Susan Walker, Guest Post – ‘Why I became a blogger’

Susan Walker, my dear friend from Yorkshire, UK, and I discovered each other almost two years ago.

Looking for an online community of older women, the week I turned 80 I googled ‘grandmother bloggers’. There I found  Susan’s delightful blog, Nan’s Farm Inside Out: A Journal of Everyday Life.

Since we met, she and I have developed a lovely long-distance relationship, although she’s considerably younger than me. Our lives in retirement differ greatly. As regular readers of my blog know, I live in an apartment in inner-city Perth, in Western Australia. Sue, on the other hand, lives on her beautiful farm on the Yorkshire Downs.

One of my granddaughters was a PhD scholar at the University of York. John and I visited her, stayed for a couple of weeks and fell in love with Yorkshire. Now, to have a friend in Yorkshire adds spice and joy to my life.

After one of my recent posts (about why I blog) I began to wonder why other people, also, blog. There must surely be many reasons why people share their articles in this way.

The most direct way to find answers to anything is to ask! So I asked Susan why she blogs. In response to that question,  it is my great pleasure to introduce Susan Walker, who describes why she became a blogger.

***************************************************************************************************Susan Walker says:

The idea of writing a blog was given to me a few years before I actually started the blog.

It all began with someone’s comment on Facebook. I would like to say that the comment was encouraging, but it wasn’t.

I’d written a couple of paragraphs on something or other, and someone I knew from many years ago commented: “I can’t even understand this, why do you always write such a lot?

Given that I only ever wrote a few lines, I was taken aback. Feeling embarrassed and hurt, I didn’t reply. Fortunately, other friends jumped to my defence.

Then, someone I worked with commented:

You should think about writing a blog, especially with your sense of humour.

I liked the idea of writing, but my husband was ill, and I had too much on my mind, so I pushed it onto the back burner.

A few months after my husband died, I began to feel dissatisfied with teaching computing. I handed in my notice and I retired.

The family and I set about renovating the house, but once the work was completed and the team of builders left, I became bored. Socialising with friends wasn’t enough and having previously volunteered at many things, becoming a volunteer no longer appealed.

New grandchildren arrived, and I was occupied with helping out, but I needed something more. Being a practical hands-on person, I realised I needed a project of sorts, but also one that would keep my mind occupied.

I wasn’t particularly happy, and I drifted along miserably for a further two years until I remembered the Facebook comment, and I finally decided to give blogging a try.

Initially, I had two sites. In 2017 I made the Facts and Fiction site private, I was using it less and less, favouring Nan’s Farm instead. I enjoyed setting up the sites; it enabled me to put my practical skills to good use.

At first, only my family knew about the blog, I didn’t tell my friends, and I certainly didn’t announce it on Facebook. I had a short ‘About’ page and no profile picture.

I already wrote a personal daily journal, and in the beginning, most of my ideas came from there.

Oddly enough, only a week or so back someone asked me why my site was named Nan’s Farm, I explained that Nan is simply an alternative name for Grandma and is the name my grandchildren call me.

When I first mentioned that I was thinking of writing a blog, one of my grandsons suggested I write about living here on a small farm, from there the title, Nan’s Farm–Inside Out was born.

Susan’s views

Susan Walker's farm

A zoomed-in shot of my home taken from a farm a couple of miles away, showing the setting. My white house is in centre although partly hidden by the trees.

The view from five minutes away from my home showing Wharfe valley and the Yorkshire Dales.

 

The sheep and lambs cows and calves.
For me, late spring and summer is just the best time up here

Today, I often use my journal for ideas, but occasionally, I do something different, such as adding a little fiction into the mix; I also created a comic strip based around a conversation between my little characters, Owl and Mouse.

Susan Walker’s other site

Towards the end of 2016, I met my dear friend, partner and blogging associate, GC from the site The Main Aisle. Neither of us can remember who found whom or even how.

At the end of May 2018, in an effort to offset our disappointment at the demise of WordPress’s Daily Prompts, GC and I took our friendship in a new direction and set up our joint site Weekly Prompts

We needed a site that was separate from our personal Websites, a place where we could work together, and jointly set prompts and challenges. We usually discuss the prompts that each of us wishes to use, and although we have very different styles and ideas, we feel we complement each other well.

Our site issues a weekend photo challenge and a midweek word prompt; both challenges are flexible, and we encourage our readers to mix and match as the mood takes.

Blogging has given me an outlet for my thoughts and creativity. Meeting people from around the world and making new friendships has been a welcome bonus and something I did not expect.

************************************************************************************************

Don’t forget to check out Susan’s blog at Nan’s Farm Inside OutI’m sure you will be delighted with what she has to offer. She shares a site with Canadian blogger, GC. Weekly Prompts is also an interesting site with often off-beat photos.

20 thoughts on “Susan Walker, Guest Post – ‘Why I became a blogger’

  1. Thank you so much for this post Maureen, I feel very proud and honoured to have been asked to guest write.

    There is just one correction. We didn’t meet through ‘Grandmother bloggers. We actually met on the Australian site, Jennifer Wilson’s No Place for Sheep!

    • Hi, Susan. It is such a pleasure to have you as a guest blogger on my site, and thank you for agreeing to write for it. I notice that already a number of people have clicked through to your site, and some to the Word Prompts. It always pleases me to share my friends.

      I have a little confession: I found you when I looked for grandmother bloggers and read a few of your posts on Nan’s Farm Inside Out before you commented on the post on Jennifer Wilson’s No Place for Sheep. I was delighted to see that you and I had something in common, rather than ‘merely’ our status as grandmothers. I think that’s when we actually ‘met’.

      • Haha, I like your style Maureen.

        I liked Jennifer Wilson from the word go, and although I hadn’t much idea about Australian politics, I found her gutsy and her posts interesting, so I followed her. She seems to have slowed down lately. What is Grandmother bloggers, is it a Website?

        I’ve had a busy morning and haven’t checked either sites since early first thing. Thank you for letting me know about the visitors.
        Thank you again for asking me.

        • Yes, I really like Jennifer Wilson. She has not posted so much recently, but I still see an occasional post. I’ll alert you the next time I see one.

          ‘Grandmother bloggers’ is just a term I made up when I was looking online for other people who were writing about being grandmothers, or any posts by older women. It isn’t a group or a site, but it should be! I use the term sometimes when I’m public speaking, especially when I think the audience will respond favourably. I say something like, ‘I’m one of a growing band of grandmother bloggers…’ It gets people chuckling.

          One of the very interesting older women bloggers I follow is Joyce Williams who uses the title Grandma Williams: Exploring the world at 80+ I think you’d like her. She’s from Glasgow and is a retired physiotherapist. Here’s the link: https://grandmawilliams.com/

          BTW, if you’d like to repost our joint blog on your site, or tell your readers about it, that would be fine.

          • I should have said earlier – thank you so much for your kind words, and no matter how it happened I am delighted that you and I met and became friends.

            Funny you should say that because I was going to ask you if you minded if I re-blogged. Thank you Maureen

  2. I eventually managed to re-blog via ‘Sharing’ on the Reader.

    I commented – Following on from a comment I left on Maureen Helen’s post, I felt honoured to be asked to guest write an article about why I became a blogger.

    Grateful thanks to Maureen for her introduction, her kind words and for allowing me to re-blog this article.

    • Sue, I think you probably need to do something different because I’m getting the comments which should go on your page, not mine! My email address is mhelen@iinet.net.au. Perhaps we should have private communication about some things?

      • No it’s fine Maureen. the link takes readers to your blog so that they can read the full article and people have a choice whether to leave the comment on your page or mine. Thank you

  3. Great post Sue. It’s always interesting to learn a bit about why someone began blogging in the first place. Fortunately for all of us who follow you, you didn’t disregard the suggestion that you create a blog. I’ll be 80 in a couple of days so I’m going to check out Maureen Helen…..she sounds like fun. Like you!!
    Ginger

    • Hello, and thank you for your comment. I do hope you check out my blog. Many happy returns of your big day. Hope you celebrate well.

  4. Lovely Blog Maureen Helen. It was great to read Nan’s (Sue W) story too. I even checked out the map of England and could just picture those beautiful rolling hills of green, which can be evidenced in Nan’s photos also. It must be glorious in Yorkshire and Sue might be pleased to know that we often buy the tea branded Yorkshire Tea, when it is available in the super market. So the UK and Yorkshire has a lot to offer, green fields, rolling hills, farms, friendships and great tea 🙂

    • It’s good to know that ‘Yorkshire Tea’ is available around the world, I didn’t know that. I’m glad you liked my account of How I became a Blogger, and thank you for your lovely comments. – Sue,

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