I wondered what other bloggers blogged about, and how their blogs became so successful. So I spent some time clicking my way through recommended links.
After a while, I found myself regularly checking the same handful of blogs that would shed a bit of light on my day. My favourite bloggers turned out to be people with one hell of a sense of humour.
"Progress on my first novel was so slow that I ended up writing about absolutely anything else, resulting in long, rambling posts about nothing and a readership of zero...After five years of following funny bloggers, here are my three favourite:
A lot (Alot) of people say that procrastination is a bad thing. Yet if Allie Brosh had never procrastinated when she should have been studying for a physics exam, the brilliant Hyperbole and a Half might never have been created.
Part blog, part web-comic, Hyperbole and a Half is an excellent combination of Brosh’s punchy way with words and mad skills in MS Paint.
Brosh’s words alone are enough to bring a smile to your face, but the addition of her crassly drawn comics just add a certain amount of hysteria to see you spurting coffee across the desk and slapping your thigh during a hearty chortle. Posts vary from childhood tales to observational humour that (for me at least) always feels hauntingly relatable.
Favourite posts include: Am Adult and This is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult – both about the challenges of trying to be a ‘proper’ adult; Sneaky Hate Spiral – all about the slow build up to a anger flip out; and Adventures in Depression – a funny yet heartfelt story about Brosh’s battle with depression.
Seeing as I’ve already mentioned Jenny Lawson in My Three Favourite Memoirs, I feel a bit naughty mentioning her again. But, in all honesty, I’ve followed The Bloggess for such a long time, it would be wrong not to include her in this particular feature.
Lawson’s blog has always been my go to place for emergency LOLs. Lawson started as a freelance “Mommy blogger” for the Houston Chronicle and started her personal blog, The Bloggess, because she “Needed an uncensored space to say the f-word and talk about ninjas.”
There isn’t a particular theme to The Bloggess’ posts, but they’re usually hilarious and can involve anything from backwards conversations with husband Victor, to various taxidermy animals (or posts like this one, which combine the two), to antics of felines Hunter. S. Thomcat, Rolly and Ferris Mewler, to giant metal chickens called Beyonce (yes, you read that correctly).
What I particularly love about The Bloggess (aside from the insanity) is the sense of community between Lawson and her readers. In 2010, she offered 20 Amazon gift vouchers to any family who needed some help buying Christmas presents that year, knowing so many families would be struggling. When the last gift voucher had gone, her readers stepped in donating what they could to each subsequent call for help.
Now those are the kind of loyal and lovely readers you don’t just get by writing about sandwiches.
Anyone who’s ever worked in a customer facing environment might have experienced a “did I really just have that conversation?” moment.
Poet and bookseller Jen Campbell has had many of those moments working in the Ripping Yarns antiquarian bookshop in London. Conversations with customers got so bizarre, in fact, that she started blogging about them and quickly became somewhat of an internet sensation.
Then, all over the world, other booksellers pitched in with some of the odd requests they’ve had from customers. Popularity of the blog grew, one thing led to another and now, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops is now a book you can buy in bookshops.
Of the varying (and frankly, bonkers) conversation and bizarre requests from the public, here are a few of my favourites:
CUSTOMER: If my daughter wants to buy books from the teenage section do you need to see some form of ID? It was her thirteenth birthday this weekend. I can show you pictures of the cake. You can count the candles.
CUSTOMER: Do you have a copy of Nineteen Eighty Six?
BOOKSELLER: Nineteen Eighty Six?
CUSTOMER: Yeah, Orwell.
BOOKSELLER: Oh – Nineteen Eighty Four.
CUSTOMER: No, I’m sure it’s Nineteen Eight Six; I’ve always remembered it because it’s the year I was born.
BOOKSELLER: . . .
CUSTOMER: Do you have a crafts book on how to build a gun?
CUSTOMER: Doesn’t it bother you, being surrounded by books all day? I think I’d be paranoid they were all going to jump off the shelves and kill me.
CUSTOMER: Where are your fictional novels?
Gone are the days of “the customer’s always right”. I think we can safely establish that some of the time the customer might be severely unhinged.
Can you recommend any funny women whose blogs we should be reading? Which blogs are always guaranteed to get you smiling?