though - I like your blog but respect your right to have a life and would hazard a guess that most of us do!

    But now this commet is almost as long as a post so I shall stop. Your blog is one of my favourite blogs out there now and I am glad I found it.

  2. I very much enjoy reading your blog. I am relatively new to the blogesphere and find that those I enjoy (that I have found through other bloggers) are often about the way they are written as much as their actual content.

    One person may be able to write the same content as another but it is the warmth and language that make it enjoyable.

    That and the gratuitous dog pics of course :)

  3. Interesting article, and I agree that a lot of people do feel a need to put their shiniest self on display.

    Becuase my blog has always been a personal adventure first and foremost, I think I somehow manage to skip this. Instead, I am brutally honest about my flawed personality, the rises and falls in my life. I probably go to the other extreme!

  4. You have managed to articulate, in a far superior way to me, exactly how I feel about blogging. I am very new to the blogging world and still struggle to find my 'style' but I'm getting there.

    I love reading you blog - I aspire to being able to write like you.

  5. I had a blog for a few years, at one point it got quite popular, but the moment it did the stress began to wear me out. I worried constantly that I had created a fake me that I could no longer live up to. Once I deleted that blog I felt so much happier, but now its been 6 months and I'm thinking - time to get another blog and I'm sure the whole cycle will begin again.
    Also I agree with everything Siobhan said.

  6. Lovely, kind and thought-provoking comments; thank you all so much. I do find it interesting that a blog is not quite the simple thing some people think. I do continue to love it though. Especially on account of the very high calibre of my readers.


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