Take two…the accidental blogger

Inner Child

“Why do you blog?” “Why did you start blogging?” Those are questions frequently asked; they cropped up a good few times at the Bloggers Bash recently and are often asked in interviews. For me the answers are simple… I started blogging to see if I could.

The first time I was asked in a job interview if I was computer literate, I lied. Well, grossly exaggerated anyway… Being of a generation that grew up without the benefit of the microchip, computing came a little late to me. I was almost forty before I became acquainted with anything more sophisticated than the Commodore C64… and that we had only used for games when the boys were small, hoping that they would be able to embrace the inevitable technological revolution.

For the next few years the home computer had been little more than a glorified word processor. I wasn’t allowed the internet…my late partner had quite correctly divined that it wasn’t going to be safe to let me loose on a world full of books and knowledge. So getting a job where the internet was essential to the transport systems I was running, I had to learn fast. I’d never even sent an email… How hard could it be? At work, of course, you didn’t get to play with anything other than the company software… unless you were working late and had the office to yourself… and then I explored.

The internet was installed at home as soon as I could manage it. I learned as I went and found myself at home. A little common sense showed that most systems were logically laid out and it didn’t take much to work through them. Forums for particular interests, social media… it wasn’t long before I encountered the concept of blogging. It held little interest for me back then. I wasn’t exactly a writer… even that was pretty much an accident, with Gary Vasey asking me to collaborate on his book, The Mystical Hexagram.

I’d been writing a novel… a tale of Merlin, set in Yorkshire. I thought about publishing but had no confidence, till a publisher read the half-finished tale . He was complimentary, comparing the style to that of a writer I respect… and would have published had I agreed to make it a little more commercial. Self publishing seemed a better option, but I had no idea how. Blogs gave me the clues I needed and I published a little book of poems, just to see if I could.

Almost by accident I had been engaged to paint some high profile murals. Entirely by chance I was approached by a magazine with a request to publish a piece they had seen online. On impulse I had entered an international poetry competition, the first entry I had ever made. And sat down in shock with the winning cheque in my hand. My confidence grew. I was getting commissions too… Then my son was stabbed and everything stopped.

Avebury SE weekend 289

It was two years later, in April 2011 that I set up the first blog. Very basic. I posted twice, just to see if I could work out the system, then let it lie. I had a whole six views! In May 2012, I needed to raise some support for my son. I remembered the blog. Take two… I began to tell some of his story. At around the same time Steve seconded me as a director of the Silent Eye, the new spiritual school he was setting up. I began to document that journey too. Almost a year after recommencing the blog, Stuart and I accidentally fell into the series of adventures that led to the publication of The Initiate… and that led to several other books together… an ongoing story.

I was making friends and having fun. The fun hasn’t stopped. Eventually, even the dog got involved. After the first year of the second attempt at blogging, the six views had become six thousand… I was astonished! And then it proceeded to grow…

Yet, if I had to give any advice to new bloggers, I would tell them to leave the stats alone.

Had I paid any attention at all that first year, I may never have written again; convinced no-one was interested in a word I had to write I would have simply wasted away in my garret. The first thing I would say though, is ‘Why did you start blogging?’ because that makes all the difference. If it is for a purely commercial goal then figures are important and you have a specific target in mind. If, on the other hand, you are writing because you want to, because you have something to say, something to share… or simply for fun… then the stats really don’t  matter. But people do.

Stats are not an accurate reflection at the best of times. Do ‘page views’ register from the Reader? Are they counted if the whole article shows on a reblog…or if it is read by an email subscriber in their inbox? Is it one view if a reader can read ten articles on a scrolling page? I don’t know. What I do know is that every ‘page view’ is a person, every comment, every response is a moment shared with another human being.

For me it is people who are the best thing about blogging. The friendships that can grow, the differing viewpoints you encounter, the humour and the stories… lives that touch yours, even through such an ephemeral medium as the internet. The virtual hugs that become real when you have chance to meet, the support that can change a life, as it has done for my son over the past two weeks. That’s why I blog.


Both Ritu, from But I Smile Anyway and Jo from Ramblings from the Darkness nominated me for the Blogger Recognition award and provided the inspiration for this post… and though technically, I went Award Free a while back, I still take part when I can as it is a great way to highlight other blogs… please follow the links to their blogs!

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Guidelines for those who choose to join in:

Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers.
Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
List who you’ve nominated in the post.
Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
Let them know you’ve nominated them.
Provide a link to the award post you created. (I did a pingback)
Provide a link to the original post on Edge Of Night.

Nominees are under no obligation to accept and join in… some I know will be award free blogs. Just take it as a thank you for being part of the blogging community I know and love.

Eliza      Sally     Judith     Hugh   Wendy

Barb  (even though she’s on holiday)

Noelle  (well, it’s summer… she’s away too)

Judy    Florence     Olga     Denis     Patrick(&Sandy!)

Diana     Marjorie     Graeme

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Books, Dogs, Don and Wen, Friendship, Nick Verron, Steve Tanham, Stuart France and Sue Vincent, The Initiate, The Silent Eye, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Take two…the accidental blogger

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on your latest award, and thanks for thinking of me! I liked reading about your early computer years (parallels mine) and got a kick that you fibbed about your experience – you obviously figured it out, so how bad was that really? 😉 And I agree– the friends one makes in the blogosphere are simply some of the best, most inspiring folks ever!

    Like

  2. Green Embers says:

    So have you ever seen the IT Crowd? Jen, the manager, lies about her computer literacy and gets promoted to head of IT, knowing nothing about IT. I really like how you cover what you did do to learn it. Too many people I find are so scared of technology, they aren’t willing to go slow to learn it. This includes young people, believe it or not. Mystifies me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      No… TV and I divorced some years ago 🙂 Technology has always fascinated me, not as gadgetry, but because I can see how it is changing the world, and even a few short years my tech-free life is now ruled by computers. I didn’t want my sons left behind, and I was damned if I was going to be either 🙂 There is an awful lot I don’t know still, and that’s okay. But I know how to learn what I need to learn these days … And I can always ask Google 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved hearing your blog story.

    Like

  4. davidprosser says:

    You’re right, Blogging is fun.Meting so many great people online became the brilliant though unexpected result for me and my confidence in myself grew.The virtual Hugs have spread around the world and come back to me in enormous numbers which has kept me glued to my screen probably longer than I should be, but I get so much out of this even though I no longer write books which I suppose was one of the reasons for blogging in the first place.
    Your writing is exceptional, varied, interesting and often where Nick is concerned very touching. I’m glad you learned to blog.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I can think of nothing else I have done that has built my confidence quite as much… an odd thing that words on a virtual page can change so many things in daily reality. Thank you, David, I’m glad I learned too 🙂 Hugs xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on the award, Sue! My kids helped me learn how to “surf” the web. I used computer programs in two different jobs, but they were company softward programs. My daughter helped me set up my blog. I was older than you were when I became computer literate. My kids took to it as if they were born owning computers. I can’t understand living in a world where computers are used so much and not knowing how to use one. I have a couple friends who never used them, but that was a personal choice for each of them. I enjoyed this piece. 🙂

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Suzanne. My sons seem to have a natural knack too… amazing how quickly we adapt to new things. I really wanted them to be able to do that so made sure they had access to whatever was current. The best way o learn seems to be to just play 🙂

      Like

  6. Thank you lovely Sue for the nomination and The Owl Lady also very kindly did to this morning so if you do not mind I will do a joint post next week… honoured be part of this group of bloggers who I admire tremendously… hugs XXS

    Like

  7. Congratulations Sue. It was interesting reading your story of how you came to start blogging. I agree with you that it is all about the people, not sso much the stats. We belong to such a wonderful blogging family that help and support each other which I feel privileged to be a part of.
    Thanks so much for thinking of me, it means a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    Love this post – think it applies to so many of us.

    Like

  9. Thank you for this, Sue. Like you (and including you!) I have made so many friends through my blogs. And I welcome the support I’ve been given over the last difficult year with Mum.I have two places that i blog – my website http://www.judithbarrow.co.uk/ where i post both personal stuff and interviews with friends (some that are copied over to judithbarrowblog.com, where I mostly try to share and spread the word about other bloggers, authors’ books and reviews. Works well fro me – when I think – like you – I hadn’t a clue about computers until ten years ago – and am still learning (for instance – pingback – not a clue how to do this even though it was once explained to me!!) Don’t think my brain is holding in as much as it once did! Hah! Jx

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I didn’t even know what a pingback was till recently 🙂 Even though I had been linking left, right and centre…I didn’t join the dots 🙂
      I think that perhaps as we age, our memories are so rich we must have a sort of triage going on. I forget the most basic stuff all the time, but ‘useless’ and fascinating stuff I pick up as they brush by 🙂 x

      Like

  10. socialbridge says:

    Fascinating insight, Sue.
    I couldn’t agree more about the stats.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’d pay more attention if they gave an accurate picture… but they don’t. Or if numbers actually meant anything in real terms. Comments, though, talking to people… that’s different 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ritu says:

    Sue, thank you so much for taking part! Your story is so fascinating! It isn’t a numbers game in the end, you’re right!

    Like

  12. …my dear, m’Lady, Sue, I think you and I have trudged the happy road to blogging destiny together …every step has been a growing awareness of how wonderful it is to be ‘connected’ with kindred scribbling souls… LUVZYA! 🙂

    Like

  13. FlorenceT says:

    Hey Sue,
    Firstly congratulations on the award. Secondly, how you ‘fell’ into things are incredible 🙂 the Universe provides. Finally, thanks for the nomination! I will ‘officially accept’ it soon 🙂
    Best wishes,
    Florence x

    Like

  14. Mary Smith says:

    I’m always fascinated at how we ‘fall into’ things. As for the IT, I think we had to learn how to use computers in a way young people didn’t. They grew up with them as a part of their lives and never saw them as anything complicated at all.

    Like

  15. Love hearing about how blogs got started. I can relate. I live in a family of very high tech, computer innovators, husband and children, but I passed on the technology. Didn’t know how to turn them on, and we were on our 5th or 6th desktop by then (since the early 80’s). I took a job in a utility company, trained for 3 months, then got interested at home. Blog came much later. ☺ Thanks for sharing. ❤️

    Like

  16. Thank you so much, Sue for the award. I feel honored. I’m heading off line for a week and not worrying about blogland while entertaining visiting family. As always I enjoy our connection and love learning more about you. Great advice too – I’m always up for that! 😀

    Like

  17. Allie P. says:

    I was lucky enough to get exposed to computers very early, but I am late to the whole blogging thing. Had I only known then what I was missing. Thanks so much for sharing your story, and congratulations on the award.

    Like

  18. Ali Isaac says:

    A well deserved award… and interesting to learn a bit more about you, Sue. Congrats!

    Like

  19. Thanks so much for accepting! Loved your blogging story – and that you got a job idling the internet but not knowing it- ha! You go! You have accomplished so much and have much to be proud of! Enjoyed this post a lot. 🙂

    Like

  20. Only just got to this post Sue, and I’m so very honoured to see you have nominated me. Thank you very much. I’m ‘award free’ as well, but it is always wonderful to be nominated and mentioned by fellow bloggers.

    Congratulations on your award and thank you for such an interesting post about why we blog. That is the 64 million dollar question and you have written it so well when it comes to overcoming those darn stats! Blogging is all about writing, being creative, interacting with other bloggers, and having a great time doing it. It’s not all about how many followers we have and how do we get even more.

    Thank you for being so inspirational to many of us who follow your blog.

    Like

  21. Pingback: Real people in blogosphere?! | MEANINGS AND MUSINGS

  22. dale1025 says:

    This is so inspiring!! I just started blogging last week and my first ever post here only got 10 views because when I published my work, I told my friends and relatives to read my blog posts and that’s why I got 10. I also don’t have a lots of followers because I think my works are boring because all of my posts is about History (Philippine History to be specific). But then, I realized that I chose to post blogs because I want to, I want to develop and enhance my skills in writing. I’m rooting for more viewers and followers but I don’t want to force them to read my works or to follow my account. I want people to read my blog because it captures their attention. So, this post really inspire me to pursue my skills in posting blogs :>. I’m 16 BTW, and I came from Philippines.

    Like

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