So, I've been thinking about this post for ages, and I finally pencilled it in to my schedule this year! Today I'm here to tell you all why, as bloggers, we should read blogs.
It's a tough one, because as an artist i'm always tempted to look at others' work to see 'how to do things', and if you're not careful, you end up with a piece of artwork not fantastically original. In the same sentence, the whole first stage of making a piece of art, or design, etc, is research. Now our lecturers are always chanting the war-chant against Pinterest and Behance and to some extent I agree. Particularly when you roll up to the studio with a artfully crafted moodboard, only to see that half of it is also on someone else's moodboard. There is only so much, and what you see daily is what is popular. It's what everyone already likes.
This debate carries over to the blogging world. Of course it does, bloggers are still creatives, even if you can't draw, or paint a picture. I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who, the bigger and better they get, the less time, understandably, they have to sit and read the blogs.
But I have to bring us back to the beginning for a minute, when you decided to start up your blog. I've got a fairly good idea that most of us were sitting at a computer, quietly accumulating blogs that we admired before we turned round and thought 'hey, I like what they are doing, I want to do that too'. I don't think any blogger has just decided to start up a blog, without having read at least one or two of them previously. Now I know that's a pretty basic argument, but I really feel like it's that simple.
These days, with around 6 years of blogging under my belt, It's not really being inspired to start a blog any more, but the principle is the same. Reading blogs inspires me to get writing, and 'doing'.
I used to be super paranoid about reading blogs, there was a certain anxiety attached to that little Bloglovin number, and I used to try and read them as much as possible. Nowadays, I just read when I can, once a week, and I flick through to the ones that interest me. No only that, but there are lots of blogs I don't follow, but I do end up clicking their twitter link virtually every day.
Like my artistic research, we all need prompts. Rarely, if ever, does anyone simple 'think of a thing' and then do the thing. The skill is in bouncing ideas off other people, letting your own skill and talent grow from the tiny fleck of inspiration in somebody else's work. Reading blogs makes me a better blogger, and I absolutely think there is value in making time for reading, as long as we let our own creativity lead.
I'd really like to know your perspectives on this: whether blogger or non-blogger!