I’ve finally decided to do something I’ve meant to do for a while, and write a blog which basically records one of my daily thought processes, usually concocted during my minutes of free time, in the shower or walking the dog, and then lost forever when I find something more interesting (a bouncy ball or some shiny paper).
I was assuming that no-one read this blog at all, until two friends subscribed the other day, which means I’m suddenly a lot more self-conscious about this post than I though I would be, but having told them I was intending to write it, I’d better continue.
I have of late, wherefore I know not, been drawn to quite a lot of self-reflection. Perhaps it is in a way related to the impending deadlines for two portfolios of work, which of their nature force one to look back over past works. I have, in the next few days, to draw together 2,000 word of online content, containing 1,000 words each of blogs and of news articles, plus my twitter feed.
However, the problem I have seems to be the length versus the quality of my work. In my recent work placements I was perfectly content to knock out a standard news story of a couple of hundred words, following the honoured formula of intro, development, quote. Ad infinitum.
By contrast, this blog has presented itself as quite a challenge to me, as it still seems to lack a direction (evinced by its lack of name as much as anythng else, leading to the age old question, which came first)?
My blog writing also shares some similarities with my Riveronline articles, in my lack of self-editorial skills. My style ranges from useless verbosity, spewing out a thousand words, using three examples where one would do, and often lacking that all important spark, the mot-juste which would tie it all together. Alternatively it becomes terse and ultra succinct, everything in one paragraph.
I also need to work on my time skills, and am currently lacking in a sense of immediacy. I cannot start, and when I do get working I am afraid to publish and put forth my work, always wanting to change, to tidy, to add and subtract., Perhaps this is a sign of high working standards, or is it just shyness? Looking at my old blogs written in France, they were far from perfect but they at least had a focus (chronicling my life at that strange time) and a form (utilitarian, but informative).
I have now had seven weeks free from university, and am forced to look back at what I have managed to do. Piles of to-do lists seem crossed out, but is “post letter” or “walk dog” really an achievement. I certainly won’t be awarded any certificates. I have performed many other things, been to spas and travelled about. I am climbing once a week at least, and writing. But is it all worthwhile if every activity in my life has a purpose? Exercise should have an element of fun, leisure time should not be the focus of an article. Writing itself, as a career, should be performed for enjoyment as much as profit. If else, why not become an accountant?
The things I wanted to do on this break as ends-in-themselves; play more guitar, read non-academic books, keep my diary (in shorthand though, must practice) have fallen by the wayside. I read newspapers now out of need to keep abreast, rather than genuine interest. My old french textbooks and my new Latin for Beginners are gathering dust.
I keep telling myself, tomorrow ad tomorrow and tomorrow, I have months ’til the end of my course. But then what? Work? Unemployment? I am currently managing to get by academically, but after all, what does a degree get you these days? I need to write and write and write. At a wannabehacks get together last night I hit on one possible scheme; ski blog. If I can get an internship over the summer, but nothing solid by winter, I may as well do another season. But this time I need the discipline to write.
Perhaps, if nothing else, that may be what this last year has given me. Some idea of a method, and an idea of the necessary discipline. Perhaps.