Why I Write

 

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A number of ‘Why I Write’ posts have been popping up recently and I’ve been pondering joining in for a while.

It was Sue’s open invitation on The Quince Tree that finally prompted some action. And having just clocked up two years of writing the time seems right.

 

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What am I working on? 

 

It started out as an idea for a book. ‘Professional couple pack in jobs, up sticks and move to the country to find a simpler life’. An overcrowded genre maybe, but one that we were living through for better or worse. I’d researched getting published and one of the most oft-occurring bits of advice was to establish a presence online, such as starting up a blog. Well, I had enough to talk about and for a little while at least I had the time.. in a flurry of dust and locked into that fateful embrace with a tree trunk Mike had just found the hard way to the bottom of the Precipitous Bank. A few cracked ribs later, most of the projects we had planned were on indefinite hold.

Little did I know the blog would take on a life of its own. As many readers will agree, blogging is intensely time consuming but rather addictive too.

The book may still happen. One day. If you’ve been following the word count at the bottom of this page you’ll know that it progresses it fits and starts and at the moment not even that. It’s gardening season and free time is spent outdoors. Perhaps come winter I’ll start it up again.

 

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How does my writing differ from others in my genre? 

 

I don’t think it does. There are many excellent blogs out there doing much the same as me.

Our work around the house and garden is often best expressed through photographs. And so, of course, is the occasional day out. But I try to balance picture heavy posts with some that have more of a story to tell.

In common with most people, my life has its ups and downs. It isn’t always as idyllic as it may perhaps appear. But I take the view that you may have your own crosses to bear and you don’t necessarily want to come here and read about mine. The things I choose to write about are the little things that make me laugh and I hope will give you a chuckle too, or at least send you away wearing a wry smile.

 

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Rudbeckia. There were flowers there yesterday..

So was the deer.

 

You have to laugh, or else you’d cry. And laughter contributes to longevity, or so they say.

 

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Why do I write what I do? 

 

I write because I enjoy it, I blog for the interaction and to be part of the community. Far more than I’d ever get from writing and publishing a book.

I love the comments that start a conversation and let me feel I am getting to know the person at the other end. Even if that person might live on the other side of the world. Blogging makes us realise just how small our planet is and yet still so diverse.

How cool is this, which happened a couple of days ago: Eleanor hits the publish button in St Helena, a tiny speck of rock in the middle of the Atlantic that can only be reached by a sea crossing of several days. Minutes later I can add a comment from a car bombing down the A30 somewhere near the middle of Bodmin Moor. It isn’t always so. Down here, superfast broadband would be any improvement over having time to make a coffee while waiting for the page to load. And mobile signal is patchy to say the least. It may be tortuous to use sometimes, but what technology has given us is wonderful indeed.

The blog statistics suggest that many more people read rusty duck than comment and that is great. But if you ever want to join in and are nervous about doing so, please don’t be. I really would love to ‘meet’ you too.

 

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How does my writing process work? 

 

Someone else said this, I believe it was Anne… what process?

It feels right to be aiming for a couple of posts a week. More than that and I’d be struggling for things to say, especially at this time of year. Continual garden weeding does not scintillating copy make. There are a couple of regular monthly memes that I contribute to but other than that there’s no real structure or anything faintly resembling a plan. I write when I have something I think is worth writing about.

What I’ll always try to do is sleep on a post. The middle of the night is the most creative time for me, when the mind is drifting in or out of sleep, not focused on anything specific but just free wheeling. In the morning I might add a new idea, or delete a phase or two that might have been confusing or gone over the top. Or maybe just consign the whole misadventure to the trash can and start all over again.

 

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If you have a blog, do you write for the same reasons or something else? Leave a link in the comments if you decide to do, or have already done, a similar post and I’ll add it in here.

 

 

2017-03-03T15:08:21+00:00 July 11th, 2014|Tags: |88 Comments

88 Comments

  1. Pauline July 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Like you Jessica, I write when I feel I have something to say. In the summer, gardening takes priority and sometimes I can’t manage two posts a week as they do take a lot of time, checking Latin names in particular!

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Your knowledge of the Latin names is always impressive Pauline. I started keeping all the labels in an envelope, but now they’re all over the place. If there were enough hours in the day I’d love to sort it all out.

  2. Sue July 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I did enjoy this post, thanks for joining in. I think blogging has much to recommend it over book writing and I am glad you are doing it. I’ll pop a link to this post in my post.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:01 am - Reply

      Thanks Sue. It’s a good idea to think about why you do something, once in a while.

  3. Gigibird July 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    I started writing my blog when we moved to a run down old bungalow in 2005 and wanted to keep some kind of record of the progress – as we live by the sea I used to walk our dog down there and take my camera.
    It was all very provincial and uneventful plus I am no wordsmith but I enjoyed writing about all the little things that happened in a day that made me happy but when my dear old dog, Harry died in 2011 so did my desire to write anything….however we now have a motley crew of chickens which cause a great deal of amusement, when I get a few decent photos of them doing something ( usually food related) I blog it.

    Writing regularly is a good disciple especially if you feel a book inside wanting to come out;-)

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Hi Gigibird, sometimes it’s the little things that people relate to the most. I’d love to have chickens, it’s just too risky round here with all the foxes. They would be a constant worry and that would take all the pleasure out of it for me.

  4. colleen July 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Great little post – and inspiring too. Thank you.

    It’s interesting that you have ideas at night – do you write them down then? I’ve always forgotten by morning! But then I have ideas all the time, and just don’t have the discipline to jot them down. Maybe I need to get a battery for that old dictaphone from more serious days…

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

      I have been known to get up in the middle of the night and jot down a paragraph or two, if it’s a real cracker of an idea. But I’ve always done that, even in my more serious days. I’m trying to move blogging on to a tablet and remember to keep it by the bed..

  5. Janet/Plantaliscious July 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Oh, that is interesting! I’m with you on the interaction bit, its my favourite part of blogging, though I would also find it impossible to stop completely. I so often find myself “writing” blog posts in my head but then not finding the time or energy to actually turn them in to posts other people can read.Addictive, time-consuming, thoroughly enjoyable, I’ve also found that writing a blog about my gardening has made me look at the garden and perhaps more importantly think about it, more and differently. I find that fascinating. As for the deer, what can I say? Venison pie, anybody?!

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Having a record of the garden, over two years now, has been incredibly useful. But so is participating in the memes, especially the End of Month view, because the garden has to be in a state worthy of being photographed, at least 12 times in a year! It’s made me think much harder about the development of it too, there are so many good ideas and real inspiration to be gleaned from seeing what others are doing.
      Bloody deer. They look at you all big eyed and innocent and then go and do a thing like that.

  6. VintageJane July 11, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    I guess I just love writing and like you I love the interaction that blogging brings. It has also become a bit of a diary for me.
    Reading other people’s blogs is just like reading my favourite magazine!

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

      I hadn’t really thought about the diary element until I’d been blogging for a year, and then realised I could go back and see what I’d been doing at the same time the year before. For the garden especially it’s been really interesting to see how things have moved on.

      • islandthreads July 14, 2014 at 10:19 am - Reply

        your reply Jessica made me smile 🙂 as blog = weblog = web log, which is I understand an abbreviation for ‘online diary’, when I started blogging they were know as diaries, I think your comment about needing an ‘online presence’ is possibly a reason they seldom seem to be referred to as diaries, now it all seems to be about pleasing your readers and getting a following, things they are a changing, Frances

        • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

          And not necessarily changing for the better Frances. I’ve discovered that actually the advice was wrong, a blog is the wrong place to establish an online presence because that’s not what it’s about. This is a place for connecting and establishing friendships with a few, not the many. There are better ways of mass marketing.

  7. You definitely write about things that make me chuckle! Like you I love the interaction and community that blogging brings not to mention the weird and wacky ideas that everyone has; it certainly makes life more interesting.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Your Christmas Tree cordial is up there with the best of them Anne x

  8. Vera July 11, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    I can echo all that you have said about writing, Jessica, in particular that I can’t write if words are not in my head, that to start a blog off late in the evening is fatal because I tend to want to carry on with it right into the early hours of the morning which is not a good thing if you are running a farm and have to get up early, that I never write miserable blogs full of woe and moan but try to stay upbeat, and that writing blogs has kept my writing wheels oiled, ready for the time when I get to start another book. Keep on going, Jessica, you post a lovely blog and you have a way with words which is quite charming.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Thanks Vera. Yes, early hours of the morning writing (and commenting) is a feature here too. For the sake of the black circles under my eyes I am trying to get out of the habit but it’s a difficult one to break.

  9. Marian July 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    What a great idea to stop and think about why and how everyone first started to blog. When I first started blogging the main reason was not some special event or anything, I just felt like sharing bits and pieces of my life and what kept me busy with the rest of the world and see whether I would get any reaction to that. But then right after I had started up a blog, think I had made two posts, something so terrible happened that affected our whole family, I just couldn’t keep blogging, and removed the whole thing from the internet. Family life needed too much attention and care then. Two years later though, during summer time, we didn’t go away on vacation, I felt the need of sharing what little things drew my attention and kept me busy and I also wanted to follow other blogs, leave comments and wondered if people would leave comments on my blog. Now it’s as you say, a lot of people you may never have seen, living on the other side of the world, aren’t strangers anymore. Through blogging somehow you get to know eachother which is so great. Even if I don’t have a blog that gets tons of comments, every comment I do get, makes me so very happy.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Your photography is fantastic Marian and your garden gives me great inspiration, to see what you can do with conditions similar to mine – shade and more than your fair share of rain!

  10. Eleanor from Stitches and Seeds July 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Always a pleasure to hear from you! Waving to the North from the South Atlantic xxx

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

      You too! Happy packing..

  11. hoehoegrow July 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, what an interesting post to ponder on ! I agree about the community driving the whole thing. I get such a buzz from ‘talking’ to someone in the heat of Australia or the monsoons in India. Blogging has really given me a more global perspective on gardening – and really improved my geography! I have always felt compelled to write and often I am the only person to read it, as I write a journal every day, and have done for the past 30 years. So did my mum ! I have written (unpublished!) novels and short stories since I can remember.
    There is so much to love about blogging, as 2 way communication is an integral part.I agree that it can be a bit compulsive ! It has made me a much better gardener too, because there is such a focus on the garden, especially through photos. Through blogging I started writing articles about gardening, which I thoroughly enjoy. Just wish I had more time …

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 9:57 am - Reply

      It’s an easy bug to catch, as I am discovering, writing and blogging. Time is the key, it’s difficult to fit it all in during the summer. I’m looking forward to doing more of both later in the year.

  12. Denise July 11, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Difficult question, Jessica. I have been thinking about the answer for a while and sit here feeling rather flummoxed. I don’t honestly know why I blog other than I like writing. Next month will be my 6th Blogiversary and all the posts I have written have turned into an on-line diary of our lives. I think the initial idea six years ago was to record our efforts to become as self sufficient as possible. Well, we have allotmented, and learned to keep hens and bees, bake proper bread, make wine and other such stuff in those years so it served its purpose to a point. I try to be funny and hope bring a smile to someone, somewhere, even though my readership is small.

    I like your blog because you say so much through your photography. And I want a cottage in the middle of the countryside, too, and I guess you help keep my dream alive!

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:07 am - Reply

      Well you certainly make me smile. I feel guilty that I don’t manage to comment on each post, but I do visit as often as I can.
      Perhaps I should blog more about the reality of living in the countryside, there is more of that in the book. I just hope you don’t find it a bit of a let down if you do it one day. We thought we would leave all our worries and stresses behind and be able to lead a more relaxing life. There are just as many worries and stresses here, they’re just different ones!

  13. wherefivevalleysmeet July 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed reading this Jessica – it opened up another little window into your world.
    My own blog has no plan to it whatsoever. I simply started writing because I wanted to record events past, and present, thinking that my grandchildren might be interested in reading it at some stage in the future. I recall wishing that I had asked my parents and grandparents much more about their lives but by then it was too late.
    However, what I didn’t anticipate or expect was that this wonderful community of bloggers would become so relevant and important to my musings. The blog has taken on a completely different role from the one I first engaged in.
    I have found myself touched in so many ways whilst blogging – I have shared in others happiness, but also their fears and sadness – it has been a journey that I am pleased too have started out on, and long may it continue.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

      I’m sure your grandchildren will find it fascinating Rosemary, as your readers do today. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the different side of Paris that you’ve described in recent posts. Your experience of it and interpretation of what you’ve seen could never be found in any history or geography book.

  14. CJ July 11, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I loved this post, it’s always nice to hear about people’s reasons for writing and actual writing process. It’s something I think about quite a lot. CJ xx

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

      I hadn’t really thought about it until now, and perhaps that’s an omission. If I want to write more seriously then process will become far more important.

  15. snowbird July 11, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    What an enjoyable post. I didn’t know you had both quit your jobs to live in the country. I think you should go for a book as well, I’m sure it would do well, you have a lovely writing style. I feel I have got to know you better with this one post than I have in many previous ones, It’s so much more personal. xxx

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Thanks snowbird. The book is not dead in the water by any means, it just needs time!

  16. Linda from Each Little World July 12, 2014 at 4:08 am - Reply

    I started writing the blog when I got downsized from my newspaper job. Among many kinds of writing I did lots of home and garden subjects. I was so used to deadlines and a writing life that I just continued it as a blog. But I like the fact that I can write any lengths, any approach to the subject, as often as I want etc. Unlike many bloggers (I’m guessing here) I have lots of local readers from my newspaper days. Today on a garden tour a number of people mentioned recent posts, so that is always especially meaningful.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:21 am - Reply

      It must be a lot easier if you are used to writing. I’m not sure I could do it so well to a deadline, my self imposed ones are bad enough!

  17. woolythymes July 12, 2014 at 5:46 am - Reply

    My blogging start was an excuse to make myself learn more about my camera…a reason to take a gazillion pictures, because honestly, who in their right mind would want to read day after day and week after week and year after year (YIKES! It’s been that long!!!) about knitting??!!!??? 🙂 the deer really like rudbeckia?? I’m going to leave the gate open….mine is taking over the entire garden!

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:26 am - Reply

      I love your blog and it’s a lot more than knitting, it’s your sense of humour. Plus you are a constant reminder, and inspiration, to take up knitting again. This winter.. for sure!
      p.s. don’t leave the gate open, send some over here!

  18. Joanne July 12, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Before starting my blog I always had the thought to start one once the garden & everything else was completed. Everything is still very much a work n progress & I would have missed out on being part of a lovely community.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

      A garden is always a work in progress. And even if you were to get to the point, by some miracle, that you could call it done, you’d see something fantastic on a blog and then want to redesign it!

  19. Brismod July 12, 2014 at 8:28 am - Reply

    I started writing as therapy because I never wanted to renovate a Queenslander! Ha…then the blog took on a life of its own. Now we have the house of my dreams and I am happy and I’m not writing so much. Funny how things work out. You write so well and your photographs are sumptuous. I hope your book eventuates one day. xx

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 10:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Brismod. I for one hope you will continue to write your blog, I want to see how the new house turns out!!!

  20. AnnetteM July 12, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    I think you do have a unique style with the way you combine your wonderful photographs with just enough words and a great sense of humour. Yes, we have to laugh at the bad things that happen to us. I try to do that too, but sometimes I think it just sounds like I am complaining. It can sometimes be difficult to convey things correctly just using words without voice and facial expressions to help, but you seem to have the knack.
    I started my blog really just as a personal record of my garden, but as you say it is the personal interactions that become far more important. I just love all the flags that WordPress show you. I often wonder who all those people are and how on earth they found my blog. I now have flags from over 50 countries and some really obscure ones such as Kazakhstan (OK that was The Traveller!), Vietnam, Croatia etc.
    Your blog is one of my favourites and I think it would translate very well into a book if you ever have the time. Keep up the good work.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words Annette. You’ve had me searching WordPress for flags now too, I didn’t know they were there! I love the map as well, I seem to be short of readers across the Sahara but I guess the residents of Timbuktu would struggle growing roses in any case!

  21. 1gus1Janice July 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Thought-provoking and very well written, too. My first blog post was written to express anger and frustration over the way wounded service personnel were being treated. After that I just launched into a piecemeal account of my not-very-inspiring life, hopefully with humour. What inspired and encouraged me was reading other blogs and realising, not for the first time, that most humans are not so very different from each other, no matter where they live – that was both comforting and humbling – it’s too easy to think ‘my’ wisdom/experience is unique.
    I have been absent too long from the blogosphere – no more excuses now . . .

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Janice it’s definitely time you were back. I was worried you’d disappeared forever under a pile of cats and dogs..

  22. CathyT July 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I always enjoy your posts so much Jessica and, apart from your gift for photography, I realise it’s because you not only write well, but with great humour. I’m really hoping to read your book one day! I started blogging to keep a personal record of my garden progress, to show my mum and husband what was happening here because they are usually not around – and because I was alone in a strange country and had just lost an adored feline friend. At first I don’t think I really thought much about anyone else reading it – it was a way to put words and pictures together easily.
    And I’m not really fond of spending time in front of a computer – being outside puts me in a better humour at the end of the day. But suddenly I was surprised to discover a lot of joy in writing, the thing that other people had always said I was best at – and that I had always hated doing. (I used to do journalism for a living and it was like drawing teeth every time I wrote an article!) Thanks for your measured and (most important) humorous words. I need to force myself to the computer and spend more time getting to know other people’s blogs!

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      I worry about the number of journalists and teachers there are on here.. especially if I’m not sure whether this apostrophe or that comma is in the right place. Starting to blog when we moved down here helped my isolation too, we knew very few people at first and as our house is quite remote I could easily go days without seeing anyone but Mike. Even virtual contact with others really helps.
      Thank you for your compliments Cathy, they are much appreciated.

  23. Jennifer July 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this, Jessica. I think your writing is very engaging and I love your photos. Your blog is one of my favorite finds in a long time.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Jennifer, you are very kind. I’m so glad you are enjoying rusty duck, and that I’ve been able to find you in return x

  24. Cathy July 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica – enjoyed reading your post, as usual, and all the comments too. It’s interesting to read that most people find that despite their original reason for blogging their blog has ended up with a life of its own. That was certainly the case with me, as mine was started to help me keep a record of the garden and to observe it more closely, and it was several months before I even looked at another blog – which google directed me to when I queried a plant name. I made a comment or two, others made a comment or two and then, well… the rest is history! Unlike you I always feel there is something I want to say (although whether it is worth reading is another matter!) but after posting daily for two years I have tried hard to restrict it to 4 or 5 times a week as it was threatening to consume my life! What – not reply to comments?! Not comment on other blogs?! I’m not ready for that – the camaraderie is wonderful! 🙂

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      I don’t know how you managed to post every day. Your garden is more established, there is likely to be more happening perhaps. But you’re right, the camaraderie is wonderful. Sometimes, often, reading a witty comment can lift my whole day.

  25. Chloris July 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    I am very glad that you do blog, you have such a lovely sense of humour and your blogs are always entertaining.It is really interesting to read everyone’ s comments about why they blog. Like so many of us I am a compulsive reader and writer. I have always written ever since I could hold a pen. I have a drawer full of unfinished novels.
    But blogging is special because it is interactive and there is a real feeling of community. I love to see people’ s gardens and what they are growing. I love reading about their successes and failures and to feel that I am getting to know the people whose blogs I follow and that they are becoming friends. We all protect our privacy but at the same time we give away little clues about ourselves so that gradually we build up pictures of other bloggers and their lives. It’ s fascinating.
    By the way I have never, ever seen a misplaced apostrophe on your blog.

    • Jessica July 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm - Reply

      Phew, I can stop worrying about the apostrophes.
      It’s a bit like listening to someone on the radio, you form an impression over time of what they are like. It is fascinating. I have only met one fellow blogger in real life, and did have a bit of a clue as to what she looked like, but personality wise Em was exactly as I had imagined and I’m very glad we met up. Of course, I’ll always be able to recognise you now, from the back of your heels.
      Thanks Chloris.

      • Chloris July 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

        Ouch! That’ s not fair. Please don’ t judge me by my heels. I didn’ t realise I had ugly, bumpy heels until I saw that photo. I did cover them decently before I went out with tights but I didn’ t have time to take another photo. I thought ‘ never mind, no one will notice’ . But I’ m probably ‘ the woman with terrible heels’ in everyone’ s mind now. Well, in yours anyway. I should have shown my boobs instead of my heels. Less embarrassing. Marginally.

        • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm - Reply

          You don’t have ugly heels!
          There was no malice intended I can assure you. I only picked on them because it was the only bit of you showing! I certainly didn’t mean to offend. Sorry x

          • Chloris July 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

            I’ m not offended Jessica. I know there was no malice intended. You are far too nice for that. I was smiling as I wrote my reply but you couldn’ t see my smiley face.That’ s the trouble with writing comments, you can’ t tell whether someone is being serious or not. I rarely am. But you couldn’ t see my tongue firmly in my cheek; only those awful heels! xx

          • Jessica July 15, 2014 at 8:18 am

            Thanks Chloris.

  26. Amy at love made my home July 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    I just did my post after having had this passed to me, but I did the same with the passing on as Sue did and I see that you have followed her lead as well! Great to know that your process is much the same as mine, you write about what you do! xx

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

      It’s rare I do one of these (awards, tags and other chain posts are one of the few things I really dislike about blogging), but this one did seem an interesting one and it’s been fascinating reading what others have said.

  27. angiesgardendiaries July 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    For what ever reason you write, I’m glad you do. I have to say I always enjoy your posts and your blog is one of my favourites to read.
    I started blogging to record what was going on in my garden and to ‘meet’ like minded folk. None of my family and friends are into gardening and due to my working hours, I am unable to join gardening clubs and the likes. I find it a great way to pick up tips and advice. I’m amazed at how I’ve learned since I started reading blogs. So really a great big thank you to you and all the other garden bloggers I read.

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply

      Thanks Angie! What you’ve said about learning from other blogs is so very true and I should have said so in the post. Plants that I’d never come across before have made their way on to my ‘list’ and I’ve found growing advice and solutions to so many gardening challenges. If only I could find an effective solution for slugs!

  28. Em July 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    As you know, mine started as wanting to sell art and has ended up as photography. Great post and I do hope you still write the book!

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Brilliant photography at that.
      It’s just the old problem of time. I’d love to finish the book. This winter or never I suspect.

  29. Christina July 13, 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you write Jessica, I always enjoy your posts; I always feel it is a shame if followers never, ever leave a comment, I don’t follow blogs at all unless I know I will want to comment and have a ‘conversation’ with the writer. I blog because living in Italy there are few gardeners I can share ideas with (or complaints about the weather etc.) I feel the people I converse with are friends, some who I see often (because they blog regularly) and others who write less often or when life allows and that’s fine too! I really enjoy seeing how others plan, design or just get out there and garden..

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      The exchange of gardening knowledge and experience is something I get a huge amount out of too and I think very differently about the garden as a result. I’ve just planted gaura, and now cistus (with fingers crossed), having seen them growing in your garden. I’d like to meet more bloggers in person now too, many do seem like friends.. we already know what we have in common.

  30. elaine July 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    When I started blogging it was just for myself – my early posts were just chatty little diary entries – but gradually like Topsy it grow’d and grow’d. Having blogging friends all over this country and the big wide world has enhanced my life – sharing your life with like minded people is the best.

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      It certainly is. The global aspect really interests me too, I am still surprised at how many of the plants we grow turn up in very different climatic conditions.

  31. Annie July 14, 2014 at 10:32 am - Reply

    such a lovely post! I also write about the things that make me happy and I agree that we all have our own crosses to bear and don’t generally want to read about other peoples. It took ages before anyone left a comment on my blog and I atill get very few, but really I am writing my blog for me to look back on in years to come (although it is nice to have a conversation occasionally too!). I am looking forward to reading back through your archive!

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      It is fascinating looking back. It also encourages me no end if I am feeling that we’re not achieving enough. It’s easy to forget just how far we have actually come.

  32. islandthreads July 14, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

    phew! I’ve just tried reading most of the replies and your reply too Jessica and my old mind has gone haywire, now replying to your post is why I’m here in the comments section,

    Jessica, I find it interesting in more recent years the number of people who blog for online presence and are then pleasantly surprised by the communicating with others side of blogging, you can and people do make books of their blogs so perhaps you are writing that book, or maybe a new comedy series ……. we’ve had the suburban good life, your’s could be the rural good life, I find you often turn a ‘glass half empty’ situation into an amusing ‘glass half full’ story,

    I’m so pleased you found my blog and left a comment so I could ‘meet’ you, Frances

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      I’m fascinated to see how you are developing your garden because, as you know, we were house hunting in the remoter regions of Scotland too. Ironically I thought the weather would be better down here. Ha!
      I am a firm believer in ‘You have to laugh or else you’d cry’. My mother was one for always seeing the worst possible scenario in everything and I have inherited it to a degree. It’s a struggle to look on the bright side constantly, but having seen where the alternative leads I have to try.

  33. Denise July 14, 2014 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I am way behind – the feeling of trying to catch up overwhelms me right now. Guess I’ll get the camera out and go for a walk round the garden!

    • Jessica July 14, 2014 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Denise, great to hear from you. I hope you’re OK. Don’t worry about trying to catch up, that you are back is enough. Look forward to seeing the garden!

  34. SmallP July 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    What a great post. I find it fascinating why people choose to blog. We all have so many different reasons. I follow probably 90 blogs and I love the fact that on any given day there will be maybe 10 posts, all about different things and all from different parts of the world. For me I blog to encourage me to stop and look at things rather than dashing on by and also to try and improve my photography. I am not quite sure that I have found my “blog voice” yet but I am sure it will come.

    • Jessica July 15, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Like you I love to read about what people are doing in different parts of the world. And what the climate is like and how that affects what they can grow in their gardens. It’s been quite an education. Your photos are brilliant, keep going!

  35. CherryPie July 16, 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

    I love what you write. Your posts are always engaging and interesting.

    I started to write as an extension to my web page. The blogging was addictive and took over… my web page has been neglected for years…

    • Jessica July 16, 2014 at 8:25 am - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. I read and enjoyed some of your V&V posts, it’s a shame they are finishing.

  36. […] couple of Why I Write posts I’ve really enjoyed are from Sue at The Quince Tree and Jessica at Rusty Duck. Check out the comments on both these blogs for links to more lovely bloggers’ posts – […]

    • Jessica July 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the link Anny, it’s a great idea to adapt the theme to stitching! If I were to write one for gardening it would also include the meditative aspect. Sometimes when I am weeding my mind can wander to a state not unlike the edge of sleep. Ideas can come then too.
      http://dreaminginstitches.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/why-i-stitch/

  37. Marian St.Clair July 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I started blogging to see if I could get my newspaper readers to follow me on a blog. By and large, the answer is no, but I’m hooked now. What I love about it (in addition to the community bonding) is improving my photography skills. I wish I know more about making the blog more artsy, like yours, but I just don’t have time. Or more precisely, it’s that I spend too much time at the computer already.

    • Jessica July 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      I don’t know about artsy, I spent a few hours fiddling with a bought-in theme but that’s as far as it goes. I’m sure I could do a lot more with it, but similarly it’s finding the time. Photography is time consuming too but it’s great when it works out!

  38. Marigold Jam July 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Interesting post and also the comments too. I often wonder why I do it and whether the number of viewings and the comments matter or not – am I writing for myself or for others and is it difficult to continue to come up with new ideas or should I even bother to be novel or not. I have found that the blog I started out with is not the same as the one I now have and I fear that I am becoming repetitive and posting mainly about outings and less and less about creating things or gardening which of course I have less time for if I am more often out for the day! My blog serves as an on-line diary if you like and for that reason alone is useful for me to remember what I did when. This is one of those questions that it is interesting to discuss with other bloggers as one finds out in what ways one is like the others and in what ways different. I guess it boils down to I write because I love to write and putting my thoughts into words is something I need to do.

    • Jessica July 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      A blog does reflect the changes in your life. My content has changed as we’ve moved on to doing different things and I’m sure it will chop and change again. And like you we do enjoy a day out. Writing for writing’s sake was the starting point for me, because I enjoy it, and the diary element was an unexpected bonus. Like the companionship I now get from the blog and being part of the blogging community. It’s odd isn’t it, we all came from different starting points but the things we value now are very similar.

  39. knitsofacto July 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Something that stands out in the comments here is how many of us apparently squeeze blogging in to times when we should probably be sleeping. Maybe all bloggers are insomniacs, or perhaps blogging is addictive, or maybe it’s like sitting up late chatting with a friend whose company you enjoy too much to want to call it a day. Whatever it is I’m mighty glad you blog 🙂

    • Jessica July 19, 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

      It’s a bit of all of those things, except that I do need my eight hours so something’s got to give. At the moment the something is housework.. thanks Annie.

  40. Gina July 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Loved reading this post Jessica and good to find your blog. I’m about to do the blog hop thing too but am still deliberating over my answers. It should happen in a day or two.

    • Jessica July 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Gina and welcome to rusty duck.
      Good to find you too. It was a fun post to write, I’ll look forward to reading your answers!

  41. welshhillsagain July 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed reading both your blog and all the answers! I blog because I love to write and get a sort of itch if I have not written a blog for a week or two. I love the community and the links I have made with others. In fact two of my good friends are people who I originally met through blogging. I love the insight it gives me into the lives of others. My life would be much poorer without it!

    • Jessica July 26, 2014 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      I would agree entirely Elizabeth. I find it fascinating that I can sit in my little study in deepest Devon and communicate with people all over the world. And meeting with fellow bloggers in ‘real life’ is the icing on the cake.

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