My Writing Journey

A Blog Over Troubled Water

my chicken story

It’s funny how writing can heal. How it can comfort.

When I was walking my dog yesterday I was thinking about this blog. It is such a simple thing. A place to record my thoughts, the seasons, my chicken stories, recipes, books I’ve read. A journal, but online. Opening my heart to people I’ve never met, yet understand me. Jotting words down. Sentences and paragraphs. Trying to make sense of the world.

The lyrics to Bridge Over Troubled Water appeared in my mind.

When life becomes a bit disordered, through both good news and bad, when I throw myself enthusiastically into new projects, only to crash some time later as the adrenalin, inevitably, stops pumping. It is this blog I turn to.

Blogs have lost their appeal over the years. I started my original one some ten years ago. It was a place to chat to other writers; we’d visit each other’s blogs to see how their writing had gone that day. Then facebook came along and we moved there. Then twitter, and we moved there.

The only thing is, businesses followed. People put links on (including myself). Chatting became less. Those water cooler moments where we talk through our abysmal word counts or stressing because we’re at that ‘everything is rubbish’ point don’t really exist anymore. We use twitter as a place to get our news, as a way to read essays or articles of people we follow.

And that’s fine. Only there isn’t an alternative for those water cooler chats. For unpicking our thoughts.

Yet my blog is still here for me. It hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s a place where I can immerse myself in words, where I can experiment with descriptions, get lost with recording my experiences of nature. Where I read through what I’ve just written and see a rhythm of sorts. A rhythm that needs a bit of tinkering so I play around and add, take away. Test and taste.

To anyone out there who aspires to be a writer, an author, I cannot recommend starting a blog enough.It is where you can experiment. Get better. Hone your craft.

A place to turn to when you’re weary, feeling small.

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19 Comments

  • Reply CJ

    A lovely post. I often ask myself exactly why I blog, and I think you have put part of it into words. That, and it’s a record of my little life, something that maybe my children will look back at one day, like a photo album. I know I would love to have read blogs written by my ancestors, it would be fascinating.

    5th October 2016 at 9:22 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thanks CJ.

      5th October 2016 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Anny

    I couldn’t agree more, but not just aspiring writers – having done a similar thing of drifting to Twitter and Instagram, I still find as a slow artist that my blog is where I chew the cud, mentally juggling thoughts, reactions, ideas. It’s no work of literature or indeed a sketchbook, but it’s definitely a welcome outlet.

    5th October 2016 at 11:16 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      I like the expression ‘chew the cud’! Sums it up quite nicely.

      5th October 2016 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply Emma Cooper

    As a long term blogger, I feel exactly the same way. The blogging world has changed, and I miss the ‘water cooler’ chats as much as you do, but my blog still exists and I still love blogging. It’s an important part of my life :) We need to make an effort to bring back the community spirit, I think.

    5th October 2016 at 11:51 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Yep, that’s it, Emma. The community part is missing. The social part of media has disappeared.

      5th October 2016 at 1:44 pm
  • Reply Smidge

    I kind of feel like blogs are slow living compared to fast social media. An hour spent on my blog is 100% more fulfilling than a tiny amount on a tweet. That time spent is relaxing, not stressful, for me, at all.

    5th October 2016 at 1:34 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Yes, exactly this, Smidge!

      5th October 2016 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply Rachael

    That’s exactly why I’m intending to get back to blogging whilst I’m on a social media break. My poor neglected blog was always an escape for me, and taking photos (for me, not for Instagram) was an escape and a lovely part of my day. It was how I watched the seasons pass and documented life, and somewhere along the way it became a place where I popped up to say “hello, I’ve got a new book out” and I miss it. It’s no coincidence that I’ve found myself turning back to the blogs I started reading first ten years or so ago… I think we’ve come full circle.

    5th October 2016 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Elaine tobin

    Lovely post,I neglected my blog and Instagram for ages but am back nurturing it now. Writing your thoughts and feelings down and even sharing things you find are a huge stress reliever and blogging can feel like a big hug at times.

    5th October 2016 at 9:11 pm
  • Reply Hannah

    I love writing……but never think I have anything interesting to say!! Love reading other people’s blogs…..everyone has something different to say and it’s such an amazing thing to do, to share your lives with complete strangers, strangers who actually become friends and support you even though you may never meet them!! I’m coming up to a year on IG and I love the community and the links it has given me!! Thank you Helen for doing what you do….don’t stop!! X

    6th October 2016 at 7:48 am
  • Reply Rachael Wilson

    As always uplifting and hits just the right note any tips on where to look to learn about writing a blog ?
    Have a lovely day , Rachael x

    6th October 2016 at 11:10 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Rachael, I’ll write a post for you! What are your questions? x

      6th October 2016 at 5:23 pm
  • Reply Torrie

    I couldn’t agree more! I actually really started my blog first and just started writing a book last year. Because of my blog, I feel like I discovered my writing voice, whereas before, I thought everything had to sound like poetry in order to be any good, and any short stories I wrote came off as just pretentious or forced. Long live blogging, no matter what anyone else says about it!

    9th October 2016 at 5:13 am
  • Reply Amelia May

    I really loved reading this. It moved me. Xx

    Keep Calm and start writing –
    http://www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk

    13th October 2016 at 10:54 pm
  • Reply Penny

    I am not a writer, and have only been blogging for (almost) 3 years. Ever since I started blogging, I have read that blogging is finished. I have little knowledge of what blogging was like prior to 2014, as I only read one blog (Jane Brocket’s wonderful ‘Yarnstorm’), before starting my own, but like you, I love spending time there, and though I sometimes struggle to write posts, from an inspiration point of view, I greatly enjoy having a record of mine, and my family’s life, which I would not otherwise have had x

    19th October 2016 at 11:00 am
  • Reply Lauren

    I’ve started a blog 3x but have never continued. I’m at a point where I really think it would benefit me for the creative void I’m trying to fill. As a place to write solely for me.
    Do you have book recommendations for writers? Such as helping with creativity and ‘quality literature’
    Thanks

    6th November 2016 at 1:37 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Hi Lauren. I think I must have started five or six blogs over the last ten years. They all fell by the wayside as I didn’t think they were my true voice. This one is the first one I feel represents me. I write about what I want to write about. Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert? It’s all about finding creativity and what is stopping you. I also find her podcasts really good. Also, Jen Carrington helped me enormously. Her podcasts are great. Good luck.

      7th November 2016 at 8:16 am
      • Reply Lauren

        Thank you:) and Big Magic is on my to read list!

        8th November 2016 at 3:39 am

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