I said it at the beginning of 2008 that I was going to seriously get my head into blogging. I meant it and despite only posting half as many entries in 2008 as I did in 2007 I’ve learned far more than I ever have on the subject.
So with that in mind 2009 is lining up to be a far more productive year. My colleagues at work have finally caught on to what I do during my lunchtimes and whilst some have been really interested others have questioned the point. It’s not as if I’m going to end up with an audience the size of say Perez Hilton or Darren Rowse over at Problogger. That’s not why I do it though. I write because I enjoy writing. I’m completely inept when it comes to written English though despite it technically being my first language. I am gradually getting better though thanks to things like this.
During my years at school I was never encouraged to write. I was told to write but thats an entirely different thing. We had the usual book reviews and structured critiques of plays but we were never encouraged to write for the sake of writing. Actually that’s a complete lie as we had a supply teacher for 3 months that did exactly that but that’s a story for another post. Other than that one teacher the only time we were allowed to just write was when it was short story time and even then we had limitations put on us. No less than 500 words and no more than 800 words put a huge limitation on anyone that wanted to just keep going with a story in their head and no matter what your chosen subject was you had to have a twist. It could be the robber getting away like Robin Hood or the unlucky gambler finally hitting big but you had to have that in. You couldn’t have more than one twist though as that wasn’t allowed and if your story didn’t have any and actually worked without it you were forced to include one or pick another subject to write about.
As the years went on I stuck to my maths, tech drawing and computing and lost almost every skill I ever gained in the English classes. So much so in fact that I had to rely on a girl in class to help me through my final round of English modules before I left school. I did the video production, editing and graphics whilst she did everything else. As it was a group mark we all passed but only just. These days though I have stories running through my heads from all the roleplay campaigns I’ve played in the past as well as those I want to play in the future. I also have the need to write on topics that interest me other than storytelling. Again it’s not my forte but I enjoy it. My wife encourages me and has gave me a huge boost by telling me exactly why she enjoys reading my writing when I put my mind to it. She says it’s like having a conversation with me as I lay things out in exactly the same way as I would when going on at length about something I care about when I talk to her. If just on person other than myself thinks that about something I’ve written then I’ve won a watch.
I don’t write for anyone but myself but I will admit to being a stat junkie but that’s more down to my years of playing computer games and having to get a higher points total than your mate. My wife has a few blogs herself so there’s a constant battle with that side of things. She has more subscribers but I get far more daily viewers… usually.
The only other piece of advice is taken from Wil Wheaton. Don’t be afraid to suck. It’s going to happen and if it does and noone reads what I have to say than so be it. As I’ve said it doesn’t get written for anyone other than myself anyway so if I get it right and people do like it then it’s something to learn from and to try and replicate in future. For every post that I get a new reader from I’ll have ten that will only ever be read by close friends and family so it’s no use it effecting my writing.
That was a bit of an aimless ramble though so I’ll leave it at that and get stuck back into tidying and coming up with a new tructure for my blogs for 2009.