Monday, 22 June 2015

The Nessville Saga So Far

Welcome to another marvellous Monday. The only day of the week when  you feel like a scotch before 9AM. Or is that just me?

Raychael over the Mystery Case  blog has started a Blog Exchange
 group. I thought this sounded like a great idea to help me out of my blogging rut. We are supposed to 'blog like no one is reading', which is quite apt in my case. No one is. Sigh. Or hardly anyone, really. She suggested writing about our blogging thoughts and experiences so far. 

So here goes:

I started blogging in March of 2012. It was an idea I'd toyed with off and on since I had started writing those God awful 'Christmas Letter Updates' to send out to friends and family. These are a chance to regale every one with all the wondrous achievements and awe-inspiring adventures you've been up to through the year. 

The only problem was, there was nothing particularly awe-inspiring or wondrous about my mediocre little life. So I did the only sensible thing and wrote them 'tongue-in-cheek' and definitely 'taking the piss'. They were a hit among my very polite friends. I considered starting a blog but dismissed it thinking I wouldn't have much to say and I certainly didn't want to bore any one. 


Then one day when I was in a completely weird, disjointed mood I decided I was over-thinking things and just did it. It seemed like it might be a fun hobby. Also, as a child and teenager I had been praised by teachers for my writing ability but I never really believed this or took it seriously. I figured having a blog was at least a way of attempting to get into a habit of doing some sort of regular writing. 

Of course I was absolutely clueless about the 'blogosphere'and had no idea that so-called 'Mummy blogs' were even a thing. Furthermore, that they are universally sneered at and considered to be the biggest pile of steaming excrement gracing the internet. So that was certainly handy to discover. 

Additionally, I had the thoroughly genius delusion that I was writing some sort of satirical parody of our life as 'bogans'. Yep, I was the classy bogan blogger. I began this space with the elegant title: Ness Of Boganville.

I figured this was a witty pun of the classic novel Tess Of The D'Urbervilles. Who wouldn't make the connection between bogans and classic literature? Makes perfect sense, right? Plus, while we're not exactly living in Struggle Street, I did grow up there and haven't ventured very far away as an adult. I like to stay classy.

Weirdly enough, it seemed that there were some folk (albeit only a minuscule amount) who found my bogan ramblings entertaining and amusing. Unfortunately, this didn't extend to Mickey Blue Eyes. For some reason he objects to being portrayed as a bogan. I can't imagine why. 

I attempted to explain to him that while many people only show the highlight reels of their (seemingly) bright, shiny, happy lives on social media, I wanted to show that my life isn't always perfect but at the same time I haven't lost my sense of humour about it. 


I plodded on with my musings. I discovered other blogs and link-ups and tentatively began participating in them. Notably, I Must Confess, which is hosted by Kirsty at My Home Truths
 every Monday. I've avoided some of the other link-ups such as I Blog On Tuesdays purely because it's all so time consuming. I could feel myself being sucked into a vortex of blog reading and commenting. I love it, but meanwhile the whole house could cave in around me and I wouldn't notice. Plus, I'm rather ad-hoc and erratic with it all these days. 

If you're just blogging as a hobby like I am, then you have to be rational and realistic about exactly how much time you want to spend on it. It's so much more time consuming than people realise, even as a hobby. So I couldn't even begin to imagine how much work, time and effort it would take to be a professional blogger. 

I really don't understand or know anything about that World. I've never attended a blogging conference and have no idea how to check my stats other than seeing the number of page views that blogger tells you when you log onto your dashboard. This is an abominably low and laughable number. It's my own fault, however. 


We do? *scratches head*


I don't blog often enough and I am absolutely abysmal at self-promotion. I have a Facebook page and I frequently forget about it. Oops.

There is a belief that blog content should be useful, so sometimes I feel like an eejit blathering on about nothing. But then I remind myself that there are a bajillion useful blogs out there and they all bore the bejesus out of me. There, I said it.

I've only ever spent about 20 minutes looking at The Organised Housewife blog (one of the most popular blogs in Oz) and I've never been so depressed in my life. If I'm surfing the web, it's because I'm procrastinating from doing the house work, not trying to find the most effective methods! But that's just me. Ahem.


It's just not my thing. Clearly I don't have a useful bone in my body and no amount of blog-reading (or writing) is going to change that. 

There is also a lot of talk about tribes and cliques within the blogging community. I think they do exist and it would be naive to think they don't. I tend to be the same as I am in person in the blogosphere. The quiet person in the corner. This is exactly the way I am in real life. So I guess I just fly under the radar for the most part.


Therefore I won't say anything pretentious like I've 'found my tribe'. What I will say is that I have found that the bloggers who've swung by here from time to time have been exceptionally kind and supportive and I'm grateful. I haven't experienced any nastiness or 'trolls'. It's easy to avoid them when you're under the radar and your main readers are your Mum and a handful of friends.

If there have been any people who were horrified with my word vomit at least they just clicked away without comment. I mean seriously, how hard is it?

Eventually I came to the conclusion that I am way too refined and dignified to be a bogan (shut up) and needed to lose the 'bogan' theme. I'm hopeless at coming up with titles. After agonising over this all-important issue, I decided to just quite literally take the bogan bit out of the title Ness Of Boganville and leave it as Nessville. Since I am always off in my own little World it seemed fitting. Plus, I can't help thinking that this form of title has worked out very well for two very prolific and high-profile bloggers Woogsworld and Edenland

OK, so Nessville hasn't exactly caught on in quite the same way, but, you know- details. 

I can't really figure myself out. I have this weird dichotomy where on the one hand I really do not desire to be famous, (not that there is even remotely a chance of this happening), but at the same time I guess you don't want to be completely ignored or you might as well take your writing completely offline and go scribble in a notebook. And I do that as well from time to time. 

I really am an incredibly shy, introverted and private person. It seems incongruous to share my life on a blog. There are certain things that are sacrosanct.  Things that I would never share, ever. I'm also finding that as my boys get older they have absolutely no desire to be featured in these annals. And I shall respect their wishes. Of course I'll mention them, but I will draw a line where I stop. I did not start this space to upset them or anyone in my family. It's all very well to have fun and be tongue-in-cheek but I have to be mindful of not taking it too far because they may not find it amusing the way I do. 

So that's me bumbling along in my own little World, unsure of where I fit into this thing called the 'blogosphere'. I have this space for a fun hobby, an outlet and a way of expressing myself. I express myself much better with writing than talking. In person I rarely talk. 

For some years I have managed to convince myself that I'm not really passionate about writing. Otherwise, I reasoned, I would make time for it. The theory is that we make time for the things we love. I often don't make time for it or prioritise it in my life. 

However, I read the book The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris and this changed my way of thinking. 

It's hard to sum up the book in a sentence but the basic nitty-gritty of it revolves around connecting to your true values. Towards the end of the book the author explains:

And if this goal really IS something you value, then you are faced with a choice: either act in accordance with what you value or let yourself be pushed around by your own thoughts. 
In particular, you need to watch out for this sneaky thought: 'If this were really so important to me, I'd be doing it already!' This thought is just another reason in disguise. The reasoning goes something like this: 'I haven't taken action up to now, which means it can't really be that important, which means it's not a true value of mine, which means there's no point in putting any effort into it.'
This reasoning is based on the false assumption that humans will NATURALLY act in line with their values. But if this were true, there would be no need for a book like this or a therapy such as ACT.  The fact is, many of us DON'T act on our values for long periods of time: months, years or even decades. But those values are always deep inside us, no matter how remote from them we are. A value is like your body: even if you've totally neglected it for years it's still there, it's still an essential part of your life, and it's never too late to connect with it. 

MIND. OFFICIALLY. BLOWN.  

I want to make writing a priority in my life. It may only be a hobby, but it has the same effect on me as exercise. I never wake up in the morning and have this burning and over-whelming desire to HAVE to do it. However, if I force myself to begin after a while I start to think 'This isn't so bad, I actually like this!' A while longer and I'm in a zone where I can forget the World. Suddenly I've gone from having to force myself to start to having to force myself to stop! And I feel better when I'm finished. 

Sometimes I'm embarrassed about sharing these posts. I know I'm not the most poetic, eloquent writer. My grammar is all over the place. But then I remind myself that considering who I am and my own experiences in life and my level of education, I'm not too bad. 

I mean, I failed high school English, have never been to University and have spent the last 14 years being a stay at home mother. Additionally, I have Aspergers (officially diagnosed) and ADD (self-diagnosed -but I believe, accurately so). 

I can't really compare myself to other bloggers who may be professional writers or come from a journalistic background. I'll just keep on with what I'm doing. I think of these posts as me writing a letter to friends. That's the only way I know how to write here at the moment. Hopefully I'll push myself out of my comfort zone somewhere along the way. 

Thanks for reading this rather long ramble. See you around the blogosphere!

Linking up for I Must Confess.

What are your thoughts about blogging?
Reactions:

25 comments:

  1. For me writing is therapy. At least on my personal blog. Sometimes I don't write for ages, but then when I do, I feel this huge sense of relief - like all this pent up tension in my head is gone. Writing for my business blog is another story. That feels like work and I feel that it needs to be just so. Helpful, Useful. High value.

    I think the usefulness of personal blogs is that it connects us. It connects us odds and sods, who can't find our place in the world and makes us feel less alone. That what I get out of them anyway. Those useful blogs? I don't read them.

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    1. That's a very good point about connecting and feeling less alone. I hadn't thought it of that way. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't read all the usefulness. Thanks for reading.

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  2. I'm the same about writing and I think many personal bloggers blog for similar reasons - it's about the writing and getting stuff out of their heads.

    I lost a long-term reader (and virtual friend) I'd made via my diet blog years ago as she basically said I should be providing more advice etc. I said I wasn't a professional and my blog was more about my point of view, and - despite having read each others' blogs for 2-3 years and feeling like blogging besties - she basically said.. "I'll come back when you share something useful!" I was devastated.

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    1. Wow that is harsh. I'd be devastated too. But if she's like that then she might be what I call a 'fair weather' friend. It's all good if they can something out of you but as soon as you're not useful any more, you're toast. I've known people like that. Maybe you're better off without her. I'm glad you didn't give up blogging or change what you did, anyway.

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  3. I worry & worry & worry about what I post & whether people are reading & what they think of me and whether I should have written what I just wrote....It's why Raychael's challenge was such a confronting one & such a good one. See...we're reading your writing!

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    1. Yes, it's a great challenge and will hopefully get me out of my comfort zone. Thanks for reading.

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  4. I have been following you back from when you were Ness Of Boganville, and I was the Hesitant Housewife ;) You could have stolen this post from inside my head! I am never useful, blog once in a blue moon, and just quietly find a lot of bloggers who blog about something/anything every day kind of boring. xx

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    1. You have? I've been a bit slack and haven't kept up following lots of blogs. So many blogs not enough time! So it's good that this group is connecting me with other bloggers again. Thank for stopping by.

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  5. I have loved reading your thoughts Ness. Thank you so much for hitting that publish button on this one. Russ Harris and The Happiness Trap has changed my life too. I love his books and practise and share his thoughts with many. I'm glad you keep on writing. :-)

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    1. Yes, it's a very thought provoking book, though some of his techniques take a lot of practice. Thank for the kind words.

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  6. You don't need to compare yourself to other bloggers - you've your own style, and with all these comments, you can see it works for us!! Head high, lady! Be proud of what you do and stop selling yourself short!

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    1. Thanks Lydia, I appreciate those words. xo

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  7. Hey Ness, I read YOUR blog regularly and love it, you're so real (and snarky) which makes a great combo. I just don't connect with blogs like Woogsworld or Edensland or The Organised Housewife so I don't read them - occasionally I pop in to see what all the fuss is about - but I am still scratching my head. Much prefer your little home on the web!

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    1. Nawww thank you Janet! I had no idea I was snarky. I feared I was sickeningly sweet with my 'I love Karen Carpenter and cakies' refrain. So that's refreshing to hear. LOL.

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  8. I love reading your rambling posts. There are nuggets of gold in each of them and it is truly like reading a letter from a friend. I'm honoured that you link up to I Must Confess when you can and I'm really excited for you that you want to make writing a priority in your life. I know if I go a few days without writing something I start going a little stir-crazy - well more crazier than usual!!!

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  9. Thanks Kirsty. I love the link-up and your particular brand of crazy! LOL.

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  10. I feel exactly the same as you about blogging Ness!!! Would like just one of my posts to go viral and have offers from travel companies all over the world begging me to review their tours but then that would be way too much pressure and I'm happy in my own little introverted bubble!! Haha

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    1. Oh I think that would be perfect for you! You could start a whole travel guide for introverts. There's a lot of us out there. Hope it happens for you. xo

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  11. I've always loved reading your posts Ness! You write so well and you are funny girl! I know you've read my post on the same topic so you know that I feel much the same about blogging and the blogging world. Not even my mum reads my blog! lol Maybe I should change my blogs name to Mingdom or something?!! I hope you keep on writing coz you sure are good at it! :-)

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    1. Bahahahaha!! Mingdom! Love it! I'll keep on writing. Hope you do, too. Thanks love. xo

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  12. Love love love this! You are a funny lady and this post was spot on. Lot's of pretentious people in the bloggers-sphere, I don't like tribes either and YES they do exist! I write a lot about fashion but also keeping it real kinds of posts because we all know what you see on the internet isn't always how it is! Hopefully people don't see me as just a fashion blogger. Once again, love this post x

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    1. Thanks mate. All the bloggers I've interacted with online so far have been anything but pretentious. I just find some of these expressions a bit wanky. Thanks for reading and the kind words! xo

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  13. That quote from The Happiness Trap has blown my mind again - did it the first time around too. Why are we always pushed around by our own thoughts???? I know my brain gets the better of me more times than it should but I guess it's time to fight back and live true to my values. Just need to work out what they are!

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