I’ve been blogging roughly since my last year of university in 2004. Back then I started to write my blog as a diary with very little meaning and even less expectation that anyone would read it. My blog was also much more of a website – I had pages of articles (rather than just posts) and you could choose the theme yourself. I built a scrolling shooter game with a Star Wars theme where you got to shoot the floating head of one of my best friends with a X-Wing. It was A-MAZE-ING and probably drove the majority of my traffic.
I’ve had a few blogging breaks in the mean time and a chunk of my posts got deleted when my site was hacked by someone offering me ways to make my penis larger naturally.
Facebook and Twitter came along, and later Instagram, and it became easier and more interactive to share my thoughts on those platforms. However, I returned to blogging just over a year ago after hearing a report on wireless that said that people who creatively write something even as short as a Tweet every day can get cognitive benefits from doing so. It also provides me a platform to write longer posts than 140 characters without forcing it on someone and clogging their timeline.
However, the purpose of my blog hasn’t really changed. I write primarily for myself. It is a creative outlet, and sometimes an emotional outlet and, you know what? I actually quite enjoy it.
It’s only recently that I introduced the ability to “Like” my posts because I didn’t want people to stumble across my blog and see that they were the only visitor! But thanks to those likes I can see that some of you are regular visitors and I’m constantly bemused that, by the wonders of modern technology, people from all over the planet are able to read the ramblings of a very average, nearly-middle-aged middle manager from a sleepy corner of North West England, and that some people actually enjoy it!
This has left me slightly more conscious that I am now writing “to” people. These couple of hundred words a day are no longer simply getting lost to the ether but are actually being consumed by people who deem them worthy of taking up a couple of minutes of their day every now and again.
And to an extent, it makes me think about what I write now. Once something is out there, anyone could find it – colleagues, friends, acquaintances, service providers. Knowing people can read what you write can act as a conscience. In a way, I’m giving up some anonymity and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for my writing to upset people just yet.
Being vague also means that people can take what you’ve written and maybe see in that something that they know about themselves. Last year I had someone read themselves in to a post and some of you regulars will have noticed the vagueness of some posts recently. I’m vague partly out of what I mentioned before about my desire not to offend or upset if someone becomes readily identifiable (I don’t really care if it’s a business or organisation!) but partly because I like the idea that something I write can be recognisable to a reader.
I enjoy sharing anecdotes and stories about my life and hope that you, dear Reader, enjoy hearing about them. I’m conscious of what I’ve heard the authors of books or the directors of films say, that the medium they produce can be interpreted by the consumer in a way in which they desire.
As a kid, I viewed Superman as just a superhero who could do amazing things. One of the last Superman films was quite obviously a modern interpretation of the New Testament. Now I know I have some witnesses to what I write, I like the idea that I can write things to be taken at face value and I can also write things that people can take and think about.
I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield