Sunday 21 October 2018

To Blog or not to Blog

Why Bother

Yesterday I sat down at the computer to write this week’s blog entry, and for the first time I could not think of anything to write.

Normally inspiration comes as soon as I sit down.   I have never planned subjects in advance, always relied on finding something suitable when I needed it.   But it did not work yesterday.

I would not say that I lost any sleep over the subject, but early this morning I had two new ideas.    The first was the line which is the subject of this week.   I will not disclose the second, I will keep it until I have a blank computer screen again!

I am not sure when I started writing a blog.   I think it was this one, and according to the history over on the right the first post was on 27 March 2009.   But when I looked at that one the opening sentence was “since my last post….”    So clearly there was an earlier one, but I can’t seem to find it!

Not that it matters in the least.   Suffice to say that it was quite a long time ago.   Since then I have written 690 posts and have had 227,305 page views.   That is a lot of writing, and a lot of reading.

But the question raised is “why bother”

I have no idea why anyone else would want to write a blog.   I am not really sure why I do.

I have always been inclined to record what I do.   I have kept a daily diary for more than 50 years.   I write an entry every day, but rarely bother to read them later.   I have taken to using a five year diary, and find that I do look back on the previous four years.

I have collected photographs for even longer.   They are stored in large photograph albumns going back to the 1960s and beyond.    Since the early 1970s every family holiday has been recorded and filed in an albumn.   Not only photographs, but also tickets and cards.   Plus a written record of each holiday.

I suspect that writing a blog is just a natural extension of this type of behaviour.

The purpose may be to record and share, but the enjoyment comes from simply doing it.  

Over the next few weeks or months I will consider the development of my blogging experience.  


  1. I keep a blog to record what I'm painting and playing as a personal record .

  2. Blogging is an individual choice and endeavor with a likely range of reasons why.
    As long as you enjoy the process and the results, keep on doing it. Those readers with similar tastes will gravitate to and enjoy your efforts. I do!

  3. Thanks for the comments

    It would seem that we all agree that we blog for personal satisfaction, rather than to influence others or to generate discussion.

    Having said that, it is always nice to receive comments, particularly supportive or constructive ones.

    However it can sometimes be difficult to find something new to post. This is particularly so when there is no response to the previous one.

  4. Paul, keep up the blogging, I must admit to being one who always reads your posts but do not leave a comment often enough, I should do more so as it does help with motivation. I have periods when I want to walk away from it and periods when enthusiasm is high and I will post a couple of times a week. Because I do a lot of painting I tend to have new stuff to feature most weeks at the moment, but I try not to set myself borders, if I want to drop in a paragraph about life in Spain for example then I will and in the pipeline I have a post about ww2 aircraft recovered from the Kent coast where I lived and another about my Grandfathers first war service for the commemoration so not purely waragming. So keep going Paul, it's a great blog :)


  5. My blog has remained a personal record of gaming and (mainly) painting first and foremost. But I've long used it to air my musings to a small section of the internet world too. I've been at it over 12 years now, though on at least three occasions I've placed it in hiatus for periods of upto 18 months or so, when I've had little inclination to record my activities, assuming there were any....

  6. Not receiving any comments on a blog can seem dispiriting but if you treat your blog like your open diary, as I do, a record of your activity, it seems to matter less.

    Sometimes I get comments months or years later on posts I have almost forgotten.

  7. Paul,

    I've always blogged for my own enjoyment ... but also in the hope that others would enjoy what I write and join in the 'conversation'.

    All the best,


  8. I posit that commenting on blog posts of others may increase the likelihood of more commenting on your own. It may work or it may not. My blog seems to have a consistent selection of commentary. Perhaps give this approach a try?

    My blog can be found at:

  9. Jonathan
    I am sure that you are right that the more you comment on other blogs the more likely they are to comment on yours. I do read a lot of blogs, and I do comment, but not as often as I perhaps should. I have found that a lot of comments, unlike your own, do not really contribute to the subject of the blog. Often from frequent followers, who put a few words of support. Nothing wrong with that, indeed it must be nice to have that sort of response. I normally only comment on a blog if I have something constructive to add. Perhaps I should just say “well done” more often.

    You are one of the blogs that I do read every week, but again probably do not comment as much as I might. On the other hand you always get a lot of comments on almost every subject you post. I suspect this may be because of the way you write, or perhaps simply that you have a lot of regular followers who like to comment. Perhaps a particular style of writing results in more comments. By that I mean something like “open questions” in discussion?

    You sound like a very kindred spirit. I agree that comments are less important if your intention is to simply record your activities. But despite that they are nice to receive. The subject is obviously important, and if you post about something of current interest you may be more likely to receive comments. This is certainly true on forum such as TMP, where a comments about the latest rules issued will often result in a mass of comments.

    My blogging, like my wargames, tend to be very concentrated. I have tended to start new blogs for different interests, rather than put them all on the same blog. In fact I felt a little guilty starting this current tread, as it is not really “Napoleonic Wargaming”. But I had run out of inspiration and did not want to miss my regular weekly blog entry.

    Yours is another blog I read every week. And again the volume of response you get makes me green with envy! I can see that most of them comment regularly, indeed most every week. And your subject is your current project, which includes lots of new figures and photos of them being painted. So you are unlikely to run out of inspiration, and the result is very visual. Most of us are painters, to a greater or lesser degree, and as such can appreciate your work. So to comment is natural. I have completed my armies and no longer wish to paint or collect. So my subject tends to be more personal and perhaps complicated, dealing with long running campaigns and rules amendments. Blogging, like wargaming, is quite important to me. So I am not likely to stop either. Normally inspiration or enthusiasm for either is natural and easy, so having to struggle to find a subject last week was unusual.

  10. Paul,

    I always enjoy reading your blog, which I have found inspirational whilst I have been re-discovering the possibilities of Napoleonic wargaming. Your approach has helped me to realise that large-scale battles can be fought on a normal-sized tabletop, and was instrumental in helping me to write my Portable Napoleonic Wargame rules.

    All power to your elbow.

    All the best,


  11. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments

    I well remember that you were a major influence on my early blogging, and helped me set up the blog when I started.

    I read your blog each week, and am always impressed at the wide range of interests you cover. I also enjoy your easy to read style of writing. And I am constantly impressed at the number of comments you receive.

    I am very pleased to hear that my ramblings have helped you with your Portable Napoleonic Wargame rules. One of my hopes for my own blog was that I might be able to spread the results of my own campaign project and encourage others to try something similar.

    best regards



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