Daily Prompt: Hobson’s Choice

kirk-sky

Today’s Daily Prompt from WordPress  got me thinking enough to join in:

“If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?”

My immediate gut reaction was to write my own blog and some hours later now I am writing my post it hasn’t changed.

Why? Well it’s not because I think my blog is the best, read by loads of people, contributes essential and important information to the gardening blogosphere or anything like that because these are not things I think about my blog.

It’s because my blog is a true blog. ‘Blog’ according to the great god Wikipedia is a portmanteau of the term web log – so a log on the world-wide web.  To me a log is a like a diary; think of Capt Kirk and his ship’s log. So my blog is my kinda diary, my log.  It mainly records what is happening in the garden and things that interest me.  I use it as an excuse to write and it has helped me to sort out how I feel about things; a good example is working through grief at losing my sister a couple of years ago.

I love that people read it and comment and it is even better that sometimes people have found it helpful but this is a bonus not a reason for me to blog.

As for reading other blogs? I enjoy doing this but if they disappeared or if someone said I couldn’t read them any more this would not have to same impact on me as if someone said I couldn’t blog any more.

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About Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited
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14 Responses to Daily Prompt: Hobson’s Choice

  1. Christina says:

    You’ve got me thinking to, and I haven’t come up with a decision yet. I enjoy writing but I love having contact with other gardeners. There aren’t so many like minded people here so I would feel cut off without reading about what others are doing and thinking. There, writing has made my decision I think – but I’m glad I don’t really have to choose. Christina

  2. Cathy says:

    Hi Helen – I am with you wholeheartedly on that. I knew as soon as the ‘Daily Post’ prompt appeared in my email box that I would always choose writing over reading. Reading other people’s blogs is a bonus, as is other people reading mine, but both are secondary to the writing and this is where it all started for me. That wouldn’t stop me missing the joys of sharing blogs if that ever happened – perish the thought, as that has brought so much pleasure that I had not anticipated when I first began my ‘log’

  3. I would definitely rather read other people’s blogs than my own, I have learnt so much from them and don’t feel that I am very good at writing so mine are not that interesting

  4. Donna says:

    I think most of us readers can clearly discern how much you enjoy writing Helen. I enjoy reading your blog/diary because your passion for writing is directly transmitted no matter what the subject. I’m sure I’ve said this before (maybe indirectly), but you have a wonderful and natural gift for writing and I’m absolutely sure there’s a book or two in you just bursting to come out. …one of these bright days… if I was a betting person… :)

  5. djdfr says:

    I am thinking I could make do with reading as long as I am allowed to comment. :-)

  6. Anna B says:

    Hi Helen, It’s very clear that you love writing because you post so often and with real honesty. It’s why I come back and keep reading! I understand completely how you find writing a way to get through tough times. I got into blogging through reading and I’m still so new to it that I have to say reading at the minute. I would no doubt publish more but I spend hours losing myself reading other people’s blogs. I started thinking about launching my own blog and writing to help me get through a tough time commuting and to help me prioritise my real-life, rather than my work-life. I must admit after ‘going live’ with my blog I do feel a bit weird about it all. I’ve had a lot of nice comments and I really enjoy writing my posts, they come to me with a flash of inspiration following something I’ve done in my life. Yet something still feels a bit strange for me. Did you ever feel like that when you first started Helen?

    • patientgardener says:

      Hi Anna

      I went through everything you have described. Ihave been blogging for around 4 years and I remember being really nervous when I started, worrying what people would think etc etc. But you have to remember why you are blogging and write for you and not worry about what people think. If you write like that it wont be stilted like so many blogs where they are trying to appeal to a certain audience it will be honest and interesting. I know people worry that their blogs will be boring etc but again I think you have to think about why you blog and what you want to get out of it.

      I read lots of blogs, a very few I have read for years but most I tend to read for a while and then leave and come back to some months later. I enjoy reading blogs and have learnt lots and met some interesting people through them but for me it will always be a case of an excuse to write.
      Helen

    • Anna B says:

      Hi Helen, thanks so much for your reply! It’s really helpful knowing that you went through the same when you started. I wont give up! All I can do is blog about my life and that’s all I really want to do and that’s exactly why I started so I will remind myself of that if I start to feel a bit ‘wobbly’. Thanks again Helen :)

  7. Christie says:

    I love reading blogs, particularly those of writers from other countries in regard to gardening. As I live in a hot area in Australia, it is fascinating to think what it would be like to garden in a cold climate. For instance, I look at the temperatures for Malvern Wells today; here we are expecting at least 31 degrees. The previous days it has reached 37 and 38 degrees. I have to tolerate our summer but I know I’m a lot happier, productive and optimistic in our autumn and winter which are usually delightful seasons. Thanks to all you bloggers. We readers love your efforts.

  8. Jamie says:

    I’m with you Helen. I started up my own blog (around the same time you started yours), mostly to keep a gardening diary, and I do actually ‘look up’ my blog occasionally to compare what happened in the same season in previous years, so it’s serving that purpose. If I see my blog as anything more than that, then it’s all about self-expression. It will probably be the major thing I ever ‘publish’, and I rather like that idea.

    Finally, I like your Capt Kirk analogy. Very apt!

  9. Mark and Gaz says:

    I echo what Donna has said, as one of your regular blog readers one can tell how much you enjoy writing. As for which one to choose, hmmm..I’ll sit on the fence on this one as they both have benefits.

  10. if it is only about the writing, we could use a pretty journal. Or a document on our computer. A blog only has that b because it’s on the web. A blog post lives a second life in the conversation on the comments. Only read? No, there are too many words, waiting in my head!

  11. Hard decision Helen but I agree I would want to write..

  12. If I pick writing can I keep the interaction?! Like you, my blog is a record of my gardening – and interest in my surroundings. I’d carry on with it now even if no one commented. But for me it has become a means to participate in a community too, and I love the interactions with others, love following their own gardening lives. I think that’s why I’m never particularly interested in the numbers, in how many people read any given post etc. So much of it is about the commenting, other people’s on mine, mine on other people’s, and the way it gives me a sense of belonging to wider group of people interested in similar things despite being forced to live a very restricted life through poor health. So I am going to refuse to choose!

Thank you for reading. I welcome comments from readers or I end up feeling like I am talking to myself. However, all comments are moderated in order to filter about spam .

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