Blogging Blues

lip balm beside computer keyboard

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m rubbish at blogging.

Whichever business you’re in, there’s that moment isn’t there, when you think: “Yeah, I could write a blog and it’ll be amaaaazzzinnggg.” Usually you have this epiphany just after you’ve read a great blog post, like say one of Lucy Mitchell’s engaging posts on Blondewritemore Lucy makes it look as easy as pie, but in my experience blogging is hard. You need something to say … something you want to get off your chest, otherwise you just waffle on, watching words fill the screen …

I started a blog for my photography business once. At the time, a well-known blog site provider was taking the photography world by storm because of the scrolling format. Photographers were writing about the weddings they were shooting, showcasing beautiful photographs, full screen! It was like actually being at the wedding. Gorgeous couples, divine locations, fripperies, and finishing touches to die for, everything perfect and lovely. So I thought: “I’ll do that!” But, having just paid a web designer to refresh my website (not using the scrolling format) I hunted down a budget blog that could be linked to my site. My designer was skeptical. I couldn’t actually see him because we were talking about it over the phone, but I could sense his eyebrows inching slowly upwards. “If you start a blog, you’ll need to keep it up,” he said, sighing heavily. “It’s a commitment.” I was like, “Yada, yada, yada. Whatever, dude! Of course I’ll keep it up. Writing is my thing.” So, sobbing into his espresso (I imagine) he linked his beautiful creation—my shiny new website—to my bolt-on-budget-blog and left me to it.

Immediately, I ran into a technical problem. My images wouldn’t upload in the correct order, which is obviously important if you’re telling the story of someone’s wedding day, and the cheap-as-chips blog site I was using didn’t offer much in the way of technical support. But even after I had worked out the Feng shui of image placement, I found it totally impossible to write regular pithy, witty but respectful, anecdotes about the weddings I was shooting because by the time I’d got home from the wedding, downloaded the files, backed them up onto five separate hard drives (additionally sending a bulk ftp transfer to a cloud storage facility on Mars) the last thing I wanted to do was to write about my day. What I wanted was a very large glass of wine!

No surprise that my photography blog withered on the vine, and when the time came to refresh my website again, I quietly asked my designer to sever the link.

In 2018 I studied for a master’s degree in Writing Practice and Study at Dundee University (highly recommended by the way). The “publishing writing” module incorporated a blogging element with helpful guidelines, like: “Posts shouldn’t be more than 650 words long”; “Writing style should be friendly and engaging” and, “Pictures are great but forget metadata at your peril”. We were tasked with writing regular posts for the department’s blog, and on that first day we were given fifteen minutes to write an “About Me” piece and post it online. A tsunami of panic ripped through the room. Tubes of lip balm were whipped out to soothe shredded lips (I still keep a tube on my desk at all times) and when the final post was uploaded, we trouped silently to the Union bar, dazed and disorientated. Needless to say that my “regular” contribution to the department’s blog amounted to a paltry four posts.

So you see, I suck at blogging, and I truly admire all those perky bloggers who plan their posts weeks in advance and remember to reply to any comments. All I can promise is that I will try to do better in future. In the meantime, I’m working on my fourth romance title for Mills and Boon. My third book, Unlocking the Tycoon’s Heart will be released on Kindle on the 25thJune. My second, Italian Summer with the Single Dad came out at the end of January. Click the link if you want to find out if I’m better at writing romance than I am at blogging!