Thursday, July 21, 2022

Blaugust - It's Back For Another Glorious Year!

Oh, look! Another "Blaugust is Coming!" post! Wow! How many is that now? Must be - wait, let me see... yeah! It's a lot!

Even MassivelyOP got in on the act, running a very nice news item to let their readers know those funny blog folks were up to their annual hi-jinks once again. It's probably the only time news of the Famous Festival of Blogging is likely to appear in front of an audience not already fully committed and signed up to join in with the fun.

Or maybe I'm being too cynical. Let's be honest. I have no idea who reads this blog. I stopped paying attention to the statistics Google supply years ago, mostly because they make no sense but also because I just lost interest.

Inventory Full has always been first and foremost a personal journal and occasional soapbox, which is how I conceived it when I started out, but over the years it's also turned into my version of a social media platform. A half-assed one, to be sure, but one where no-one has to send friend requests or follow me or in any way indicate their comings and goings beyond leaving the occasional comment, something which probably fewer than a couple of per cent of the people who've ever visited the blog have done.

It works for me, though. There's a loose, fuzzy, comfortable community feel around this part of the blogosphere that I fancy most of the people participating in Blaugust this and other years would recognize and acknowledge.  

To draw on an exceedingly obvious and over-used analogy, it's a bit like Cheers: a place where everyone knows your name. Well, okay, the name of your blog and the pretend name you post under. It doesn't say Bhagpuss on my passport. More's the pity.

And, if I may extend the analogy a little, like a bar, you don't need an invite to come inside and make yourself at home. If you've been here before but you've been gone a while, everyone will remember your name and be very happy to welcome you back. If it's your first time, don't worry, it's not going to be like the pub in American Werewolf in London.  

Actually, let's be real about this, it might be - if it wasn't Blaugust. One of the most disheartening things about starting a blog can be the sound of crickets chirping as the tumbleweed rolls past. Waiting in vain for your first comment, a sign that someone, anyone, has not only read but thought about what you wrote. Soul destroying.

That, among many other things, is what Blaugust is about: making sure that it doesn't happen. Instead, there's support, advice, help, acknowledgment and above all readers who will let you know they're there with a comment or several. This year there's even a Blaugchievement for doing it!

If you're one of the hundreds of people who supposedly reads this blog every day, according to Google, but who never leaves a sign or a mark to say you've passed by, maybe you, too, wistfully imagine what it would be like to have a blog of your own, only to falter at the thought of pouring out your well-crafted words before an invisible, imperceptible audience, to receive only silence in return.

Well, can that thought! This is Blaugust, baby! The blogosphere, this bubble of it anyway, has your back!

Sign up to whatever blogging platform you fancy, write that first post and hit Publish. If you're not sure how to get started, join the Blaugust Discord and ask. There are mentors aplenty just waiting to help you get started. We none of us know everything but we all know something and it'll be enough. Probably. No, it will, I'm sure of it...

For once I'm going to keep it short (Well, short for me, anyway.). Everything you need to get started is in Bel's Introducing Blaugust 2022 Post. Whether you end up doing nothing more than coming up with a name and posting "Hello World" before vanishing back into the void or whether it turns out to be the beginning of a years-long habit you can't and don't want to break, there's no better time to dip your toes in the warm, welcoming waters of the Blogosphere than Blaugust.

What are you waiting for? Oh, yes, I forgot. It doesn't start until August.

See you in ten days!


  1. One of the most disheartening things about starting a blog can be the sound of crickets chirping as the tumbleweed rolls past. Waiting in vain for your first comment, a sign that someone, anyone, has not only read but thought about what you wrote. Soul destroying.

    Well... It can be, but to a shy introvert like me --and yes, you'd never guess this if you heard me on Discord or in a group environment in an MMO among people I know-- not having any commentary isn't necessarily a bad thing. It means that you can write and say what you want without fear of being judged. Unless you catch lightning in a bottle, blogging is a good way to dip your toe into content creation and ramp up slowly, without fear of having a Twitter style viral moment.

    And despite the ultimate goal of trying to blog at least once per day, it's always important to remember that writing itself is the most important part. Defeating that inner critic and just writing will do wonders for both confidence and writing quality.

    1. The odd thing about Blogger, which I noticed when I was setting up the blog all those years ago, is that you can set it to be completely private. No-one but you can see it. I did seriously consider it. Everything you say about writing being the most important part is true and if you're concerned about how others might respond, well there's your answer. However, it doesn't really fit the spirit of Blaugust to recommend people start a blog then keep it to themselves!

      Still, it's a very valid concern. Back when I was thinking of moving from commenting on other people's blogs to starting one of my own, the single thing that stopped me pulling the trigger was apprehension about the kind of feedback it might attract. I was on the verge of getting started two or three times before pulling back at the last moment for fear of what kind of comments I might get.

      Eventually, I remembered one of the most helpful things anyone ever said to me, which was when the founder of the last band I was ever in told me to stop worrying about what other people thought - "They're all far more interested in themselves than they ever will be in you", he said. Or he might have. It was more than thirty-five years ago. I have no idea what he said but that's what I remember.

      Of course, that was long before social media. The world was different then. Now you have to bear in mind that people can be 100% focused on themselves but use you as a mirror to preen in. There are some risks to public performance now that may not have applied back then.

      I should really save all this for one of the advice segments of Blaugust... never mind, I'll just cannibalize myself! Hardly the first time!


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