(You have to read this. It's all for you.)
Welcome to my blog. My weblog. My...autoblography, if you like.
It doesnít matter if you donít like, and I donít mind if you donít like.
I do like.
Live and let live, as they say.
You are probably a blogger yourself. We are legion, arenít we? So very many people, so much webspace...so little time. Itís enough to daunt you, isnít it?
It scares the hell out of me.
Bloggingís weird, isnít it? We all started through a spark of interest, and look where itís taken us. Look where we all are. Weíre the blogging planet.
I started because I was curious about the whole idea of a weblog, and (regulars, hello) thought it might be a good place to jot down thoughts and whatnot, with the added bonus that the whole world could see it; theoretically.
I blogged rarely in the beginning...less than once a fortnight, for a while. I blogged only if I was online (which was rare), only if there was something interesting to say (rarer), and when those two occasions collided, on top of that, I had to remember I had a blog in the first place...
Things have changed!
To begin with I had no comments, no sitemeter, no links, no site design...nothing. Just a blog-standard template from the free selection at Blogger.com, and my words. Because I had no idea how many (or how few) people read my blog, ignorance, was, in a way, bliss. I wasnít aware, then, that there were so many blogs. At this point in time there was one heck of a ruckus kicking back and forth across the blogosphere about the Guardianís temerity to run a ĎBest British Weblogí competition. How could they be so crass as to assess the relative merits of the blogging public? How dare they? I know why, or I think I do. One or two of you may disagree with me...but that is your prerogative.
Live and let live, as they say.
We all do it. We all have our favourites. We do it ourselves with every time we go to a bloggerís page and check to see if theyíve updated, and if they have we have different reactions depending on how much we like them. If theyíve written shedloads (still here, regulars? Blimey) and you love their work, you smile and settle down for a good read. If they are in the middle of your spectrum of tastes, then you feel a bit put upon to read all of it, so you read a bit and see if you fancy carrying on. If youíve just dropped by for the first time, you might not bother at all.
And so the fear starts. Some of us write a lot every day, some write a few choice words at the weekend, but weíre all part and parcel of the blogosphere.
Other people and their reactions to you and your blogging have changed what you began, right? Once those people that sat inside Ďthe whole world can see my site, theoreticallyí resolved into individuals, things became more real. More...direct. They had expectations, these people. Like you have expectations of me.
If people have expectations of you and your site, and you want to please these people, you will want to pander to their wants. I know I do. You give thought to what you post, think about what will make an entertaining thought for the day, or a succinct and profound subject. Your blog changes...
Your impression of your reading public can assume immense proportions irrespective of their numbers Ė if you only have a few readers, you want to keep them, and so you try and please them all the more. This wanting to please can become almost a bane, a chore...something you resent. You want to blog but you donít want to blog badly, so you donít blog at all, and you feel annoyed about that. You get frustrated with the whole business, or incredibly tired of it all, fatigued almost.
This can really put dampers on the whole experience. Pressure. Worry.
Things some people blog to get rid of!
Hiatus. Closed blogs.
An avoidance of pressure...the feeling that in the circus of the blogosphere, your lot is that of the seal on a ball with a smaller ball on its nose. You have to perform.
Bollocks you do.
Mind you; live and let live, as they say.
If weíre not competing, weíre not competing. Your blog isnít as good as, or better than, any other blog. Each person is different, and I sure as hell wouldnít want to read smooth, heavily edited, passť, polished blog posts all day every day, from every blogger, on every subject...all that revision pushing people to universal subjects, thoughts, punchlines...
So I thought Iíd stand up and be counted as being unafraid to blog as, when and how I like. I shall not shy away from Vomiting Vietnamese Weasels, nor the silent battle to avoid paying for toilet paper in my houseshare...if I feel like it. We are all different people, we will all want to blog about different things, weíll write about them in different ways, see them in different ways, and readers will take different things away from reading depending on who they are.
Or we might not feel like blogging at all.
Live, and, as they say, let live.
I just wanted to reach out to you, reader, blogger, friend, whatever, and say a few words to you. They are the words of a man long dead, and by virtue of being very good words, they have stuck around a lot longer than he did.
I like these words a lot.
You might not.
Fair enough though Ė some people say live and let live. I am one of them.
Here they are:
Love, and do what you like.
The guyís name was Augustine. I suspect heíd like you to know that.
If you like blogging, do it. If you donít want to, Donít do it.
But whatever you do, donít feel that you got pushed into it by me, please.
I love you.
So do what you like.