Forget Christmas and end-of-year musings: this is the first anniversary entry of this blog. That’s 52+ entries. That’s a triumph of commitment and stubbornness over half-arsed writing, slow weekends and a short attention span.
I’ve had a blog for five years now, but it’s only around this time last year that I moved the sporadic and meagre entries I’d already written to WordPress. And it was the 19th December 2012 that I looked at an empty ‘new post’ page and decided that the internet needed one more would-be wordy person spilling their opinions out into the world on a weekly basis. You need my words, people! Obviously! You’re reading them right now!
It’s actually, mostly, been fun. But there have been weekends when I’d rather hurl my laptop across the room than dredge up something to write (and I’d say that it showed in the writing, but some of those entries have turned out to be the most popular). Others where I had too many ideas and wrote a shambles of disorganised rubbish about every bad idea that popped into my head. I actually have an ongoing word document called ‘bloggitry’ where I list ideas, and if you could just see the rubbish you’ve narrowly escaped…
I’ve tried to avoid turning this thing into a diary (and succeeded, I hope). Also tried to avoid being pigeonholed. I’m totally aware that being a life-style blogger, or writing mostly about sport (which I did, for a while) or only about books (which I tried to do, for a while) will build up a solid readership faster. But as much I get a statistical kick from looking at the viewing charts and so forth, my interests are varied –though granted they have a tendency to come in waves, which is why this month has been all about the fiction writing, where the beginning of the year was All Iron Man, All The Time.
I have some followers, quiet though you are (hi, lovely followers, by the way – do please feel free to comment occasionally. I do like seeing text that I didn’t think of on an entry). I can’t say I haven’t occasionally entertained dreams of a commissioning editor stumbling across my site and asking me to write for … wherever. My occasional dreams never get that detailed. And they’re only occasional because I’m very realistic about most things.
And the reality is that the closest I’ve come to that is having a pool of ‘articles’ to pull from to apply for other writing gigs (one of which will, hopefully, be kicking off in March if it all goes ahead. Watch this space.) It’s started some lively conversations on Facebook. It’s boosted my confidence in writing and given me a good lesson in just sitting down and getting on with it. It has *ahem* made me a bit of a snob about some other sites I read, even though my own proofreading skills could improve a lot.
I suspect that my sudden ability to be able to complete a year of this blog also had something to do with discovering, late in life, a stubbornness and work ethic through starting sport. I’m sort of saving that conversation for an entry in the New Year though. I have deep, deep thoughts on the graft versus reward of both triathlon and writing. Of course.
Other bonuses to actually committing to this endeavour: I’m pretty sure the family members I don’t often see like having a way to catch up on me. I like having somewhere to write that is both utterly selfish, but also (mostly) non-wallowing. It’s like having my own practice ski slope, if I skied, which I don’t. For a minute there, Rian Johnson and Noah Segan loved me (and Noah followed me on Twitter! Yay! Starstruck! And then unfollowed me probably because, let’s face it, I’m somewhat boring at 140 characters. Shut up.) Messing around on WordPress means I’ve found a load of other people whose writing I enjoy.
So this is the point where I admit that even as recently as last week I was all for packing this whole thing in. I told a couple of people that I thought I’d see the year out and then archive this site, and… then what. I don’t know. Probably not get on with the ‘other’ writing I had in mind while I was saying it – because if I can’t continue to come up with 800 words on unpolished mind vomit each week, how am I going to do the harder work of polishing up something to be worth printing on paper?
Also, I suspect 2014 has potential. There’s already a half marathon, a triathlon, the BUPA 10k and, still to enter, bike rides and swims lined up. And in other areas, I’m trying to get to the point where, from March, I should be expecting a rejection from a magazine every couple of weeks. And I’m going probably have completely silver hair! And I’m thinking of incorporating actual photos. And I’ll have to write about all of this, because People Need My Words. Yeah.
Thank you, come again.