why do I bother?

wild duck Slamseys

An email arrived from Emily at Beef & Sweet Tea. Would I like to join in with a Blog Tour entitled “My Writing Process”? I try to wriggle out of it but Emily is insistent. I relent. Apparently I have to answer questions.

What am I working on right now? This post. A shopping list for tomorrow. No novel. No scientific paper.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? Umm. I don’t think it does.

Why do I write what I do? Goodness, I have no idea.

How does my writing process work? Writing Process? What writing process?

I went no further. I filed the unwritten post in my head under “Things I Might Do One Day”. I told myself it was just a modern form of chain letter. My mother, quite rightly, held no truck with these and regardless of the dire consequences of breaking the chain, the letters were torn up and thrown into the bin. Yes, we were the reason you only received 99 postcards from around the world and not the promised 100.

But then I felt guilty. I’d said yes to Emily and let her put the link to my blog but hadn’t joined in, even though I’d had a fortnight to write it. And in the back of my mind, one question bugged me. Why do I write what I do? Why do I continue to write a blog that would be described as a failure by blogging experts as it has so few readers, makes no money from adverts or promotions and has failed to land me a massive book deal? All measures of success in their eyes. Not mine though.

Initially I wrote about the farm on one blog and about life in the farmhouse on another, but after a couple of years combined the two into Life in Mud Spattered Boots. I wanted to write about living on an arable farm in Essex but have veered away from that a little, so now there’s less about tractors in fields and more about food on the plate together with unrelated topics that take my fancy.  I write what I do because that’s what interests me. It’s pure vanity blogging. Writing for the pleasure of a ping as a comment appears at the bottom of the post or someone drops me an email to say they tried a recipe and it worked. Somewhere along the line, I hope you might glean a little bit of information about farming or might pause one day to think about where the food on your plate came from, but no more than that.

But the main reason I write this blog is because I love being part of the blogging community. Through reading blogs I’ve been inspired to pick up my knitting needles again, to haul out my sewing machine and to have a jab at crochet; I’ve learnt new techniques for growing vegetables and tried new varieties; my recipe box is bursting with new things to cook and often our supper is influenced by something I’ve seen on a blog earlier in the day. Most of all, I enjoy seeing how other people live. What is a perfectly ordinary day for you may be extraordinary for others. I flit from snow covered Finland to the searing heat of Australia. I’m envious of your glut of fruit when it’s something I use frugally because they’re exotic and expensive to buy here. I have a list of places that I’d like to visit one day, not because they’re an amazing tourist destination but because I’m intrigued about the places you’ve written about and photographed and I’d like to visit the market or check out the art gallery. There are some bloggers I feel I know well enough, even though we’ve never met, that should we find ourselves in each other’s neighbourhood, we’d arrange to get together for a cup of coffee or a glass or two of wine.

Having answered or avoided the questions, I’m now supposed to nominate three other bloggers to join the Blog Tour but instead of that, if you’re looking for new blogs to read (and I suspect that this is part of the reason for this little escapade) can I point you to the Blogroll at the bottom of the page. Follow the links and you’ll find beautifully written and photographed blogs, none of which will try to sell you anything other than inspiration. To see these questions answered properly, check out Emily’s post here.

If you’d like to join in and answer the questions, just let me know and I’ll add a link to your post. No pressure. But why do you write what you write?

38 thoughts on “why do I bother?

  1. And you are so not a “duck out of water” for this post or in blogging. 🙂

    You’ve had quite the busy spring and early summer, though, that’s for sure!

  2. I smiled as I read the bit about how the content of your blog has changed because mine has as well over the last year or so. I like to think it has evolved and in doing so, is attractive to a greater variety, if not quantity, of people.

    One day I may just get around to writing the book that is lurking, just out of reach, in a dusty corner of my mind but for now, like you, I’m just enjoying writing about everything and nothing and reading the entries of other bloggers 🙂

      1. Not entirely sure but snippets keep presenting themselves briefly and then fading back in to the corner. It’s fiction (I wouldn’t have the nerve to try and write a factual book) and the main character is a clear image in my head but whether or not I’ll ever be able to get her down on paper is another matter 🙂

  3. I’m so very grateful that you ‘bother’ to blog Anne. I love the insight into your farming way of life, so different yet in many ways so much the same as down here. Love the amazing things that come out of your kitchen, love your words and find your blog very inspiring. Well done!

    1. Maybe I should have left the “do” out of the title. Just proves the lack of writing process – quickly think of a title, slam it in and don’t think of how it will be read!
      You’re right about how different yet the same our farming lives are and if it weren’t for blogs, we’d never know.

  4. Well, I’m glad you do bother. And also that your writing process is unstructured. The real person shines through. If I were to write a paragraph about why I blog it would be virtually identical to yours. Plus it’s just rather good fun.

  5. I like pure vanity blogging. I think it is what I do, although I have waffled around this phrase for my own 4 questions a few days ago…. You have been inspiring me with your blog, I am particularly fascinated by your jelly expertise. Keep writing, I am enjoying my visits here. x

  6. Just brilliantly put, and you blog for just the same reasons I blog. Personally I am beginning to avoid blogs that are merely vehicles for promoting an Etsy shop or a book. More power to your elbow!

    1. I don’t mind blogs that are up front about what they’re promoting so long as they write interesting things most of the time but I do get fed up when I read a post and it slowly dawns on me that it’s sponsored. If they made it clear from the beginning, I would choose not to read it.

  7. Anne, you’ve said what I think about blogging in such a perfect way – just as if we were having a chat & those are the blogs I love to read. It’s sort of like listening to my sister in law go on & on about the latest book that her book club is reading where they dissect everything the author might be thinking & in the “development” of the plot …blah, blah, blah. If I read a book, it’s because I just plain enjoy it and I certainly don’t analyze every sentence and word. I love reading about what you’re doing because it’s something that’s different from my life, it’s interesting reading, and said in a conversational way that, as I say, makes me feel like we’re sitting down with a cup of tea & just chatting. I too love seeing what other people around the world are doing because everyone has such different lifestyles. Keep on Anne, keep on.

    1. I know just what you mean! I feel just the same about books and reading blogs. It’s good when people leave comments too as it makes the conversation a two-way affair and I feel we all get to know each other a little better.
      Hope your post-op recovery is going well.

      1. I’ve stopped following the blogs where the person has 10,000 followers & doesn’t bother reading comments. It’s just a mass production sort of blog which I don’t find interesting. I’d rather get to know people & really enjoy what they’re doing in their part of the world.

  8. Ha, they got you too then… but I suppose it’s good to question why we’re blogging once in a while, I’ve loved reading your posts – the stories about the farm, seeing the seasons change, and your recipes. Except maybe the milk jelly!

  9. Beautifully written Anne… I can relate in many ways to your reasons for blogging. Every day I’m inspired by other people’s food, photography, projects and lives – crossing cultures, age groups and ways of life. Life is all the richer for the opportunity to be a part of it all.

  10. this little “chain letter” really is everywhere! i loved your answers to the four questions 🙂 now i feel pretentious for how i answered mine!
    i agree though with all that you say about being inspired by people in the blogging community – i’m sure we have all done something after seeing it or reading about it in someone’s blog. and seeing what is happening in very different countries and climates – i’m definitely enjoying that, as we suffer thru the darkness of winter right now. english blogs like yours anne, all summer colours, are a tonic.

    1. I thought yours was very honest and not in the leas pretentious. Like you, I love reading blogs from the other hemisphere when we’re in the middle of winter and you’re all basking in the sunshine. As soon as you write about midsummer, I give a little (quiet) cheer and think thank goodness, they’re on their way to winter and were heading for summer. Obviously, I choose to ignore it when it’s the other way around!

  11. I love your answer to the blogging progress tour and I think your mother was spot on regarding chain letters. All of your reasons for blogging are so similar to mine and I am really glad to be part of a community out there that shares ideas. It is a great inspiration.

  12. Brilliant post and a timely reminder that the point of blogging doesn’t have to be vast numbers of followers but just about being part of the community – something I know I need to remember. x

  13. I have only just discovered your blog and I have been really enjoying going back through your posts and reading all about your farm life. It is so interesting to see how other people live and to be given the opportunity to learn about new things. The blogging world is amazing in my eyes 🙂


  14. I adore your post… I think it’s a trend today, people breaking rules about chain-award-blogging! If those are the criteria for a successful blog, then I will choose the road of failure as well. Here I am all excited that So MANY (meaning the few followers I have) are interested in my little corner of the web. 🙂 I started blogging to first, journal my path through motherhood and second, to reach others and learn. In my mind (and yours it clearly seems), that is all the success I need!

    So happy to have found your space.

  15. Yes, you stated many of the reasons why I blog as well. I’ve met so many interesting people, you included and have been able to visit so many lives. All interesting in their own way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  16. Great post! I agree with many of your reasons and while I’ve enjoyed being inspired by all the wonderful blogs out there it’s also a good way for me to stay connected to the UK while I’m so far away 🙂

  17. Love your answers Anne – I feel the same way entirely. And I love the post title. Why do I bother? Same could be said for a lot of things we do in life really, yet still we do 🙂

  18. Brilliant. Just brilliant. And you’ve just confirmed for me why your blog is one of my favourites.

    I’ve ducked out of this blog hop twice already – clashing publishing deadlines – but I’m almost hoping someone will ask me again now I see how it should be done x

  19. Love it Anne! Best one I’ve seen, and there have been a LOT these past few weeks!!! Keep on keeping on, it’s blogs like yours that keep me motivated to continue on 🙂 Mel x

  20. You put into words how I feel but way more eloquently than I could ever hope to. I love dropping into your farm and seeing what’s going on in your kitchen – your backyard couldn’t be more different to mine and that’s part of the charm and enjoyment isn’t it?

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