Friday, July 4, 2014

Time to get back on the blog


I think I fell off my blog. I think I started slipping off sometime last year  and while I continued for a while out of some sense of duty, this year the words whittled away and then eventually just dried up completely. The reason for my lack of words is complicated, boring and probably better left unsaid. Sometimes there are just not the words to be found.  Sometimes finding the colour and magic in the everyday no longer becomes an everyday reality. Sometimes the great unsaid becomes too great and there is nothing left to be said at all.

Around the same time that I fell off this blog I noticed many other blogs  appeared to be drifting away. Sadly, while the big commercial blogs endure, many of my favourite  bloggers (real people who love to create/craft/renovate/op shop/share the joy of their families) have been blogging much less or not at all.

I suspect many of them have defected to Instagram. I avoided Instagram for as long as it took me to realise that if I wanted to find out what was happening on West End Cottage's renovation I needed to get myself over there (totally understandable Caroline, given that your primary job is raising those four gorgeous boys not providing reno updates for me). Having dabbled there for a few months (partly due to a dodgy internet connection at home) I have come to the conclusion that Instagram unsettles me on several levels and I really need to start blogging again.

I wondered if anyone else had felt like this about Instagram so I want to share what I have noticed.
Firstly, with horror and surprise I have roughly the same number of followers after four months on Instagram as took me almost four years blogging. Despite that, I only feel like I have genuinely connected to a handful of new people. (Many of the followers are old bloggy buddies and it is so nice to find you all again). I am spending bigger chunks of my precious time looking at pretty pictures from people I do not know and will never really know because there are not enough words, there is no story and heck that picture of a cat/rabbit/vase of peonies/gorgeous vintage fabric- who did that belong to again? Because I have just seen 357 like that today and I can't keep track of who is who because there are not enough words, no story and no layers.

I love knowing that Zara has chickens, sews her own vintage fabric frocks  (and is possibly the only person with more milk glass than me),  and Kylie has a finished laundry renovation and Brismod has moved into the Midcentury house of her dreams and Elaina is teaching herself to sew and Christina knits her own socks and  Gillian is now posh cause her house is in a magazine ( and I like knew her, before she was all famous) and Ada has just painted her lounge room the most glorious shade of blue and Mel is having tea with the 94 year old lady who used to own her house and Deb (who I have never met) just knitted my daughter the most beautiful rainbow beanie because she knows she would love it.
I also feel that Instagram has a more addictive quality, there are simply so many images to keep up with, it is easy to just pop on there ALL THE TIME.
Lastly, I have noticed that since joining Instagram I am simply wanting more stuff. Having never been an internet shopper this is noticeable as I have made several purchases and am coveting more clothes/shoes/bags/vintage goodies/pet rabbits* than I ever did while blogging. The proportion of stores and stylists and people just flogging their stuff on Instagram is massive and to me feels oppressive. Maybe I just haven't stumbled onto enough creative Instagrammers but instead of feeling inspired I feel wanting and I don't remember feeling like this blogging.

So, if anyone still actually reads blogs, I would love to know if anyone else wants a bloggy revival? Anyone else not feeling the Instagram love? And if no one is reading, woohoo, I'll just get back to writing like no one is reading and keepsake all these precious memories for my kids.

Before I forget, if my bloggy mojo can be successfully resuscitated, there are significant reno updates to be shared. I should add I'm not totally jumping ship off Instagram, but plan to be on there a lot less and on here a lot more. Lastly, I credit the existence of this post  to Mel from Coal Valley View  as she is simply the best writer out here in blog world. Rant over.

*actually this is not quite true as I just remembered coveting pet rabbits while blogging but they were much less covetable than the current rabbits (rabbits are illegal as pets where I live unless you are a magician- tis a cruel world).

53 comments:

  1. I'm glad you've wrote this.....exactly how I've been feeling too much IG not enough Blogland! Don't get me wrong, I'm loving IG....there's some amazing images being shared, it's a quick fix for sure. On your blog you can tell the story, there's an intimacy that I've not really found on IG. Things are settling down at home now, much less hectic, paintbrushes have been packed away and I can see a time where I can start to create more, blog more, share more. IG is great when times limited...or maybe times limited because of IG! I for one would love to see more posts popping up from this corner of the globe, that's for sure! :) x

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    1. There are definitely some positives with Instagram, the fast instantness being one of them, and all that vintage fabric, yum BUT it is time snatching and like you I would rather being doing than gramming. mel x

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  2. I am not an instagrammer, or any other social media, other than my blog and occasionally a little pinterest - although not for ages on that! It is always lovely to read what you are up to, and I hope that you will be able to find the opportunity from time to time to do a little blogging! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy! I was not on any other social media either and was deliberately avoiding Instagram for ages but I was missing all my old bloggy buddies who seemed to have stopped blogging but were over on Instagram. Now I know what I always thought, Blogs rule! mel x

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  3. I have never used Instagram. The idea of it unsettles me. I love to read stories, I love to know who is behind the stories and I love to be inspired by yours and other bloggers lives. I also take comfort in the fact that it is not just my own life that is sometimes far from glossy perfect, and that there is always someone who has a kind word of encouragement when I am not at my best. I love it when my readers feel inspired to knit my socks, or pick up a book that I liked. I don't think Instagram can give me the same satisfaction. I am looking forward to reading more posts in this beautiful corner of the internet that is yours. Cx
    P.S. Thank you for mentioning me in your post, you are very kind.

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    1. I love the way you write Christina and have been reading all your posts for months but not commenting as doing so on my phone sucks unbelievably. Now that my internet access is sorted and I am in rehab from Instagram I hope to be back in this space. mel x

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  4. Yay - missed you. I stick a lot of stuff on twitter but that's partly a work thing. I'm having trouble blogging at the moment because most of the stuff going on at the mo is unbloggable. Bernice x

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    1. Thanks Bernice, I am a little ( pleasantly) surprised to see that anyone had actually been missing my posts. I do hear you about the unbloggable, things have been very challenging with my son for the last six months, hopefully we are turning the corner. mel x

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  5. I missed you....my eldest daughter has lived in Sydney for the last 20 months and my heart aches with how much i miss her. Your blog of everyday life kind of makes her seem closer ! I live in Norfolk England. so glad you are back

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    1. Oh Geraldine, you poor thing being so far from your daughter and having to make do with my blog! I promise that by your winter there will be buckets of sunshine to cheer you up. mel x

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  6. Welcome back! I enjoy reading about your adventures and Reno updates. Your house looks absolutely amazing. You must be very proud. Words will come when they need to come. Be gentle on yourself x

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    1. Thankyou for your kind words. My house currently looks like a brothel (school holidays and all) and so far from amazing it is not funny but I actually now have the energy to contemplate tidying it and snapping some photos. mel x

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  7. I like words and stories. I like knowing that the finished product came about through trial and error and mishaps along the way. I'm very pleased to read you again.

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    1. Thanks Carmel, we certainly specialise in mishaps and errors! But we are more than happy to share them so other people can have a good laugh! mel x

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  8. I would love a blog revival. I was wondering what had happened to your regular posts, and I too have noticed how many blogs have dropped off in frequency. I can vouch for our own infrequency, completely unavoidable given we were selling one house while renovating the bathroom at the same time in the new house, AND moving furniture one box trailer at a time for weeks due to staging the previous house. Anyway, the house is sold and we are in the new house now, and we are going to be more frequent bloggers too. Look forward to hearing your updates and hoping that Caroline from West End Cottage gets back on the blogging band wagon soon too !

    Cheers, Col
    (Sunshine & Paint Pots)

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    1. Goodness, have you moved house?!? I need to pop over and have a visit, good to hear you will be resuming regular blogging soon too. Our house is far from finished but there is much to share. mel x

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  9. Oh my goodness, I think the internets ate my comment! First, rabbits are really horrible pets actually. Second, I will do facebook and pinterest but no instagram. No thanks. Third, as the blogging world started to change I had to decide many moons ago that I would blog for *me* and not some magical audience and that even if no one visited or commented, I would keep on blogging. And that I do! Happy to see you back.

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  10. I have never used Intagram, or Twitter, and only opened a Facebook account because I was advised some people like to get blog updates via FB. I stopped looking at Pinterest because a) it was really addictive and time consuming b) most of the images made me feel inadequate because they are so perfect, so rather than being inspired, I felt intimidated. I love reading blogs, esp well written ones. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but usually I'd prefer to read the thousand words.

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  11. HI there! Welcome back! I'm a regular reader and have been missing your posts. I've only just recently started in Instagram (@stonefruitseason) and I love the instant visuals, but there's nothing that can replace blogging for me. I guess I love the entire social media suite as I see different people doing things on each and enjoy that connection e.g. family members who are on Facebook or Instagram but may not blog or be on Twitter, then I have my sister in NZ blogging too and I enjoy that my blog speaks to hers, if you know what I mean. Also, now that I'm writing more, I'm finding opportunities through Twitter I wouldn't have found as quickly through other means. Again, I still come back to blogs as I love hearing other people's voices and reading about their lives. I hope you keep up with this space and will be here waiting if you do!

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  12. I was thinking of you yesterday after I saw Tania from Ivy Nest's post. She is another favourite who I wished blogged more often. I love visiting here, but if you aren't into it, no use in forcing it. I love the sound of a blog revival. This year for me has been my favourite blogging time. I have only done 1 giveaway, which was for a friend. I got caught up in statistics when I first started, but that is so far from my mind now. I'm blogging about my favourite things, I enjoy sharing my life happenings, and would continue to do so if no one was reading as it has been the best way of keeping a record of our family life and encourages me to take photos which is something hardly ever used to do. I don't know much about instagram..........I don't even use a mobile. I haven't even ventured onto pinterest. Welcome back lovely lady, you have been missed! Elaina xoxo

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  15. Hi Mel,
    I feel the same way.
    I started an instagram account(???) because it was a way to stay in touch with my favourite bloggers who had (or very nearly) ditched their blogs. Initially I liked it, but lately the love has gone and I'm posting pics - and looking at other peoples, less and less...
    I am going to try to get back here to write a proper comment soon (school hols start today so no work for two weeks! Yay!), but again I agree with everything you say xxx

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  16. I have loved following your op shopping and renovation journey, and have missed your posts. I think it is true though that you should only do this if it makes you happy. That being said, I have to ask one thing... It's been like reading a novel only to find the last page missing... What was the special curved wall in the kitchen for? I won't say that I have been missing sleep over the question or anything, but your posts had built it up so beautifully :)
    I also love Coal Valley View, it inspires me to travel to Tassie or even move there, Mel writes and photographs it all so beautifully. Your trip to Victoria was lovely too. The photos of the countryside and the lovely gardens were so enticing. I'm not in a place to travel at the moment with kids doing senior high school exams etc, but I have written a travel wish list based on the lovely pictures and words from blogs like yours. A blogging revival would be lovely. Thanks, Ange

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  18. Hi Mel - I wholeheartedly agree with you. IG was a quick and easy way of doing regular reno updates, but I am definitely starting to feel a little information overload at the moment. My reasons for 'falling off the blog' were mostly due to no internet access for some time, however moving house and just generally being extremely time poor has also contributed to it. I also felt that I needed to spend more time with the boys (allocating equal and quality time between four individuals is hard work). Look forward to seeing your house progress and those CWS's! I have finally found that box of books that I was meaning to drop over to you before XMAS - are you around during the school holidays? xx

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  19. Glad to see you back. Just blog as and when you want to, that's what I do. I read your words and I'm sure lots of other people do to. I miss the pics of your milk glass, and your vintage sheet finds (I'm also jealous of your collection). Hope the 'better left unsaid' things are settling down for you.

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  20. I have missed your posts and was really pleased to see you on instagram so I could stay in touch. You bring so much warmth and colour in your posts and I enjoy the stories you share. I too prefer the details and depth of blog posts opposed to images on instagram. But I am guilty of drifting away from my blog. Returning to work coincided with our move back into the house and I have struggled to keep up with the essentials of every day life. My family and my work have had to take priority over creating blog posts. Besides, I'm sure no one really wants to read about the piece of fabric that has draped over the top of the piano since January waiting for me to sew a blind, or my empty garden beds waiting on plants! ;-) I'm really hoping to find my groove with balancing work and family life so that I can proceed with house projects and share some more posts on the blog. I do miss the lovely community. Maybe I should take advantage of the school holidays and at least update the blog with one post. It could be about all of the things we haven't done since moving in last November! Gotta love keeping it real!

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  21. Hi Mel, I know exactly how you feel, my reno was slowing down and I got a full time job so blogging has taken a real back seat in my life. Luckily I'm on summer hol now and I am feeling the blog pull me back, this is the first time I've logged in since April and I was chuffed to read your piece today. I like Instagram a lot - thanks for following me. For ages I was just on for my sister and one friend! I have not decided if I need to see what everyone else is up to or not - you can spend so much time seeing how others spend their life and not living yours. (might use that line on my blog if that's ok!).
    I would love to see your reno shots, I intend to keep on doing what I was doing though less frequently now, and be true to my first plan, to blog about my house and those of us in it.

    Let's keep in touch once in a while, Katie

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  23. grr blogger keeps stealing my comments these days.
    Thanks for this post, I'm a long time blog reader but not a blogger myself. I'm missing lots of my favourite blogs that seem to be disappearing. I am on instagram and lately I've been feeling very dissatisified and unhappy with my life, reading your words now made me realise that it's because I'm the ordinary bits of my life and myself with the best bits of all the instagrammers I follow and I'm missing that feeling of connection and 'knowing' someone. I'm going to rethink how I use social media, so thank you for helping me to see this and to your commenters too for their words and thoughts.
    cheers Kate

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  24. Welcome back! So nice to click over to this space!
    I like Instagram and blogging but for different reasons.
    I do appreciate Instagram for the escapism…after an exhausting day with C I like sitting in silence and flicking through photos…I suppose I treat it more like a magazine than a way of connecting. And I think I have avoided the commercialism because I have vowed not to buy anything new this year!
    I love blogging because of the community. And I love recording my thoughts…and then going back in time and seeing what was important to me. I hope one day that C will love reading the blog too!
    Anyway, I am glad that you are back! I always enjoy popping over here and seeing a new post!

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  25. Glad you're back. I'm all for a blog revival. I kinda feel lonely and I'm only blogging sporadically...the move and the new renos don't seem so interesting to write about...I don't know if people are still interested. Instagram is very immediate and takes away from more detailed blog posts I find. Sometime I feel like I'm repeating myself. Anyway, would love to read you reno updates and see what you guys have been up to on Betsy. Xx

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  26. Ah, this made me smile! I do use IG a lot as it's quick and easy; these are not necessarily virtues, obviously, but when you're feeling a bit lazy it's a way of staying up to date. IG tends to be about people I personally know, including family and friends overseas, so I use it for that. I've only been blogging less than 2 years so I'm not familiar with a lot of the blogs you love that have been disappearing...I love blogs for their quality of writing, the different literary styles and the little personal glimpses into people's lives.. I have deliberately not put my blog out there to random acquaintances so most people I follow and who follow me are previously unknown to me. I actually really like that; my blogging tribe feels like it's been brought together by shared passions and not just by chance/proximity. I'm so glad your daughter liked her beanie, by the way!! I did offer to make your son one on IG too...! Just email me with his favourite colours if you like xxx

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  27. Hi Mel, There must be something in the Air, Blogosphere ... I have missed Blogging so much and have just made a return myself. Not due to IG though, you know my story! There you go, that's what we LOVE about blogging! I'm so looking forward to catching up with everyone and have been surprised in the last few days that a few others have also found there rhythm again. Glad your sticking around, Look forward to reacquainting. x

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  28. I've just popped over for the first time from Kylie's blog. Love your blog. Words are good aren't they. Pictures are nice, but words just make it all that much clearer.
    I'll be back :)

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  29. This is a very interesting post Mel. Lots of food for thought. My instagram isn't linked to my blog and I initially set it up to check in with friends and family-I am not a lover of facebook and the photo element of insta was also a big appeal to me. I did seek out some favourite bloggers that I missed as well-you. The big draw to IG tho is that it is quick and easy. But yes, quick and easy doesn't always mean better. Many of the blogs I used to read have dropped off and I haven't really replaced them because tbh with three busy kids, work, family life there just are not enough hours in the day. I LOVE blogs-especially yours but I try to mindful of the time that blogs can suck as well. When I was a sahm, blogging and blog reading was my down time while my kiddos slept-my house was a mess! I do love however reading back over my family posts and I am always glad I have recorded the joy and so maybe.. I should invest more time in recording it be that via blog or some other means. I find when things are tough on the homefront that I don't have the words for blogging either..does that make me a less authentic blogger or is it just keeping some things close to heart? I don't know. I hope things have settled for you Mel. You seem like such an awesome mum and I admire you for making the decision to change class. Something I deeply regret not doing at one time. We have to be advocate for our kids and what they need. We have to be their voice. Something I have learnt through regret and experience. Have a happy week! Leax

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  30. Mel, I feel exactly the same. Instagram can be good in some ways but will never replace the feeling of connection I get from blogging. I started using IG again when others were leaving their blogs and it was nice to at least have some contact with them. However, along with the lovely peeps on IG there is also some very odd behaviour going on that has been causing a bit of angst. It's a bit cliquey and the commercial bombardment is extremely annoying. A few weeks ago I realised I had been following about 250 people who were not even following me back, including some favourite bloggers, and I made the decision to unfollow all of these people and it has made the world of difference. I now take an arms length approach to IG and sometimes take days or weeks away from it to recover from information overload, which is sad because I enjoy using it as an online visual diary of what's going on in our life when time is too short for blogging.

    I have missed your updates here (and had you in mind when I mentioned some of my favourite bloggers were blogging less and less) but I understand your reasons and life is extra busy sometimes - hello massive reno! Anyway, I hope you can find time to get back in your beautiful space here, it's always a total joy to see what you've been up to. And thanks for the lovely mention too :-)

    Mel xxx

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  31. Okay, I'm in. I stopped blogging because I really had nothing to blog about, and then our computer died ... but all the while I was composing blog posts. I wish I could find a good balance between work and kids to devote time to a decent blog post. Though, let's bring back the blog!

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  32. You and Mel have given me some motivation to get back to it. I'm with Carmel though- no time, no computer when there is time and work + kids. Poor old blogging got a bit waylaid but I'm back in the saddle again too. Thanks for the pep talk ladies!

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  33. I LOVED this post! Blogging is my first love, Instagram is my bit on the side, if that makes sense. And you are spot on - the people (bar a few) that I've connected with on Instagram were already blogging friends. I enjoy IG but agree it's seductive and materialistic and sometimes pretentious in a way that blogging isn't. It's to be treated carefully, I think. I also think it's main appeal is that it's quick, when no-one has time these days. You have to make time to blog. There have been a few times in the last six months when I've nearly stopped blogging but I'm so, SO glad I stuck with it. There are true friendships to be made in blogland, and nice people to meet, like you Mel.

    Gillian xx

    And I'm not posh!!

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  34. Well it's just blogging for me, no instagram, no facebook, no twitter, no pinterest, or whatever else might be going. I spend too much time on the internet as it is without more distractions!

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  35. A big yes please for bringing back the Blog from me here in the UK :)

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  36. I started a blog in 2013 (i think) and have for various reasons been very sporadic. However I love to blog and document our lives. I am fairly sure Instagram wouldnt do it for me because I am too nosey- I want to know whats behind the flowers and the paint, how did they smell..feel..how did they make you feel?
    I'd love to read more from you x

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  37. So glad you are back. I, too, have been away from my blog because of a family death (my Mom) but I am eager to get back. I don't instagram or pinterest or any of that other stuff. I do Facebook but more for the games than anything. I have loved your renovation posts and hope you continue. Take your time and ease back into it.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  38. Hello! YES PLEASE COME BACK! And tell me where all the renovation blogs are. Cos I'm renovating and I need to read other people going through the same thing...but everyone's finished!! And cos I'm just starting a reno blog no one is answering my questions...so I need to find other reno blogs and ask questions on their posts if only I could find them :)

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  39. Hi Mel, just wondering if everything's ok in your neck of the woods? Its been an age since this post and I'm missing you x

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    1. Oh Kylie, you are a gem! I am desperately trying to complete a post so I can get back into the swing of things but keep falling asleep. We have recently gone gluten free for my boyo and we are already dairy free and failsafe so i am spending a lot of time cooking and driving around for ingredients! The house is being painted externally right now though so I have to hurry up and share some pics. Thanks for worrying about me. mel x

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  40. I missed you and your blog too, glad to see that you are back:)

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  41. I am a very late to this post commenter. I am not on IG, so when people stop blogging to go on IG, I lose my favourite blogs. I love reading blogs, I like the honest writing, yes I do like how we all try to post pretty pictures and I like being able to sit with a cuppa and browse my favourites. I do hope you stay.

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  42. Hey hey Mel, sorry for the late comment, but I need to say that I agree with you, to a point. I also believe that Instagram has killed blogging - I also haven't blogged since I got on instagram. Part of the reason is that Insta is quicker - more immediate - and for keeping in touch with family and friends in other parts of the world, it seems to work better. There may not be as many words, but what was that they say about pictures being worth...? I have many friends who take pics, but who have never blogged. As for commercialization and wanting more stuff - I try to be selective about who I follow - people I know, who post real pics of real people and situations, rather than those who post pics of purchases or covetable "stuff" :) What annoys me most about taking a blogging break, though, is that because of my own guilt about not blogging (guilt? ridiculous, I know!), I avoid logging on and looking at other blogs I follow, because it makes me anxious. Totally crazy. Thus this late post - I am so slack I haven't even read your posts lately. Now THAT makes me sad. Love, M xxx

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  43. You go girl! Reckon quite a lot of us have slipped off the blogging wagon. Blogging is nothing like Instagram. Blogging is writing and depth and craft in putting the post together. The nice thing is you can pick it up and put it down as you see fit, no one is going to tell you off or be upset. Do what you can when you want, it's all about you!

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