Thursday, 11 February 2021

Week of blogging - Thursday - looking back at a blogging life

 Looking back over this blog is a mammoth task. My poor old computer cannot handle all the loading of posts as I scroll.... Many, the majority of old posts are now archived, which means only I can see them. I decided to do this a few years ago because I wanted people to 1. focus on what I am doing now and 2. stop asking me to make things I made twelve years ago - or something like that!

Here is a artwork I shared in a post during May 2014:

This small watercolour is called Evening. This artwork was later used as a cover for a poetry zine. 

I like this painting very much and only wish I could remember what happened to it..... 

Over the years I have written over 1700 posts on this blog. It's hard to imagine all the hours I must have spent typing, taking photographs, considering what to share etc... In the early years, during the blogging hey-day, I would get a modest yet steady stream of comments on posts. Now I rarely receive comments - and yet I know my visitor numbers have actually gone up, up, up! And many thanks to anyone who pops in to see me here. So that's interesting and not a complaint - I know how things are now. Reading a blog takes time, so I imagine many people are glimpsing at the posts and clicking on the next thing because there's so much else to see, isn't there?

You know how things are, this click and scroll world we shadow.... Every so often I have a conversation with a fellow artist/creative type and we talk about 'the good old days' of blogging when it felt like people had time to share and leave comments. If you look about the internet you will find so many abandoned blogs. An abandoned blog is nothing like a boarded-up house or a garden gone to seed - it remains as shiny and excited about what it has to share as it always did. And yet. And yet the blog is no longer updated. It's as if the enthusiasm never left but the blogger got beamed to another planet. Quite possibly another planet beginning with I....

One day someone decides to themselves: no one is reading this anymore, or, I am not getting the feedback, the comments... Or, I just don't have the time for this. Or, my life has changed completely, I am no longer interested in writing about cooking, or collecting buttons, or making sculptures.. or whatever else it was that took up your life for maybe years previously. Or quite simply: I will say this someplace else.

The abandoned blog is a thing of curiosity. I often stop and look to see what the final post has to say. Usually there are few clues that the blog will no longer be updated. There's sometimes even the promise of more to come: 'I will share more about this soon.' Or, 'I'll be posting my recipes throughout summer!' Oh, but that didn't happen.... Some blogs though have poignant farewell posts, thanking readers, sharing sad news etc...

 And then there are the blogs of people who are no longer with us.  And I can think of a few artists who I still miss today who used to blog regularly. People I called friends though we may have never met. I am thinking of my friend, photographer Judy Watt, who lived in San Francisco and shared her world - and sadly passed  away some years ago. I am thinking too of the wonderful creative world of Vanessa Cabban -and her blog Do you Mind if I knit? I am so glad the blog is still there to see - just so glad all the joyful entries of earlier years are there to be witnessed and remembered.

But today - why blog today in a world that has changed so much? The internet is not the same, in any way - it is faster, brasher and more demanding. There's less time to get to know people and more demands on everyone. It's not a place I particularly enjoy but it is one I can't do without. There are postitives - many - I would not have my business without the internet of today. But at the same time, I cannot help but wonder how things might be if we all went a little retro for a while....



5 comments:

lolabelle said...

I tend not to comment as I don’t feel my comment has anything to add, it can seem banal and pointless. I’m not very good with words, I can’t express what I’m feeling. I love your work, I’d love to be able to engage with you, but all I can come out with is “this is lovely”. Is it worth your time me writing that? I want to have a conversation about your process, your inspiration, ask what you’re reading or what music you like but then I think that I don’t want to intrude, seem weird etc. In the past, when I I have commented on other people’s blogs and had no response I assume that the blogger doesn’t want to engage and probably assume that about most bloggers. Gill

Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

Oh my friend, where to begin ? I am a culprit, one among so many others. I miss the blogging days like crazy ... yet stopped blogging over a year ago, by lack of interest, by lack of visits and comments ... yet I stopped reading blogs I used to read (yours being one of them), and I stopped leaving comments. So why am I complaining ? I don’t know. IG took over our blogging habits, and we know can do everything from our phones ... but leaving comments on blogs requires extra time (login in, remembering your login infos ...) that we apparently refuse to spend. It’s like totally incoherent and crazy and I admit feeling lost with all those feelings.
I’ve very recently visited the blog of a friend who stopped updating it many years ago, and it felt so weird, both because it somehow froze time, and it also felt like visiting a ghost town, a place you know there is no activity anymore. So weird.
Some things are certain though : 1) I cherish our friendship (and thank the internet for making our paths cross -over ?- a decade ago) 2)I’ve always loved and appreciated your art
I hope to bring back my own blog from the “deads” but I also need to get back into the habit of visiting blogs. So many friends stopped everything altogether. (who am I for blaming them ?)
Sending love, my friend. Thank you so much for the thougt provoking post.
xoxo

Cathy Cullis said...

Thank you for your comment, much appreciated! I am guilty of not replying to comments and nearly always I wish I had taken a moment - but time passes and time is scarce etc.. There is so much to say and share. I would like to say more. Perhaps, due to the instant click of places like IG we have got out of the habit of taking time to engage and answer questions, the whole nature of blogging has fractured, become a grey area in some ways. I really appreciate a comment, even if it is a simple: 'lovely'. For me that can make a big difference to my day. Just to know. I hope to share more about what interests me etc... and will be sharing some or my reading on Sunday. Best wishes and thanks again.

Cathy Cullis said...

Thank you dear Sonia, I appreciate our long-term friendship very much. We are all guilty of neglecting blogs because I too have stopped reading many at all! As you say, the instant connection of IG etc.. has pushed blogging into semi-irrelevance.

I think possibly if we could reestablish a small network of likeminded bloggers who want to connect with each other that might be a way forward? It would not be a commercial circle but a circle of friendship, more an opportunity to stay connected in a wordy-er way:) So, if you would like to consider being a part of a small clan of retro bloggers than that would be great!

Yes, I often visit blogs that are no longer updated and it is like visiting a ghost town but with all the lights left on.

Thank you for taking the time to visit here and comment. Very much appreciated. Best wishes and love to you x

Hazel Terry said...

I am still here posting daily, it is a ritual, it keeps me looking and researching. I miss my friends, the blogs I loved and I miss the innocence. The other platforms lul us in with their charms and then commercialize to the point of destruction. So for now and over 12 years, my blog remains and the blogs I followed like yours Cathy are precious.

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