Why do I write this blog? I like to joke about advert revenue, but I’ve made a grand total of £3.92 from Google Adsense over the however many years I’ve written it. So, why?
Mainly, I find it quite cathartic. The best way I can describe it is that I get “stuck” on an idea. I’ll get very wound up about something, and it will consume my thoughts. Of course this will pass after some time, but I find that the easiest way to shift it is to download it on to the blank screen in front of me. Do I need to post it publicly if I write it for catharsis? Maybe not.
I do quite like to look at my blog statistics; I’m a metadata junkie in many areas of my life. If I get 20 visitors in a day on here, I’m doing quite well. Still, it makes me happy to see those numbers. I wonder who they are and how they found me. I wonder if they got what they were looking for. Did I help them to understand a technical problem? Perhaps I gave them inspiration in some area, or helped them in another.
Another reason for the blog is that it provides an easy way to share stories, digitally. I believe I’ve mentioned elsewhere on here that I joined a public speaking group. In trying to find my niche in the public speaking ecosystem, I’ve found myself drawn to storytelling. Lord knows I have enough stories to tell. I’m happy to tell my stories in real life, but typing them can be tiresome. Thankfully this blog affords me a level of laziness in being able to just link people to posts of interest. It’s also nice to be able to directly link to curated sets of photographs, as well as easily have a way to bring them up when I’m on the go.
Looking at my archives, it was November 2014 that I made my first post. This blog started out as a way to write up my undergraduate dissertation as I went along, but it became an outlet for the weird and wonderful knowledge and experiences within my life. I never used to like writing until I ended up in the class of a particular English teacher at school.
I suppose the word to use to describe her would be eccentric, but I really enjoyed her style of teaching. She wanted me to write better, and I wanted to make her proud of me. I suppose that hangovers from her classes can still be seen in my posts; it was her that introduce me to the traditional typography of double spacing after a full stop, which I still use today.
It’s interesting to think of how the stars align. If I hadn’t had her as a teacher, I probably would not have found my way to writing this blog. Writing well has had a heavy impact on my career path, ergo my life trajectory. Things could have been so different otherwise. I suppose that’s true of most things in life, this one long “choose your own adventure” style story.
Do I get much response from my blog? I will once in a blue moon get a comment from a random person, posted on it. This rare occurrence will always make me irrationally happy. This is probably only the case because I’ve only really received positive responses. I’d be somewhat bothered by negative feedback, though I imagine that it’d still make me a bit sad.
I had a conversation a bit back with a colleague where I said that I felt I’d been quite productive at the weekend, because I’d gotten quite a lot of writing done. He seemed unwilling to understand why I would see that as productive, and his dismissiveness of my sense of achievement did take me aback a little. Not so much that he couldn’t see the value in what I do, but his dismissiveness of something that I was obviously proud of, just because he didn’t personally see value in the activity.
Thankfully, most of my friends indulge me. They don’t pretend to read the entirety of posts, an honestly I don’t blame them. I post a lot of long rambling things (see: this) of intermittent levels of interest. Ironically, one of my best readers is actually the host of this blog (hi Johan!). Generally, they have the good sense to smile politely and nod if I do mention writing the blog. I suppose that this is the best way to do things. If someone is proud of something, even if it’s meaningless to you, just smile and nod. Don’t tell them that you don’t see the point in it, there’s nothing to gain from it for either party.
I feel like one day I’m going to link this post to someone when they ask why I write a blog, thus going full meta. If you are that person and have read this far, then hello to you too.
The photo at the top? Pepperbox Hill, near Salisbury. It’s a photo that never looked quite right to me, but I still love. It’s a bit blurry because of dew on the lens in the cold night. I guess it’s like my writing. Things never look right to me, but I still enjoy it all.