‘We read to know we’re not alone’.
The brilliant C S Lewis put it so beautifully. Reading is cheering, but it’s also comforting. A good book is guaranteed to elevate my mood more effectively than being given a Big Purple Quality Street. A cracker of a novel provokes thoughts and makes my mind whizz brilliantly. It does also feel oddly like companionship; that insight into how other people think, how other people live, (even just inside author’s imaginations), is strangely comforting as well as often challenging or thought-provoking. A good book is yoga for the mind mixed with a pub night out for the brain.
Blogreading is different. It’s also absolutely, completely the same. I strongly suspect Mr Lewis would be a big blogger if he was alive (The Narnian Daily? The Warder of the Wardrobe? God, Life and Fauns? ) The lives and thoughts of other bloggers may be a world away from my own but the joyous sense of people living, breathing, thinking everywhere is stimulating, amusing and just so interesting. I read other people’s blogs and revel in the insight into their minds and experiences. I do love a good blog me. Possibly because I’m nosey. Possibly because I’m human.
I also think there’s a real joy in being a blogger. Actually, I know there is, both from personal experience and seeing the proliferation of the blogsphere. It’s ‘pocketsized writing’ where you can try out how words sound when they’re not just in your head. Trying to make a point or just share. I’ve never been convinced there’s a full novel in me (maybe a pamphlet, probably just a shopping list). There’s definitely lots of little blogs though. Blogging is incredibly liberating, ever-so-slightly self indulgent (even when in blogs like this I convince myself it’s ‘work’ and will help grow the business) and it’s just, well kind of fun.
The other beauty of the blog world is that it’s a great way to quote a different serious-boy author E M Forster ‘only connect’. For mums, this is incredibly important. As soon as you become a mother, and particularly I believe (but please rant at me if you don’t agree) as a working mother, there Is Not Enough Time. In the world. Ever. For you. For the washing. For trying to be a good mother. And particularly for connecting with others, with friends and fellow humans. Blogging works brilliantly for this.
We blog to know we’re not alone. It’s all about the connections. About the Twitter feedback and that sense that someone out there is interested in what you have to say.
It’s comforting. It’s interesting. It’s a solitary activity that’s very social.
So today I’m writing as a big thank you to Mumsnet. For connecting people through your site (and all KINDS of people). And for connecting Bloggers at the Brilliant #Blogfest 2012 which Isadora (who also blogs on pregnancy for this site) and I attended yesterday.
It was chock-full of a positive, supportive atmosphere & the speakers were…. oh lord, why can I not find a less hackneyed word than ‘inspiring’? Definitely need to find a better phrase. The speakers made me feel proud to be a bird and helped me fall in love with the power of words all over again.
Speakers included the truly, truly inspirational Miriam Gonzalez Durantes who talked about how bloody lucky we are (my paraphrasing of her articulate, beautifully presented speech) and how important it is for women to work together and join together to help each other. They also included the rather lovely (and brave) Girl with a 1 track mind and the supercool Zoe Williams, as well as frank and jawdropping thoughts from Liz Jones. Justine Roberts was charming, warm and intelligent & the keynote speaker was the Queen of Smart Saucy Brilliance Caitlin Moran who rocked the room with fast & funny fabulousness. God, she’s good.
If any bloggers there are half as witty and intelligent as these women then the world is in a good place. The Hand that Rocks the Cradle can rock the world… and it can write the world into a warmer and wittier place along the way. Isadora pointed out that she couldn’t remember the last time she was in a room with 200 women; having spent my previous existence in very male dominated companies it was an interesting and welcome change. It was All Good. A top banana of a day.
Am I alone in thinking that?
Sophie was at Mumsnet Blogfest 2012. Book tickets for 2013 here. She’ll see you there.