Do I REALLY sound like that?

In an effort to compile a list of what I consider to be the best posts of this blog, and yes such things are highly subjective I know, I spent some time perusing my archives last night.

It’s an odd experience, as I found myself re-living a lot of my past via this strange yet familiar narrator. For, you see, I don’t actually talk like wot I write, y’ken? Hmm I don’t talk like that either mind you… although I do say “och aye” more than I realised, much to the amusement of a colleage of mine from New Zealand.

Of course this isn’t such a surprise as no-one really talks the way they write, nor sings the way they speak, but I did catch myself wondering if I really did write what I was reading. Which is both odd and comfortably flattering at the same time.

I guess this comes down to that old “people don’t see you the way YOU see you” thing, where, as the name suggests, other people don’t see you the way you see yourself, and their opinion of you isn’t swayed by your own internal insecurities, unlike your own.

There are far too many commas in that last sentence, this is another thing I’ve noticed and which litters my archives like dog turds on a cycling path, consistently terrible punctuation. What of the semi-colon? Honestly, as someone who writes for a living I am shamed. Of course there isn’t much call for personal writing in the midst of a technical manual so maybe I have a small get-out clause?

Yes, browsing your own archives is both enlightening and informing in many ways. I recently commented, on another site, about why I leave my entire archives in place rather than removing the nonsense, or starting over completely. The simple reason is that they remind me of how this blog started and how much it has improved. Looking back to the first year or two of this blog I’m still surprised that anyone visited at all, let alone returned more than once. Zip forward to 2007 and the stats continually surprise me. Hundreds of you visit every day, and then come back again, and again. I may not get the most visitors and I may not get the most comments, but I have to admit to a quiet satisfaction that, for the main part, my visitors and their comments are of a consistently high standard. Thanks you guys.

Stepping back to take a new view of something is always intriguing, regardless of the subject matter. Everyone has a different viewpoint, a different point of approach, a new angle. Given the recent round of news in the blogosphere regarding “codes of conduct”, self regulation and so on, this is something worth considering. I’m happy to be disagreed with, I’m happy to be proven wrong, I’m happy for people to voice their dissent in the strongest terms but my comment policy stands. I enjoy reading comments from people with a different point of view, no matter how opposed. I’m always willing to learn from others, so if I say Black is White, please feel free to disagree with me (and yes, I know Black and White aren’t colours).

I’m not going to tackle that topic though, others have been before me and most of the ground has been covered. I will point you to the new Blog Advisory System though, it seems to be very accurate.

Whoa, bit off-track (there is another post in this, about how the fact my miniblog refuses to work is effecting how and what I write here in the main posts) now, were was I?

It has, and continues to be, an education to read through my own archives. I don’t have that great a memory, with a lot of the stuff I post here largely being posted as a method of NOT having to remember it, so it’s an excellent way to re-acquaint myself with my own content. I am intrigued to know how everyone else keeps track of such things, are you all as disorganised as I am? Or do you remember what you wrote?

Do you read through your own archives from time to time, or just search them when you have a vague memory of possibly, maybe, posting about a particular topic in the past?

How do YOU use your own archives?

11 comments

  1. affecting, not effecting, Goddammit! And I’m not sure about “I am shamed”, although I think you can be let off on that one.

    As for how I use my archives, I do look through on occasion, but also use them primarily as a reference for ‘when did I do xyz?’ and the like – for which they’re very useful.

    Other than that, I know what you mean about re-reading your own stuff and wondering whether you actually wrote it in the first place. I did that a while back with some of the rantier posts/pages, found myself laughing at a particular train-oriented rant, and had no recall whatsoever of writing it…

  2. I was going to post a comment on the svitez (intentional) post too, but figured I couldn’t be chuffed in the end. (unlike furtive minx. *ahem*)

  3. I say this everytime I give up a blog and start again – I wish I hadn’t. And the archives are the reason why. Not because they’re brilliant, because they ain’t, but sometimes I like to remember my life beyond yesterday…

    On the other hand, because I write so personally, seven years worth of archives might be a bit much on the old brain!

  4. I did a massive trawl of all my archives when I had an “oh $hit, so-and-so has found this site!” moment. I did quite a bit of editing and deleting, and on the one hand I was glad to have the chance to save my ass, though on the other hand I was really pissed off at having to censor myself.

    Of course, my memory’s rotten too and it was great to be reminded of various things going on in my life over the last few years!

  5. Mine have sort of turned into a kinda diary. It answers the ‘what was I doing/thinking around then?’ questions. It feels slightly strange after I’ve gone back some time when it actually starts feeling like looking at someone else’s diary.

  6. It works in audio too. I’ve only been podcasting for a few months, but listening back to some of the early ones – it sounds like someone else!

    I don’t remember saying those things, and I sound unnatural and very wooden.

    Maybe I still do, and in a few more months, I’ll listen back to the current ones and think the same.

  7. Gordon, the comment counter on this post seems to be tits-up – it’s reporting one more comment than there actually is…

  8. Ahh, it’s counting the Trackback ping as well.

    Another item on the long ignored to do list…

    Chris – I used to do Hospital Radio and have recordings of some of my shows. Well I say “my” but they could have been by some alien as it doesn’t SOUND like I think I sound!!

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