Saturday, 30 June 2018

Notice of a drastic pruning of posts

2018 is proving - by accident or design - to be a year of changes. With my 66th birthday less than a week away, I'm getting ever older, and it becomes important to focus on what matters most to me. That has prompted a series of rethinks on what I do with my time.

This blog started in February 2009 in a crisis situation, with my Mum's death, and great personal changes looming. It was a channel through which I could explore what lay ahead. It satisfied an urge to write. But it was always personal. I did play with wider subjects, but that sometimes got me into trouble with the people I mentioned in my posts. I found that embarrassing. And also discouraging: I was coming up against the problem any writer faces from time to time - destructive feedback. Perhaps I'm too sensitive, but it hurt. It didn't happen often, but each negative consequence made me decide that it was best to keep well away from certain subjects. Eventually, I arrived at the present position, where the blog is hardly more than 'Lucy's Adventures', illustrated with the same kind of photos that you can see in quantity on my Flickr site.

And that is most of the problem nowadays: the blog and the Flickr site overlap far too much. The blog has in large measure become 'Flickr with words added' - and I question the effort put into writing all those words, when the pictures posted on Flickr often say it all. I know many prefer reading about what I get up to instead of looking at pictures, but I do pictures best, and always have done. And the Flickr site far outstrips the blog in popularity. It's clearly where I should be concentrating my efforts. 

I still like the idea of blogging, and I haven't run out of things to say, but it's too time-consuming. The time has come to stop writing regularly for it.

I'm not going to take the blog down, but I have already deleted all of my past blog posts up to the end of 2014. And I will next look very critically at the posts already written in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Some will stay available to read. Most will be deleted.

I have, of course, an archived copy of every post I ever wrote, preserved in a long, long series of Word documents. No part of this essentially autobiographical record will disappear from my personal records. But most of it won't be available online from now on.

I suppose I will never now reach that one million figure for viewings! The total stands at 914,790 as I write this. But chasing a big readership has ceased to matter.

Will there be new posts in the future? Perhaps, maybe, I don't know. Google will doubtless remove the blog after a while, if I fail to put up any posts. If I decide that, truly, I'm writing for absolutely nobody's benefit except my own, and possibly a handful of friends who swap texts and emails with me, and see me from time to time anyway, then I may quit entirely.

Even now I feel rather sad about bringing my blogging project almost to a close. It has had a very long run, and plenty of success, and (I know) was a help and support for a few people. It also put me in touch with several readers who have become firm friends, and also a very distant cousin who didn't know that my part of the family existed. One or two complete strangers got in touch too, and for a while we had an agreeable exchange. But brushes with academics, media folk and the odd bigot introduced a sour note. It's so easy to give offence with the words you write! It's in my hands to put a stop to it, by not blogging and not giving them a chance to air their assumed superiority, or their malcontent. They can take their bad attitudes elsewhere.

I'm not at all finished with writing. Every day I make practical notes on this or that. But I don't think 'creative writing' is my forte. I most like getting behind the wheel of Fiona, and going off somewhere, and taking photos of what I see. That's the thing I love doing.

If anybody wants to keep tabs on me in the future, then my Flickr site is the best place to visit. The latest pictures - which always include shots of myself - are in the Photostream, or they can be seen according to subject in one or other of the Albums. Here's the direct link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucymelford/.

Same day sequel
Well, that's 2018 'purged'. Twenty-four posts deleted, but forty retained. Now that wasn't too much of a slaughter, was it?

Next: 2017, 2016, and 2015. It's easiest to work back in time, making a note of the post titles to be deleted, and then doing that in one go from the Posts list. I deleted everything up to 2014 that way. (It wasn't worth keeping such old posts in the public eye, as they didn't reflect my contemporary life sufficiently)

My friend Angie has already expressed heartfelt regret at the idea that I may not blog again. So I've paused, and stopped the Quit Blogging Juggernaut in its tracks. I won't stop writing. But I will have to give blogging less of my time. I'm thinking now that I will cut back to two posts a week, or eight each month. That's two good posts per week, well-written, and well-illustrated if the subject calls for it.

And so the proud 'Lucy Melford' name won't disappear from the blogging world after all.

6 comments:

  1. O crumbs. There was a time when blogging connected me with many friends but, one by one, they have fallen away. With each, readership of my own blog has taken a knock. Now you are to join them, and with you go some 45% of the referrals to my blog, according to Blogger's stats.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog over the years; indeed it was blogging that helped to cement our friendship in the first place. But we're good friends now and I feel sure that we shall continue to be so.

    I wish you well in your continued allegiance to Flickr. As I've said before, pictures without a story don't thrill me anything like as much as a well-written story, but I will endeavour to drop in from time to time.

    Does this spell the end of About Angie? Probably not... at least for the time being. Even though my readership will fall, there are still those who seem to enjoy reading about my adventures in hill, dale and my own back garden. And I enjoy writing.

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  2. Oh dear, Angie, I had no idea there would be collateral damage. Well, I'm not actually taking my blog down, just reducing it to a handful of important posts from the last three and a half years. You will stay in my blog list!

    It may be that I will, quite soon, resume blogging as before. My last holiday certainly provides the material for some good posts: it would be a shame never to write those!

    The original purpose of my blog has vanished, however, and I really can't find much time for it. Well, let's see what actually happens...

    Lucy

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  3. Well I will miss your blogs lucy. I’m not entirely sure how long I have been reading but I know it is at least over 3 years ago & possibly much longer. The first post I read was about wallander & your new volvo. I did wonder earlier this month if you had given up altogether, when you took a long break.

    I know Flickr gives the impression of having much higher views, but people there only view your image for an instant & click away, maybe occasionally leaving a comment or a favourite. I feel that your blog gives us much more.

    I have a flickr account myself with 806 followers but the consensus with my friends is that Flickr is falling by the wayside with the advent of instagram.

    I really hope you will continue to blog even if only occasionally.

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  4. Blogging was once a lifeline for me. I had changes afoot and thoughts formed as blog posts in my mind all the time. Suddenly I found that I had reached a comfortable place and few were reading about the life I had attained. Sadly as rhiannon has stated, people have moved on to bite sized gratification of instant social, I call them antisocial, media.

    Yours was one of the very few blogs which had remained active, since mine was so rarely used I jumped to other blogs which interested me from yours! I too put out a plea for people to get in touch by email and they would get a personal blog post in return, must have scared them even further away!

    We made our necessary changes to find a new life, we both showed the world that it could be done successfully and now we live it. You are just having to put up with more emails from me from now on.

    On a final note, as with many others, once I found your blog I read it from post one, not something that blog sites ever make an easy thing. I shall be sorry that since the demise of Google reader I shall not be able to go back and read many of them again...

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  5. We move on and change over time as do our needs. Others should respect that. You can make specific blog entries private or only available to people who have the password, indeed the whole blog can be hidden in this way. Would that be an alternative option?

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  6. OK, OK! I see that the blog was valued more than I thought! And frankly, I'd miss it too. I'm now inspired to continue, but I'll be careful about my subject-matter. I don't think anyone will actually notice much change.

    Sapphire, that was a good suggestion, but I do want my blog to be open to all possible readers, and so it's easiest to simply discard any post that isn't relevant to my present life. You'll understand that (like all others in my position) I've undergone a personal revolution. Once the old regime is overthrown and the dust has settled, one doesn't want to dwell on the gory details, and the odd atrocity committed! Rebuilding the nation is the priority.

    Lucy

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This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford