Martin Hodges (photo by Speckly Woo)

Guest Blogger – Martin Hodges

Today I would like to introduce you to UK writer, poet and editor Martin Hodges who blogs at Square Sunshine – ‘thoughts and observations of a grandfather’. Martin writes humorous and moving stories and poetry about life, with a keen eye for detail and a poet’s flair for language.

Martin is also the co-founder, along with Clare Kirwan, of Poetry-24, an online journal of news-related poetry. The journal has only been going for about 6 months but has already established a reputation as a place for fantastic poetry from different countries around the world, on a huge array of topical and often hard hitting subjects. They are always looking for new contributors, so if you a poet please consider submitting to Poetry-24. I love to read my news in the poetry format ;).

I asked Martin a couple of questions about blogging and he was kind enough to respond.

Why do you blog?

When I told a friend that I was thinking of starting a blog, he said, “Be careful, it can be addictive.” He was right, to an extent, and for me, blogging has been a habit-forming activity. Habits of the positive variety.

Because I’m basically a lazy/easily distracted writer, I need to adopt a structured approach, if I’m ever going to get my thoughts and observations written down. I’m not a natural note-maker, but blogging encourages me to jot down ideas and experiences in bite-sized chunks, and for me, this has one distinct advantage over traditional pen and notepad. My posts (or expanded notes) actually take on a life of their own, and that can often be a satisfying conclusion to the creative process in itself.

After a couple of false starts, I launched Square Sunshine with the intention of posting about my experiences as a new grandfather, in the way I wrote my 80s newspaper column, about being a new parent. Remember, how I said I’m easily distracted? As with the column, Square Sunshine quickly evolved into a platform for a whole range of musings and experiments. Although ‘what it is to be a grandfather’ has remained fairly central, I’ve also enjoyed a wonderful and unexpected voyage of discovery into the realms of photography and poetry.

What do you like most about blogging?

I guess this leads neatly into what I like most about blogging. There are many things, not least the social aspect. It’s a bit clichΓ©d, but I have been introduced to some fascinating individuals and, in turn, the stories of their day-to-day lives, hopes, achievements and creative expression. And, if anyone doubts that people in virtual communities don’t really experience human interaction, they’re wrong. I’ve laughed out loud, wept, and even grieved in response to what I’ve seen and read. Confirmation that well written diaries can be powerful and, sometimes, life-changing documents.

I enjoy the kind of freedom Square Sunshine offers me to get creative. But it’s also a window to worlds beyond my own, and the inevitable richness of the cultural exchanges that ensue.

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Thanks Martin πŸ™‚