Not only have I started to use Twitter this year, but I’ve also started blogging. I enjoy blogging. Like Twitter, it has made me more connected to the academic world beyond institutional borders. This point was recently reinforced to me when I attended BAVS this year and on three separate occasions I had people stop me to talk about recent blog posts I had written.
Having said the above, I am aware of my limitations. I don’t think I could have my own blog. That’s not to say that one day I won’t, but I like the fact that JVC online offers me a platform on which to speak but not the pressure to always worry about writing posts on a regular basis. At the same time, I like that my voice is intermingled with others. Of course, if I put my JVC editor hat on, I believe that we could accommodate more voices, so don’t forget that you’re always welcome to write a blog post for us! [see our recent call for contributors]
I also feel that I still have a lot to learn. My blog posts tend to be quite long and quite essay like. I admire bloggers like Amber Regis and Charlotte Mathieson whose posts are short and to the point. I wish I could do the same, partly because I think my style of blogging demands far too much of the reader and also because it makes the process quite time consuming for everyone involved. I have been known to spend all day writing posts. Similarly I have wanted to write posts and then been unable to find the time in which to start or even finish them. I now have many incomplete blog posts in my ‘JVC online’ folder including one on the BBC adaptation of Edwin Drood because I decided to complicate it by reading the book first. I never completed the book and so the post remains unfinished.
Similarly, I’ve realised that unless you write a post when you say you will, you will never write it. For instance, my MA thesis was on Josephine Butler and the use of religion/religious symbolism in her description on the Pontefract by-election of 1872. August marked the by-election’s 150 year anniversary and with a folder full of local/national newspapers discussion of this by-election I could have written a post. At least that was my plan in June, but by August I was relocating from Nottingham to Liverpool and never found the time/inclination to do it. The moral being you must write posts as you think of them. Finally, I’ve realised that I often structure my leisure activities around whether I can write a post about it or not. James (my hubby) has cottoned on. ‘Is this going to end up being a blog post?’ has become a popular question in our house. I like Victorian history, but maybe I need to take a step back. I’m sure if I did I would find writing posts less time consuming!