I nearly made it a whole seven days without blogging about blogging, but yesterday I cracked and wrote a tongue-in-cheek post that was very much about blogging. It was partly through the limitations of time and partly through a total lack of inspiration. ‘Blogger’s Block’ if you will.
So today I thought I’d use my blog entry to ruminate a little on what the point of all of this is. Through careful analysis (by the blog itself not by me…) I’ve worked out that I get very few people visiting ‘James Proclaims’ on a Saturday, so if I’m going to be a little self-indulgent then today is probably the day. If such a thing as a ‘die hard’ fan of this blog exists, then I suppose this is the DVD ‘making of’ extra rather than the main content. If you are a ‘die-hard’ fan of this blog then you might want to reconsider how you spend your time. There are better things than this out there for your entertainment, not just in the form of other blogs but also books and films and art and stuff. If you’re a die hard fan of my blog then you might instead want to to try the Die Hard films. At least three of them are better than this.
Anyway, I thought I’d use this bit of introspection to establish what this online collection of writings is meant to be and who it’s meant to be for.
I’m happy to wheel out the old cliché that I do this for me. I do. But the bit of me this blog is for is the bit that is made happy every time someone comments or ‘likes’ something I write. It’s all about the ego. I write a blog because I want to write. But I want to write stuff that people actually read. I’ve started a blog roughly once every two years since 2006 and they all died, mostly because no-one was reading them. No-one was reading them because I didn’t tell anyone about them. This time seems to be a bit different. People have read, commented on and ‘liked’ the majority of stuff I’ve written on here in the last few weeks, and that’s encouraged me to keep going. But this time I did actually tell some people that the blog exists so it turns out a bit of shameless self promotion doesn’t hurt. I still don’t think I’m shameless enough in that regard.
It’s great that people are reading, but that brings its own set of pressures. If people are bothering to spend time reading this, then surely I should make what I’m writing worth reading.
I have written some posts that I’m really happy with. I think there are one or two posts on here that are as good as anything I’ve ever written.
But there’s a lot of stuff on here that isn’t brilliant.
Which brings me to the next reason I do this. And I think the main reason I do this is that I know I’m not bad at expressing myself through the written word. But I am inherently lazy when it comes to writing. Maintaining a blog is all about discipline; it keeps me writing regularly and that has to be a good thing. But there is now a genuine ‘quality versus quantity’ debate happening in my head. Do I keep churning out stuff, day after day, thus buying into the ‘discipline’ notion, or do I actually make a concerted effort to make all of the content as good as it can be, thus acknowledging the fact that people actually bother to read it once in a while.
It should be simple enough really, I’ve demonstrated a certain level of discipline already, perhaps now is the time to ease off and to raise the standard of the content. But some of my best received posts have been ones that I didn’t think were all that great while conversely there have been times when I’ve published what I thought were hilarious pieces of prose that have raised barely a flicker of interest from the blogosphere.
So am I even the best judge of what should end up on here?
But as I’m the only person who can be that judge, then we’re all going to have to put up with my judgements for the time being.
I honestly thought when I started ‘James Proclaims’ that I’d be writing satirical observations of the modern world, but I’m not sure that anything I’ve produced so far could really be considered to be in that genre. On the other hand, I never imagined that I’d be writing fiction at all, but I have twice and they have been two of my best received posts and on reflection I think they’re the two posts I like the best too.
Some of the best blogs I read have no particular rhyme or reason, the writers seem to write what they want, when they want and the results are always pretty good. But they also seem to be the bloggers who post inconsistently and if I do that I’ll inevitably stop writing completely. Other bloggers follow pretty rigid schedules and constantly produce great content. That doesn’t really sound like me, but logically there’s a better chance of consistency if can adopt that approach…
Time to experiment. Last week I tried to post a different genre every day. Sunday I wrote the first of what I hope to be many ‘James Complains’ articles. Monday I wrote something akin to a poem, Tuesday I satirised a nursery rhyme, Wednesday I wrote a spoof review, Thursday I wrote a short story and Friday I did something else that probably wasn’t worth doing…
I’ve decided to refine last week’s approach and produce a schedule moving forwards. I don’t want to lose the aspect of the blog that allows me to write about anything whenever I want to but my new schedule should still allow for a maverick unscheduled effort from time to time.
Ok if you’re still reading (and for the life of me I don’t know why you’ve made it this far) then my blogging schedule will look something like this:
Sunday – James Complains
Monday – A poem or something that looks like it might be a poem
Tuesday – Nothing, or maybe something if I feel like it
Wedneday – James Reviews
Thursday – A short story
Friday – same as Tuesday
Saturday – An introspective piece about blogging or nothing if that seems better.
Welcome to the new James Proclaims.
It’ll be quite a lot like the old James Proclaims.
But possibly more organised.