One month old today. This calls for a little celebration, or at least reflection. Do I like my little blog? Yes, yes I do. Here’s why. It’s a little virtual house, all of my own. I can paint it whatever colour I like, and no one leaves dishes in the sink. It’s fun to note down my daily observations, and to have an outlet for things I’m thinking about. And it’s been so wonderful discovering other blogs out there – I think I’m making new friends.
I started the blog to help stay in touch with family and friends, and to help me keep track of myself. I thought it might make living in two different places a little easier. I’m still in the early stages of this experiment, but I think it does. As well as keeping track of my own life, it opens up a whole new world. The life of a phd student can be a bit isolated sometimes, especially as I’m spending half my life away from Leeds, and the blog-world offers a counter to this.
I was talking to my brother yesterday about the whole anonymity issue. He said he wouldn’t feel comfortable exposing himself in this way. The funny thing is, before I started the blog, I felt a bit the same. I’m naturally a private person. Any fears evaporated as soon as I started. You only post what you want to post, after all. My brother raised the possibility of things coming back to haunt me, and what potential employers might think, but I don’t think I need to be ashamed of liking cats and trees and paragliding holidays. Or even of having the odd self-doubt. It might be interesting to record the highs and lows of my PhD here – it’s so easy to forget the journey once you have the sparkling finished product.
The other thing is whether keeping a blog has actually changed the way I live. And it has, a bit. When I first started, I noticed that even as I experienced things I would be composing sentences in my head, working out how best to describe them. As I’ve always been interested in writing, this wasn’t really a new thing, but it was strange to have it back with so much force. It’s toned down a bit now, which is probably a good thing. But I guess what a blog encourages most of all is a tendency to see your own life as a narrative. We do this anyway, but a blog is one way of expressing it. Three cheers for you, little blog, and best wishes for a long and happy life.