I was tagged for this by that lovable rogue, Archie, and as ever, had to think about it for a day or two as at first my mind was full of wonder that anyone would not want to blog. Still, here goes:
1. I started blogging just to see if I could do it. Academic writing is such a particular discipline that you can’t really relate it to ordinary writing (and certainly not writing for entertainment), and I wanted to know whether or not I had it in me to cross the divide. I wanted so badly to be a fiction writer when I was younger but I gave it up because intellectual writing seemed to suit me so much better. The blog was – is still – a tentative step towards middle ground.
2. I have a head full of bits and pieces of wonderful novels and fascinating ideas and I wanted a storehouse for them. Somewhere I could lay them out and have a look at them, and share them with others. I missed my discussions with students and the excitement that comes with thinking through the joys and sorrows of the human condition and making something aesthetic and intellectually satisfying out of them. That’s worked out better here than I could ever have hoped.
3. The feedback you leave is immensely important to me. I love other blogger’s comments and what I write is only half-finished until you have all come and had your say. I can’t get over the quality of the comments people leave – every one has something witty or warm or insightful or intriguing in it. It’s thanks to you that this site has become more than one woman’s private obsession with modern literature, has become in fact a twenty-first century literary salon where everyone is welcomed and valued.
4. I had no idea when I first began this that I would make so many good friends. It’s certainly become one of the reasons now that I blog; I’d miss you all too much if I stopped. It’s amazing how close you can feel to people you’ve only met in virtual reality, but then when I stop and think about it, I often feel more like me here than in any earthly domain, so perhaps it’s not so unreasonable after all.
5. I love the whole sense of community that unites the book bloggers (and the bloggers who also write about books). I find it really soothing to do my little rounds of blogging friends and finding out what everyone’s reading, doing and thinking. I’m completely reliant on the blogosphere now for book reviews and the discovery of new authors, and I love it when someone else’s post sparks off an idea for one of mine. And I do have a soft spot for the tagging and the memes.