Saturday, 28 June 2014

This post is definitely not about writing

I read some really useful advice for writers about blogging the other day. And let me tell you, if I ever see any advice about blogging, I'm sure to read it because, let's face it, I need all the help I can get.

Anyway, what this advice was suggesting was that I shouldn't be blogging about writing. I should be blogging about anything else I can think of to make myself seem interesting. This seemed like pretty smart advice, so I thought I'd have a go at it. After all, I am a really interesting person. I shouldn't have any trouble coming up with all sorts of ideas.

So, hmmmm, what to blog about?

How about fishing? I went fishing once, a long time ago. It was really fun. At least I think it was really fun. Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn't that great. I felt so bad trying to get the little worm onto the hook - like I was some sort of evil, vicious worm killer. And then, the fishes were all messy and squirmy and made a mess in the boat. Plus I got sunburnt from being out in the sun too long.

Okay, so maybe fishing isn't the number one topic I should choose for this blog.

I know, how about carpentry? When I was a kid, I did a bit of carpentry with my dad. We used to work in the garage (it never had cars in it 'cos it was always too full of other stuff). Sanding and sawing and drilling and nailing. I was never much good at it. No matter how carefully I aimed that hammer at those nails, I always ended up taking out my fingers instead. And anyway, I always seemed to end up spending most of my time on the sanding, which was just quite unbelievably boring.

All right, so maybe talking about carpentry isn't such a great option either.

This is turning out to be harder than I thought. Here I was, thinking I was a well-rounded individual with a variety of interests and a wealth of knowledge to share. Turns out, I'm scarily one-dimensional and don't know half as much as I think I do.

I think I better leave this post right now and go out to find some new hobbies to take up. In the meantime, I really hope you don't mind if I go back to talking about writing next week.

1 comment:

  1. Not all of us can be Stephen Fry. I mention Fry specifically because we’re about the same age he and I (he’s actually two years older than me) and I hate him. I actually don’t hate him but I do hate the fact he has such an interesting life. He knows interesting people, goes to interesting places and does interesting stuff while he’s there. He seems to have boundless energy. And I don’t. I don’t have an interesting life or at least the things and people that interest me would be of very interest to anyone else; I never go anywhere that’s either interesting or not and if I did I’d have used up all my energy getting there and would want to come home by the next bus, plane, train, or yak. I made a conscious decision when I started blogging not to talk about myself and mostly I don’t. It’s impossible not to talk about oneself—I do have experiences that are, on occasion, relevant—but I keep these exposures brief and to the point. So people know I’ve a wife and a cockatiel, a goldfish that refuses to die so I can repopulate his tank with some tropical fish, a devotion to all things Beckettian and a love of classical music. It’s important that I reveal a bit about myself to make me real to my readers but, seriously, you don’t want to hear me going on and on about any of those topics and to be honest I don’t want to go on and on about them. I’m a kinda private individual and really would rather not do any of this Internet stuff but I realise that it’s necessary so I do the bare minimum.

    My solution to the problem you’re facing was book reviews. For a long time I posted twice a week—and you know the length of my posts—and a part of me regrets that but that was me listening to what other people said. Post often, they said and so I posted as often as I could and it didn’t do any real good. Most of my friends post once a week and I’m happy to read what they have to say once a week. Anything else would be burdensome to me and to them. When I do allow myself to come out and play a bit is in comments like this. You set the topic and I’ll give you a few hundred words on the subject. No more than 4096 characters anyway. Which I know is longer than some people’s blogs but there are some things I can be interesting or helpful on and so I’ll use the space available.

    I disagree with the advice you’ve been given though. When I was first looking for blogs to follow I’d go trawling and find a post that interested me, add them to my feed reader and then spend months wondering why the hell I did because they talked about anything bar what had attracted me to them in the first place. A while back I did a cull and now I read hardly anyone. I’m always on the lookout for replacements but I don’t want to read about where people went on holiday, what their mum’s recipe for black pudding involved or what they think about the politicians in their country (I really wish there was a filter on Facebook where I could rid myself of all religious and political posts.) An occasional off-topic post is fine and I have gone off-topic but only rarely. People follow me to read about writing and so that’s what I post. With someone like you I’m a bit laxer because I’ve got to know you a bit as a person and so I’ll read pretty much anything you write about. Not sure what you’d have to do to get me to stop following you. Asking nicely, I suppose.