I've been a great fan of the blog format ever since I discovered it some five years ago, and stuck along with the changes. I like the speed of publishing, the editorial policies (one person or a small group but usually no corporate interests), and the feedback from the readers. I like people telling about their personal lives, about their thoughts, and mostly, I love being able to access the immense worth of people sharing their work, passion at talent. I also like intelligent comments, often they add a lot of value to one article, and reading a good debate is priceless.
Of course there aren't only roses but somehow when the novelty worn off, the format sort of depurated itself. Blogs these days are of much better quality, and blogs like mine (of lazy, uneven people) seem to be the minority.
There is a moment when dedicated bloggers take a leap of faith and start making their blog their full time occupation. I can't picture myself doing it, but plenty people out there have done it and so far it seems to work out well for them.
I've been reading some of those people who started in just another blogspot or typepad site for years, and now they make a living out of their writing. I've seen them grow and mature, and I am genuinely happy for them. I hope their blogs will keep helping them put the bread on their tables for many years to come, and that their enormous talent and passion will never fade.
While my profession and my work are not in the writing and publishing realm, and I'm very happy with it as it is, I do admire those writers who've made it. There are lots of people who deserve my admiration, I know, and they do... but there's someone who's really a class apart.
I mentioned before that something I like of blogs is interaction, the feedback from readers. I'm usually a reader, very seldom a writer, but if I like somebody's work and effort and I think I have something to add, I'll try and share it. I imagine that being online for many hours, doing research, writing, publishing and getting in touch with colleagues and clients must be tiresome, and since I'm not someone who will bring along a new sponsor or a big purchase mine is a little voice, but there is one blogger out there who consistently makes me feel like the time I spend reading is appreciated and worthwhile.
The writer in question is Holly Becker, from Decor8 (http://decor8blog.com/). Mrs. Becker states in her blog: "As a writer and interior design consultant I created Decor8 to catalog beautiful finds and to inspire others". Together with her other, more personal blog, (Haus Maus, http://hollymaus.blogspot.com/), she's one of the most delightful reads of my day. She writes about artists and crafts for home decoration, with a keen eye and an impeccable style, and sometimes she adds a more personal note about her life and her profession.
Those qualities aside, which have deservedly earned her reputation, Mrs. Becker is exceptionally attentive and kind to her readers. While blogs are basically about oneself (I made, I like, I think), she treats all of her readers with a lot of respect and it transpires often. She never sounds like she owns the truth or like she thinks she's a genius, which is fresh air among one person blogs. It doesn't matter we readers might be thousands, she's not a condescending queen and we're not pitiful subjects; she's generous with her work and humble in her attitude. She's thoughtful with the comments she receives, and takes the time to reply personal messages from starstruck readers like me.
If there were courses for people wishing to make a living out of their writing, celebrity bloggers wannabes, I would say: take a leaf out of Holly Becker's book. That's how readers should be treated.