Less Is More. More Or Less.

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Sometimes, when I can’t think of anything to write about, I write about the fact that I can’t think of anything to write about. It’s a little self-contradictory but it solves a problem.

Equally, when I don’t really have time to write anything, I occasionally write about the fact that I haven’t got time to write anything, even though by writing about a lack of time to write anything, I am proving that I did have time to write something. Albeit something pointless.

The other solution would be to write nothing.

Which may be preferable in the short term but writing nothing on one occasion often leads to a longer-term scenario in which I write nothing for weeks on end.

Which is bad for me.

It may be less bad for you.

But this blog is an entirely self-indulgent affair, for the most part, so ‘bad-for-me’ is undesirable.

Then again, at the moment, I really am quite busy and being busy seems like a state of affairs which is likely to continue indefinitely.

Which means this blog is likely to take a ‘back seat’ unless I can think of a solution.

And one solution is to write shorter posts.

About not very much.

As opposed to long posts about not very much, which is my usual modus operandi.

So that’s probably what I’m going to do for a while.

Write short posts about not very much.

Like this one.

But maybe I’ll aim to make them better than this one.

Although they probably won’t be much better than this if I’m honest.

James Complains About Not Having Written Anything

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It’s the first Monday in September and like many teachers I’m obliged to go back to work after a six-week hiatus.

Obviously, I expect very little sympathy from the non-teachers out there. Clearly, it’s hard, if you don’t get six weeks off, to sympathise with anyone who hasn’t had to go to work for the best part of the summer (I mean it was definitely the best part of my summer anyway).

Fortunately, I know there are quite lot of teachers who read this blog.

So, it’s perfectly fine for me to have a moan about having to go back into work.

And regular readers of these pages will know I’m not a huge fan of the whole work thing anyway.

I’d much rather sit around in my pants all day watching box-sets and eating ice-cream.

But there are bills to pay.

And no-one is prepared to pay me to sit around all day watching box-sets and eating ice-cream.

So, to work I must go.

And to be fair, the education profession does allow me numerous holidays throughout the year when I can sit around watching box-sets and eating ice-cream.

Obviously, I don’t spend all my holiday time doing that. Mrs Proclaims tends to frown upon that kind of behaviour.

Also, it’s apparently not good for your health to spend most of the day sedentary whilst consuming large volumes of frozen sugar and fat.

Anyway, after a six-week break in which I haven’t exclusively sat around watching box-sets and eating ice-cream, I’m back to work today.

Normally I’d be dreading it.

And today is no exception

But it’ll be fine. I’ll struggle through the first few hours, as I remember that I’m contractually obliged to do stuff and not all of that stuff will be interesting, or even worthwhile. Some of it will, frankly, be a complete waste of time. At first, I’ll want to resist, but eventually I’ll settle back into the same, slightly numb, reluctant acceptance that this is my life until Christmas.

And that’s fine, because they pay me just about enough to meet my mortgage commitments, pay my utility bills, and do all the other essential things I need to do to exist.

Like eat.

And pay my Netflix subscription.

So, while it’s fair to say I’m reluctant about going back to work today, I do understand why I have to do so, and on balance, I can’t complain too much about having to work when I’ve just had six weeks off.

But the trouble with having to work is that it tends to get in the way of blogging.

It’s hard to maintain a blogging schedule and do all the stuff I need to get done in work.

Sometimes I manage it, but there are often times when I go missing from the blogosphere for weeks, even months, on end because I’ve got too much to get done in work.

So you’d think, with six weeks off, and an unstated but implicit understanding with my lovely wife that I would not spend all of that time sitting around in my pants watching box-sets and eating ice-cream, that I might’ve had time to pen a few missives for this blog.

To get me ahead of schedule.

You’d think I’d have at least written today’s post in advance of today.

And although I did technically write this last night, it was so close to midnight as to barely count.

And I certainly haven’t written anything else in preparation for the coming weeks.

I meant to get ahead during my time off.

But I didn’t.

So, this could feasibly be the last thing I post for a while

Which, when you consider the quality of this post alone, would clearly be a tragedy for all humanity.

So let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that I churn out another one of these soon.

Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time): Part 5 – A Lack Of Prose Disturbs Me

James Proclaims (4)

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After a fortnight’s break from this ‘feature’, I’m back with more ‘Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Any More’.

It’s perhaps appropriate, after a two-week hiatus from the series, that this post is about how I don’t write any more. Although to be honest I’ve disappeared from this blog multiple times before (for longer than two weeks) and in any case, I have actually posted a few things on here in the last two weeks, just not a post about ‘stuff I used to do’.

Maybe I should add ‘writing about stuff I used to do’ to the list.

Or is that just ridiculous?

I think it probably is, but in the context of other stuff I’ve considered appropriate material for this blog, it’s perhaps not all that ridiculous. After all, I did once write this post Continue reading Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time): Part 5 – A Lack Of Prose Disturbs Me

Outside The Comfort Zone

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It finally happened, after nearly three months of following a fairly consistent blogging schedule (longer posts on Monday, approximations of poetry on Wednesdays and a slightly rubbish doodle on Fridays) I’ve managed to fall behind.

I’m not worried, I regularly disappeared for weeks on end in 2016 and, nearly three full months in, 2017 is already looking like a significantly better blogging year. Not necessarily a better year in any other respect, although 2016 is oft much maligned as the ‘worst year ever’ and certainly Brexit and Trump made it a pretty bad year politically and lots of celebrities dying made it bad year for people who like celebrities, and I wouldn’t say 2016 was a vintage year for me personally because it wasn’t, but I’d be hard-pressed to say that it was manifestly worse than 2015 in that respect. So far 2017, while seemingly better on the ‘celebrities dying’ front (as far as I’m aware), is still suffering from the ridiculousness of Donald over there and the imminent triggering of Article 50 over here. On a personal level, there is much to be optimistic about but little in the way of the ‘realisation’ of any of that, so, while 2017 has not been significantly worse than 2015 or 2016, I’m not sure I could claim it’s been much better. But it’s early days and there’s the potential for some personal growth in the next few months.

But the last few weeks have been arduous and I’ve been maintaining a blogging schedule that is reasonably consistent against the backdrop of a job that is, at times, more than a little challenging. I like a challenge, I don’t want to be bored at work, but ‘challenging’ can be synonymous with ‘time-consuming’.

So missing a couple of scheduled blog posts is not the end of the world. Continue reading Outside The Comfort Zone

Poetry In (Loco)Motion

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I wrote this on a train
It was poetry in motion
The train was running late
Which filled me with emotion

The emotion, though, was joy
For I was late as well
My tardiness well-timed
I didn’t have to dwell

Better still, I got a seat
An unexpected perk
As I headed to my course
And an afternoon off work

I didn’t hold much hope
That my course would not be dull
But at least the journey there
Was semi-reasonable

So I took out my pen
And wrote this little ditty
While heading at high-speed
On a train into the city

My New Year Resolutions That I’ll Definitely Be Sticking To

James Proclaims (4)

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Tradition dictates that because it’s the beginning of a new year, I must make lots of pledges to change my way of life, even though I’m perfectly happy with my life for the most part.

It’s mildly inconvenient, because while I accept that there’s always room for improvement, I’m not entirely certain that I’m ready to make any drastic changes to my existence. Continue reading My New Year Resolutions That I’ll Definitely Be Sticking To

I’m sure this post is about something but I couldn’t tell you what….

James Proclaims (4)

Alas Writing 101 has not gone particularly well. It’s the final week and we’re now on Day 16, but somehow I find myself still endeavouring to complete Day 11. I’m a full week behind, and unless I start to post twice daily I’m going to struggle to finish on time.

Which leaves me with a dilemma. Do I break my one and only blogging rule, which is to never post more than once a day in order to finish on time, or do I just accept failure and give up now? Continue reading I’m sure this post is about something but I couldn’t tell you what….

Why I Write

James Proclaims (4)

Hello readers of ‘James Proclaims’, whoever and wherever you may be. If you’re tuning in on a Monday then you’re probably looking for my ‘hilarious’ regular feature ‘James Complains’. But it’s not here. Instead there’s this.

But what is ‘this’?

Well I’ve only gone and signed up for another of those blogging courses that WordPress runs from time to time. This one’s called Writing 101. It lasts for four weeks. During that time I’ll be filling these pages with posts inspired by assignments from afore-mentioned course.

They may not all be worth reading, but I’ll do my best.

Today’s assignment was to answer the question :

Why do you write?

I write because I enjoy it. That’s definitely the main reason.

I do have this outlandish notion that someone one day might pay me for being a writer. Perhaps that it might even make me wealthy. And I wouldn’t be against that at all.

But if it doesn’t happen I’ll probably still write.

I write because I enjoy the ego boost I get when someone tells me they’ve enjoyed what I’ve written. It’s nice when someone recognises you for being good at something that you want to be good at. I need that kind of validation from time to time – I have a fragile self-esteem.

I can’t play a musical instrument (at least not in tune), I’m not especially athletic, and aside from a few rudimentary cartoons, I’m not at all able when it comes to the visual arts.

But sometimes I write stuff that makes people laugh.

And that makes me happy in my own little way.

Angry Artists

James Proclaims (4)

There’s this belief that anger and adversity produces the best art. I’m not certain who actually believes it, but it does seem to be a truism of sorts that is rarely challenged.

I have never achieved success in any of the arts apart from coming second in a short story competition of some repute when I was eleven years old. Continue reading Angry Artists