A couple of weeks ago I hit ‘publish’ on a blog post, and a few minutes later received a notification from WordPress congratulating me on reaching my 200th post. So in celebration of that, today’s post is all about WordPress and the community of fellow bloggers I’ve found here.
Two hundred posts is an indication that I spend a lot of my free time on WordPress (even if most of them are only six words long!). So why do I do it? I suppose it all started because I wanted a place to write but wasn’t able to commit to joining a writing group and attending regular meetings. In the last three years, WordPress has given me a space to bash out my thoughts on parenting, politics, attempts at creative writing and whatever else comes to mind… but it’s also become so much more than that. For instance…
Last Saturday night, without leaving the house, I spent a couple of hours catching up with friends. I took part in a regular weekly competition with a few people who like to come up with a story in six words. Some other people shared some new music with me. Another acquaintance told me about the latest book he’s been reading, and I congratulated him on becoming a grandfather. And I sent a message to a friend whose partner was about to go into hospital, wishing them all the best.
Like many parents of young children, I find that actual social gatherings have to be carefully coordinated, planned in advance and then often fall through at the last minute because of family priorities. So having an online community which I can tap into whenever it’s convenient is a definite bonus. With only a couple of exceptions, I’ve never met any of my blogging friends. Most of them, I could only tell you broadly what country they live in, sometimes not even that.
There are obviously many disadvantages of the permanently connected, online way we live these days, but there can also be some massive benefits. For me, WordPress has become a place where people who live on different continents, of different age groups, different races, different backgrounds, can find common ground. I’m naturally inclined to being a hard bitten cynic, but I could actually get quite misty-eyed about just how wonderful this. Most of human history has been – still is – dominated by war, bloodshed, conflict with anyone who we see as ‘the other’. But here on WordPress we’ve managed to create a space where people who have never met can share their ideas in a creative and respectful way. How amazing is that?!
When I first joined WordPress I thought it was going to be a place to write, and nothing more. But it’s also become a place to read, to learn and to share. Even if I haven’t got anything to blog about, I always try to check my WordPress Reader a couple of times a week, to see what’s happening on the blogs I follow. I don’t always have time to comment, but when I do it usually turns into a quick conversation, which repays the original effort.
I’m in a sharing the love kind of mood today, so here’s a shout out for some of my favourite blogs:
Nicola at Sometimes Stellar Storyteller – This link takes you to a hilarious short story about a modern day Merlin which had me chortling over my phone earlier.
Magarisa at Becoming Unstuck
Kat at Like Mercury Colliding
Erin at Bubbles and Beebots
Peter at Peter’s Pondering
Anna at Dark Age Voices
Simon at Planet Simon
Kelsey at Tibetan Lemonade
trE at A Cornered Gurl
Brontë at Brontë’s Page Turners
Gaz (I suspect that’s not his real name!) at Lit.Gaz
Chris Nicholas at The Renegade Press
I love reading whatever these bloggers have to say, and I thoroughly recommend you go and visit them. Who are your favourite bloggers? Let me know your recommendations in the comments!