Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Why blog at all?

I don't imagine that my Commonplace Book will ever come close to achieving the status/notoriety of such blogs as The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry. My initial target audience is considerably smaller – my family. When my mother died over 20 years ago I was to discover several aspects of her younger days about which she'd never spoken. Growing up I must also have heard her tell stories about things she did as a girl that never really took root in my memory. And now they're all gone. What conversations we could have had – might I have understood her better? The point of this collection of opinions and reminiscences is to remind my children and grandchildren that I wasn't always old (actually, I don't feel old, and I'm guilty and ashamed that I once referred to my mum as 'old' when she was only just 60...). I have sometimes been 'naughty', and I had to learn from my mistakes. Kids, it does no harm to be able to see the world through your mother's eyes once in a while.

Of course, this blog is for me too. In the autumn, after I finished writing my monograph on a 16th century manorial survey, I was at a loss. It had taken up so much time and effort, and I was feeling quite bereft. Blogging is restoring my confidence in my creativity. It seems I was just born to write: in my teens I wrote poetry and kept diaries. The diaries, along with old love letters, were burned long ago – something I now regret. The poetry remains, but it is mostly adolescent angst. My Commonplace Book is an opportunity to write about my world with the benefit of some accumulated wisdom.

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