|I’m pretty new to blogging, as keeping an online journal of this nature is called. I still have much to learn about ‘feeds’, ‘trackbacks’, and ‘carnivals’. If you don’t know about them either, don’t worry!
I’m not new to being a woman though. I have 43 years’ experience. And so I know how hard it is to express my opinion without being perceived as ‘pushy’.
Women are not brought up to assertive themselves or express their opinions, and frequently not encouraged to do so. It is not perceived by society as a feminine characteristic. And if you lack confidence, as many women do, being able to express yourself becomes almost impossible.
I’ve always found it difficult to express my opinions. I’m not an orator. I have an unreliable memory and zero confidence when speaking to groups of about more than four people. Thankfully written words come easily to me. They help me think through my argument and accurately say what I mean.
I started this blog so I could talk about the content and making of my paintings to help viewers better understand my pictures and the thought processes involved in making them. But the more I write, the more courage I find I have to express my opinions publicly about other matters I consider to be important or worthwhile. It’s liberating! It’s especially good to find there are people out there who actually take the time to read what I write and sometimes even agree with me!
I write using my real name but blogging is frequently done anonymously. For women who are a bit shy the technology provides a safe place from which they can speak out without risking being shouted down or interrupted. They don’t have to worry about what they’re wearing, their fat thighs, imperfect hair or the colour or condition of their skin. They will be judged on their words alone. That’s liberating!
And yet, I am told by Philobiblion most of the best known bloggers are male. I’ve had a scout around and she’s right! Why is this? After all, it’s not that women haven’t got lots to say. Is this technophobia – a perception that IT and computers and stuff are a male thing? Perhaps. Or is it that old lack of confidence chestnut? I suspect so.
Among many things women do exceptionally well is create networks of friends, associates and colleagues. The more I blog the more I see that this is the key to getting one’s blog read; getting links and registering your blog with the right search engines. I’m finding all this out at the moment. It pays to be pushy.
For example, just on the off chance, I recently asked the editor of a national art magazine if he’d like to feature me. To my surprise he said ‘yes’. I was surprised not because I don’t believe my paintings are good, but because I had the courage to ask and risk a negative reply. Take that risk, Sisters! If you have something to say, get blogging and tell people that you are. Now is the time for to claim Words for Women.
I believe that The Rough Guide to Blogging will published in July. There are lots of other ‘how to blog’ books out there, but ‘The Rough Guides’ books have a reputation for clear language, accurate information and helpful instructions. I hope that lots of women will read it and act upon it. I want to hear what they have to say!