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?