I like those 'this much I know' articles which are a sort of Q&A with oneself. So, to mark eleven years of blogging, here is mine on that subject.
Colour works well on blogs and in kitchens. Ours is pink (above) and when it was redecorated recently, we painted it exactly the same colour because we love it so much. The blog, though, has always been multi-coloured. I can't imagine ever blogging or living in neutral.
Comments are not obligatory.
Nothing is obligatory. It's your blog, you do what you want. Most people stick to a tried and tested, crowd-approved approach, but that does not make it the right one. I love finding and reading blogs where the author is making it up as they go along and letting their style and personality shine out.
I like the fact that knitting was the way in for many bloggers. I would never have imagined that two sticks and a ball of wool could lead to so many talented people writing funny, clever, interesting blogs. All those knitters who hadn't previously connected joined up and started a huge conversation.
It's hard to write a blog devoted exclusively to knitting. I lasted six weeks before I introduced extra subjects. Hat (hand-knitted, with pompoms) off to those knitting bloggers who managed many more weeks, months and years than me.
Tom, Alice and Phoebe wanted to catch me out. They set up false emails all the time to leave comments and waited to see if I would spot them as spoofs. What they really wanted was for me to reply. That would have made their day. I never did because their daft pseudonyms and email addresses often gave them away.
Writing a blog takes up a lot of time. But it's worth doing. It's a good discipline for writing, looking, thinking, appreciating, questioning, analysing, sharing.
And you have to edit, edit, edit.
When I write a post, I always upload the photos first then write, not the other way round. The images tell the story just as much as the words. Often people look only at the photos, so they have to work hard.
I've taken a lot of photos since since February 2005. Thousands and thousands. I'd never even used a digital camera before then. These days I still use a small camera which fits in a pocket, but for stained glass I had to learn how to use the manual setting on a DSLR. It's not a lot in eleven years, but it's worked for me.
Blogging is very sociable. I've made all sorts of connections with people all round the world. And I've met lots of people as a result of blogging - and made some very good friends. But blogging can never replace real interaction with real human beings.
I've had a couple of nasty moments with blogging. I'd love to tell the story of one of them, but it's just not worth it. I have no time for bloggers who use their blogs to make personal attacks.
My advice would be to not set up a blog to make money, even though that's what is happening now. All good blogs begin with good, authentic content, not with sponsored content. A blogger with a natural, distinctive voice and style is far more interesting that one who can be bought for a handbag,
I've been lucky. My blog has led to lots of good things, things I never imagined would happen. Like writing books. Which is lovely, but doesn't pay the bills.
I blog because I enjoy it. Eleven years of enjoyment is not bad.