The Five Senses Of Blogging

My cousin in law Craig the Radio DJ is blind. Has been since birth. He also, like me, loves cricket. So every year we go, him soaking up the atmosphere while listening to the commentary. His enjoyment with one less sense is palpably the same as mine. 

The other day I posted a lot of pictures of roses. Many are scented and it would be marvellous to share the scents though the enjoyment isn’t lessened in its absence.

We are told to find ‘your voice,’ by the writing seers, as we dip our toes into the blogging and authoring world.

Which is odd when you think you are writing to be read not heard – unless you’re going straight to Audible, that somewhat pretentious alternative to the 1980s’ films that went straight to video.

It’s one of those statements that can flummox the novice and be difficult to explain, leading to advice such as ‘you’ll know it when you find it’. This is up there with ‘you just know when they’re the one’ and ‘this Government will make a difference’ as the most universally unhelpful guidance you can offer the perpetually bewildered.

But, and here’s the thing, I’m beginning to wonder if you need to find a blogging voice or whether it’s one of those things that emerges of its own accord with the passing of the years, like cynicism and hairy ears. It finds you, if you like.

I didn’t have expectations about blogging when I started and I certainly had no ideas about who I might engage with through reading and commenting. If you’d asked me I’d have assumed people of my own age and demographic, broadly.

Digressing briefly, because that’s what I do, I remember a fascinating programme on the Beeb  that followed a prosecutor as she put together cases to be taken to trial. These took team work with the police and other lawyers to create cases against those involved in modern slavery in British towns and using drones to get drugs into prison. The thing is the star of this show was totally blind, using a guide dog and some nifty technical gizmos to get about and do her job.

In judging witnesses, indeed people generally, she went by what they say. She received no visual clues. She picked up gender, accents, tone, and emotions through sound. Unlike we who use our five (or in the case of the Textiliste, six – she has a bullshit sensor) senses.

I cannot begin to categorise my own little blogging community. I’ve met a few and I’m pretty sure in some cases, had we met face to face first the friendships I’ve forged on the blog might have been stillborn because those visual clues would have created a ‘first impression’ that might have coloured our reactions to each other.

Instead that first impression is based around other clues. Humour, empathy, articulacy, things you can pick up from the written word. I follow and happily engage with people half my age, my children’s age from parts of the globe and imbued with cultural memes so far from my own.

Without visual clues to help me, and them, we must form our judgements against a different set of criteria. One we are not used to using.

It’s as if we expect to be conned because we cannot see and hear (and maybe smell and touch, if you are members of the Fngg Brotherhood of Trampoling Monks Of St Sponge) said Bloggers.

But of the fair few bloggers I’ve now met, they are pretty much what it says on the tin (or in the About section – though if you have a blog and not an About  section which also allows comments, you are missing a trick – just saying).

Their ‘voices’ are original and they are unique and above all pretty authentic. Whatever they try to be, those voices come through.

And like me, probably without trying. Their voice is there. As they settle to what makes them comfortable their voices emerge and if they are thoughtful, empathetic, generous, humorous and so on, that comes out.

I know this isn’t always the case. There are clever con artists out there but for the broad majority that isn’t the case.

And better still, those voices aren’t distorted by the kinds of instinctive prejudices and stereotyping which we are all prone to lean on when forming our judgements if using the full range of available clues

It means I’m exposed to a wider range of people than might otherwise be the case. Which is, I’d say, all rather splendid.

And the Radio DJ? As long as I supply sufficient lager he’ll put up with my voice all day…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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55 Responses to The Five Senses Of Blogging

  1. Ritu says:

    I absolutely love this, His Geoffleship!
    You are right in that we are exposed to so many more voices through the blogging medium, be it visual or auditory, and you develop friendships which, I feel, are so much more genuine, especially when you do get to meet in reality!
    Ours – definitely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joylennick says:

    During my own bogging days, which have been both revealing and often fascinating, I feel I know a lot more about what busy fingers reveal than their owners would believe. It is amazing what emotions zip through the ether. Bring it all on, I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joylennick says:

    Please excuse the ‘bogging’ above. It should, of course, be blogging!! (clumsy to boot.) x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it helps when you meet a blogger in person and hear their voice. When I read your blog posts, I always hear your voice reading the words.

    But like anything else, friendships and people come and go in all our lives. Many of the original bloggers I met during my first year of blogging have either stopped blogging or moved on to blogging about subjects I have no interest in – e.g. somebody who used to blog about writing who now blogs about ladies’ fashion. But just by blogging, we certainly put ourselves on a stage where all walks of people can come in, sit, and listen to us if they so wish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Yes it would be intriguing to have a look back at some of those I interacted with back then and see where they went. Or if I gave up on them


      • I’ve certainly given up on some bloggers because they no longer published content that interests me. Time is precious, and I don’t want to waste it. But some bloggers disappeared without a trace and without any announcement on their blogs. But I respect their privacy, even though I yearn to know what they’re doing now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        There’s one blogger who I stopped following though flirt with going back to. He writes some lovely funny thoughtful stuff… and then he goes off on one – on several – about politics in a way that is so one eyed and illogical that I know I’m wasting my time and getting rather irritated. So often a post starts one-way and morphs . So I’ve stopped though once in a while I may pop by. You’re right about time being precious

        Liked by 1 person

      • I stay well clear of politics and region in any blog posts. They are no go areas for me, as are bloggers who blog negativity all the time. I can’t be done reading anything negative all the time on a blog. All it does is bring my mood down, so I avoid it. After all, I avoid negative people in my real life, so I do the same in the blogging world.

        And I forgot to thank you for mentioning the ‘about me’ page in this post. It’s a well-known fact that most readers like to know something about the person behind the blog before deciding whether to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        It was you who pointed that out to me!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. trifflepudling says:

    If Alistair Cooke were around today his ‘Letter from America’ might well be a blog. Its structure was perfect for it.
    Yes, blogging is very revealing. People do say things online, good or bad, more readily, showing themselves!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. noelleg44 says:

    I’m glad I met you, Geoff, at one of the Bloggers’ Bashes. It puts sound to your words, but I would enjoy your blogs even if I couldn’t hear your voice. Your personality rings loud and clear and a little whacky!


  7. M. L. Kappa says:

    Too true. And i also have a bullshot sensor which gets sharper by the year! Hope we can meet up some day.


  8. JT Twissel says:

    I have never met any of my blogging friends, although a few of them do live nearby. It doesn’t seem necessary for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been at it for nine years and treasure those blogs I visit regularly. I think you are so right when you say it is all rather splendid. Thanks for sharing your cousin in law’s story

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A great post Geoff. I started writing a humorous post (well I thought it funny!) but decided I was trying too hard. As my wife would say I was being very trying!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    This post reminds me of growing up and listening to baseball games on the radio. All I needed was an excellent broadcaster and a good imagination to feel like I was there “watching” the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Aimer Boyz says:

    Nice insight. I hadn’t thought about it before, but you’re right. Meeting people through their posts is a different experience than an in-person meeting. No quick judgments based on superficial characteristics like gender or age. A slower process- it takes a while to build an image of the person behind the posts- but that could be a good thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Norah says:

    I’m inclined to agree with you, Geoff. We soon suss out those who are not the real deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      It is easier than I assumed. Equally those who have a particular agenda that they revert to. There’s a rather intriguing blogger who I followed until his one eyed loathing of our current government became a tad boring. Which is a shame because when he’s not on to his soapbox he is funny and engaging. I may go back sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I once played cricket with a team who had a blind follower. As long as someone sat beside him describing what was happening he, who new all the terms and fielding positions, was happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a splendid post, Geoff. A wonderful reflection on blogging, our “voices,” and how our friendships form without all the stuff that adds layers of assumptions. We get a lot closer to the truth of each other than perhaps we think. I absolutely love that I don’t know what many of my bloggy friends look like, or their ages, and in some cases, whether they are men or women. I love it that friendships are based on our voices, our words, the way we click, and our shared interests. That’s the way life should be. So cool! And you stated it perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Chel Owens says:

    Thank you, Geoff. The ‘voice’ bit of writing has concerned me. We have a ‘voice,’ sure, when writing off the cuff but what of a more refined one that’s publishable? Are both as over-laden with adjectives or run-ons or three examples in one sentence?

    I’m glad to have met you. I yam what I yam, although you’ve given me a funny idea to (if ever given the time) write as a blogger who is completely opposite to one’s natural personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. willowdot21 says:

    I do agree Geoff , and I enjoyed this post. We get the lay of bloggers we meet a long the we soon work out who we can trust and who to be causious of. Those I have met face to face have been what they say they are…just as well as we soon spot the conners on line.
    I miss the bash , I miss the cake I miss the people but there is still time. There are bloggers I feel are friends, those I have met and some I have not met but I always feel accepted and if I need it supported I hope I make others feel the same.
    Tell us Geoff what happens if the Radio DJ is not plied with enough lager?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Blind person enjoying the game, so meaningful! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jennie says:

    Brilliant, Geoff. Like you I expected my blogging community to mostly be like me, but that is not the case. The one blogger I met was exactly like I imagined he would be, and I think the same would be true of most. The fact that writing can actually translate what we would see in person is amazing. Your blind cousin is a case in point. Yes, the five senses of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: The Five Senses Of Blogging – Freelancer Jobs

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