To borrow a phrase from a recent post of Tom’s (a very interesting post it is as well) I guess that the tagline for this site should really ALWAYS be “it’s like thinking in public”.
I’ve been blogging for years, had a “homepage” before that and could bore you silly whilst trying to score silly points because I’ve been “on the web” longer than you. The early posts to my site were usually longer pieces, similar to the kind of thing I post these days, along came Blogger and this de-generated into a two line diary of a very boring man. To the 24 people who used to visit me each week, thanks for doing so (although I’m pretty sure most of them will have disappeared to greener pastures).
Since then I’ve improved, as do most things with practise, but I don’t really see myself as a “popular” blogger. Whether you use stats, incoming links or general awareness, I think it’s fair to say I’m a pretty well kept secret. I quite enjoy that, but part of me would like a little more attention, fame if you will, a hint of the shadow of limelight to fall on this site now and then. And it has, now and then.
But this is a hobby and it should be painfully obvious that I’m making this up as I go along. I don’t have a plan, I rarely know what I’m going to post about the next time I sit down at the computer, let alone in a day or a week from now. I’m shoddy at keeping archives, I don’t email people when they comment here and, on the whole, it still surprises me that I can garner 39 comments on a simple post about leaving home.
And no I’m not looking for praise or validation.
Having read your thoughts from the post below, and having given it some consideration I’ve decided against joining up to the 9rules network. Mainly because I don’t think it’s focus would serve my needs, and partly because, despite having done this for so long, I’m still not sure what those needs are. This site started as an outlet, somewhere to host my thoughts as I spewed them out of my befuddled head. If I’m honest the real reason for the creation of this site lies in a deep and murky place and I’m not actually 100&percent; sure WHY I did it, why I wrote all that stuff down, why I posted it for the world to see. How this all began is a mystery even to me (I COULD force the memory but it’ll just bring up some other stuff that I’ve worked far too hard to bury and don’t want resurfacing).
One day, about a year or so after I started this nonsense, I received an email from someone who had read some of what I had written. It was a long rambling email, as full of terrible spelling/typing as it was of genuine emotion. Something I had written had meant something to someone. My thoughts, typed up and presented on the internet had struck a chord with someone, they talked of resonance and relief. Relief that, finally, they had started to realise that they weren’t alone in their thoughts, that someone else thought like they did, that they didn’t have to be worried anymore. Suddenly it made sense, they said. And in one email it suddenly made sense to me as well.
Ever since I received that email I’ve blogged. Not every day but at least every week. In times past I lost track of why I do this, the formation of a habit can be a difficult thing to remember, and when does a habit become an addiction? At which point does it tip over and start to influence things it has no right to touch? But then this is a unique addiction, is it not?
The more I wrote the more I wanted to write, starting post after post but struggling to see them through, losing my train of thought too easily, lacking the discipline to limit myself and ending up with unfinished posts littering my hard drive. The mass of thoughts in my head all intertwined, trying to relate one theory to another leaving me confused and frustrated as I couldn’t finish them. Then it struck me. You don’t NEED to finish them. That’s the beauty of this medium, if you aren’t positioning yourself as a journalist, if you are presenting views and thoughts as they occur then they don’t NEED to be finished. You can just think out loud, put it out there and see what comes back.
I have a naturally curious brain which latches onto topics for fleeting minutes, occasionally hours, infrequently the flirtation will last a day or so. During that time I devour information, skim reading as much as possible, making logical leaps myself, and building blocks of knowledge which slowly merge and cross pollinate each other. I’m a bit of an idea whore I guess, the type of person those “Bluff your way in…” books are written for, as long as they allow me to understand basic principles then I’m a happy chappy.
The content of this site is probably evidence enough of this approach and in a way this site is more a reflection of me than I care to admit – veering from topic to topic whilst retaining a selfish, and downright lazy, central thread. At least I think this site is a reflection of me, but to answer that I need your help:
When you visit this site, what topic of content do you expect?
Don’t worry there is no right or wrong answer, I’m just curious. Most of the other blogs I read are fairly steady in their choice of topic, but I don’t think I am. Can you prove me wrong?
Well, I didn’t expect to end this post here, but as a wise man once said about writing, if you see an opportunity to end something, take it.