A while ago I got a comment on one of the blogs that ran “I’m not sure what motivates you or how it does but I am bloody pleased it does. Your honest, “tell them how they are” stories are so well written that we devour each episode.” – Cath.
I thought this was a lovely comment to read. Writing these little blogs is actually a lot more time consuming than most people would think. Most blogs take between 2 and 4 hours to get together. Mainly it’s because I use that time to sort through my images to find some that are either good enough to share or appropriate to the story, or hopefully both. With pretty much every photo I put them into an editing program to tidy them up a bit and give them the feel that I had while I was there. Sometimes the camera literally writes a photo of what it sees but it is not as bright as in ‘real life’ or I want to make a black and white photo or I don’t want everything that was caught in the frame so I have to crop some stuff out. Processing my images has become quite a quick and streamlined job and I generally enjoy the creative outlet.
Then once I have pulled out the photos that I want to use I sit and write the story. I always have a plan in mind of what it is that I am trying to say so the writing bit is easy. I just go with whatever comes into my head. A friend of 20 years said that “It helps because you write how you speak and I could hear you telling me like you were right here with me.” – Tracey. A few people have made much the same comment and I guess that for me that is one of the greatest compliments.
I read other peoples blogs (admittedly not many) and I admire their writing style. Most of these blogs have bazillions of followers and are of a professional quality and voice. I find them inspirational in content and I admire their writing style. But for me I just can’t find that detached travelogue information voice. I prefer to write literally what I thought, what I felt, how it was for me. I guess I want my blog to be a bit more personal.
The thing that amazes me the most is that people read it. I realise that sounds ridiculous as why else would I write it but seriously – I expected/hoped my friends and family would read it and I figured that would be about it. Turns out I have underestimated the audience. Most of my blogs have a couple of hundred readers (I literally don’t know 200 people in the whole world!) and one of them, the India blog, has had over 1000 readers!!!!!!! That is completely mind boggling to me.
It is part of what motivates me to take that time and to put out 2-3 blogs a week. I get a real kick out of the fact that people read them and that people comment on them. The last blog that I wrote, The Vietnam/American War, had one of the strongest comments for me. Unlike so many of my blogs which are just written off the cuff I had agonised over getting the history close to truth and then having an opinion that was expressed in a hopefully respectful manner but still had some fire left in it. It was such a reward for me to have someone who had lived through the political upheaval of the Vietnam War and tell me that he “Really enjoyed reading this blog posting…” – Ray. It makes me feel that my writing strikes a chord every now and then and is another reason to keep on blogging.
I think that one of the biggest reasons though is simply expressed. Sheryn said “I LOVE reading your adventures – you make me feel like I’m right there with you” and this is what I am trying to do. Not everyone can (or would want to) do what we are doing but that shouldn’t mean that they should miss out on the adventure. After all, travel is a sharing experience 🙂
Hopefully you guys will keep on reading and sharing our journey, and in the mean time – thank you from the bottom of my heart. I blog because I am inspired to and because I like it and seemingly others do too.
Herb sellers in a local market.
Pink lotus flower. I can’t resist photographing the lotus flowers in bloom. They are just so beautiful.
Independence Day in Vietnam (2nd September) is a holiday celebration and seemingly every house has a flag outside with the Red background and the Gold star of Vietnam.