“Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see – because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’ – why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth” Mr Pooter
Have you read the Diary of a Nobody by George Grosssmith published in 1892? Do! It’s a positive hoot. I picked up a copy years ago and had forgotten about it until I recently came across it in a bookshop. Re-reading the diaries has had me chuckling away at the minutiae of life, the foibles of the characters all painting a vivid picture for the reader. A picture of suburban life and its toils, troubles and pleasures.
I can’t think of a more apt way of describing blogging – in terms of Diary of a Nobody we are all Somebody’s, each and everyone of us. The beauty of blogging is that it has enabled us all to keep our diaries – whether they are a literal account of travels , or family meals, or growings in the garden; in essence they are all capturing the everyday details of countless millions of lives. Me included.
The contradiction is that I rarely read auto-biographies, frankly I find them dull, I can probably list the number of biographies I’ve read on one hand – not for me the slew of stories published in time for Christmas of the soap-football-comedian-actor-politician. I find them dull and laboured, rarely showing any insight and one of my biggest bug-bears they are only from a single point of view, a singular view of a life. I could go as far as saying I find the auto-biographical format arrogant – in the sense that the writer believes their story to be of importance.
When I sit down to read I want to go on a journey, to be transported to another world, to enable me to think about this world – I read but it is fiction that captures me and my imagination – it’s my history, philosophy, geography teacher all rolled into one. Yes I flick through gardening books, dip in and out of Cookery books, go on the occasional journey with a travel writer, but it is fiction that fires me up.
And yet every week I publish a post or two and read countless other blogs. Diaries of Nobody’s and Somebody’s. A delicious irony for this reader-blogger-writer.
Your diaries entrance and engage me, entertain and inform, question and query, demonstrate and highlight. And without a doubt are singular – but unlike the published biographies they engage me, take me on a daily-weekly journey of the events in your lives be they momentous or minute. I’m included in the story in a way the published word can’t. I follow your lives, loves and losses as they are part of mine. A shared life.
We have a freedom of expression; to publish our thoughts, events, paintings and poetry that no other generation has experienced. Countless daily lives captured and commented on. All these online diaries of Nobody’s and Somebody’s there to read for the inquisitive mind or in future for the social historians. A world captured in the words and photos; documented and discussed for all to see.
This post was intended as a thank you, a thank you to all those who read and comment on my blog – whether you are a regular commenter, an occasional reader or a subscriber – this is my clumsy way of saying thank you for sharing in this mashup gardening-cookery-travel-life diary, you make it.
To follow a fellow nobody is really rather special to this somebody.
Thank you x