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March 26, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

The Writing Process Blog Tour – Why do I write what I do ?

I think therefore I blogOn 20 March, I mentioned I’d been asked to join in a blogging tour & answer these interesting questions, which all provoke useful answers, so I thought it was worthwhile:

1) What am I working on ?

I write for the Apley Estate in Shropshire, UK. I work in marketing, advertising, press & all related work such as website, our loyalty card database. Unless I’m in meetings on the telephone (term time) or in person (school holidays), I read / write for much of the day between school runs. I swat away emails like flies, reading & dealing with them as fast as possible. Apart from this blog, I write press releases, articles, ‘copy’ for our websites, newsletters, our publications, presentations, interviews, research & more recently for our archive exhibitions.

My husband Gavin owns the Apley Estate & opened Apley Farm Shop on 31 March 2011. In 2007, 2009 & 2012 we opened our 3 Apley Holiday Cottages. In 2013, we began bringing back into production the Apley Walled Gardens. And I’ve spent some of this year so far focussing on the Apley Archives. The Estate has is multi-facetted – primarily farming (2000 acres are now farmed in hand by our Farm Manager), rental of residential & commercial property (managed by Apley Estate Office) & shooting (15 days pa are now let). That’s just an outline. There are so many issues to deal with on a weekly basis which are too diverse & numerous to mention here.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre ?

Others working in this field may be qualified in journalism, writing, food & farming, but I fall into none of those categories. Also, I’m currently working only for one organisation, Apley – which keeps my field of work quite narrow. It’s quite rare to be working so closely with one’s spouse & for the family firm. Electronic Information Management is a fairly new sector, which opened up no more than 20 years ago. Before children, I worked in that area, took an MA in it & still love the essence of that work – gathering, organising & sharing information to become knowledge or even wisdom. We’re in an Information Age, making quick & multiple decisions based on fast & accurate information supplied from reliable sources at the right price.

3) Why do I write what I do ?

To inform anyone interested in Apley of what we’re doing, why, how & where. Because it’s like a dairy, it’s a more personal form of communication than Twitter or even Facebook. Running a traditional country estate is quite rare these days & therefore of some interest to others. Apley is a strong community & many people there just like keeping in touch with what’s going on. Plus for some people, having an understanding of what a 21st century Lord & Lady actually do is also quite interesting (apparently !).

My blog is supposed to complement the various Apley websites. With my blog, reactions can be quicker & I can publicise something sooner than on a webpage.  It all really began with the launch of our Apley websites which needed a blog as part of the SEO work (Search Engine Optimisation) as well as the Apley Archive project which began in 2007, to try to fill a gap of 50+ years of Apley Estate history. That got me writing & recording. I try to avoid writing anything controversial or biased, so I don’t get loads of daily feedback & comments. But many people I meet say how much they enjoy my blog, so I’ll continue until that changes ! I’m methodical & have kept very brief entries in a Five Year Diary for 25 yrs, so jotting down a few notes in a blog regularly is second nature. I love research – a trait I always thought I may have inherited from my paternal grandfather who was an historian.

4) How does my writing process work ? 

I don’t write at the same time every day – just whenever I can fit it in or when some information arrives which would do well to be in a blog. I have a large photo collection (I always rather thought working in the Getty Picture Library would have been fascinating) with which I illustrate whatever I’m writing about. When I know I’m going to be busy, I sometimes have to schedule a blog to be published whilst I’m out. I have a schedule for a year, with issues I know I want to cover on a particular date. Plus a large document with masses of draft blogs, which I use as a resource to draw on.

The term blog was coined in the late 1990s, but digital communities such as Usenet & CompuServe existed in the early 1980s. The modern blog evolved from the online diary / log book.

I’m now supposed to then get 3 people I know who keep blogs to join in & do the same ! …


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