A year ago today I began this blog. It was a beginning. After a previous false start. Preceded by a ‘good run’ on an earlier wordpress blog which ran its course (about 9 months). Coming after a hiatus of several years after my very first blog, on 20six – way back in 2003.
Blogging is an outlet. A way of letting off steam. Of venting. Of talking to oneself. And others.
I never thought this blog would last a year. It seemed unlikely. I’ve had occasional dalliances during which time I’ve thought to scuttle it. I’m funny like that. I believe, deeply, in chapters. Of start points and end points. But having said all that – this blog still has a shelf life. For now.
You see – the title is apt. It is the metaphor. It represents the end-game. To break free from the status quo. The escape from the rat race. The new beginning. Of course – that nirvana-like state hasn’t been reached yet; hence this blog keeps going.
The blog often reflects my mood. Insouciance, anger, amusement, depression, elation. But there is also the ‘flat line’. Like the ‘flat-lining’ observed on a hospital monitor – it is the emptiness engendered by the status quo. Of years passing. The sand of one’s life, slipping through one’s own fingers.
And my blogging style has changed somewhat over the years. In 2003 blogging was very niche. Different to now. It really wasn’t common. It was kind of cliquey back then. I don’t recall us embedding images or movies or doing the funky things we do now. It was a pre-youtube, pre-facebook, pre-twitter era. ‘Man-on-street’, ordinary people were most unlikely to be “bloggers” or to know much about “blogging”. Instead, there were a bunch of alternative, slightly geeky people writing about random things. It was a kind of static chat room, from what I recall. I have quite fond memories in retrospect. All blogs looked quite similar as customization options were fairly minimal.
After that I gave up for years. I restarted in 2007 if memory serves. On wordpress.com (where my current blog is). I got really into it that time round and met some lovely people (who followed me to this blog and who are regular commentators. I tend to refer to them as ‘the dearly beloved’ – the old skool). In that iteration I blogged with particular candour. My personal life was all over the place. I wrote – on the margins – about ‘he who was beyond the scope of the blog’. I had highs but devastating lows. I remember one regular (he knows who he is) once saying “who needs soap opera when we have your blog!”. Yeh. It was that bad. All too frequently I had to retract, delete or password-protect posts the following day, as I had gone too far. I was, perhaps, like an out of control subway carriage hurtling inexorably toward the buffer; crash and burn seemed inevitable.
On the upside – I had more time for things like reviews and certain blog entries I wrote were linked to from the BBC, The Guardian and Channel4. I’m not talking anything big here – I just mean, some fairly niche programs and documentaries that I would write about – which I guess most other people couldn’t be bothered to write about. It hasn’t happened on this, my current blog, mind you.
And in those days I thought nothing of posting lots of pictures of myself on the site (I’ve always liked photography, especially post-processing – and what better subject matter than oneself). These days I value privacy and would rather fill the blog with snippets of things that catch my eye from across the web. That said, I do still post a lot of photos, though not of myself.
Following that 9 month blog I had a short and unsuccessful stint on a self-hosted blog which just never really took off. It was styled to within an inch of its life. But it was soulless. I picked a highly eccentric pseudonym that was lost on most people but I think it was all a step too far. So I’m glad to now be back on wordpress.com which does actually have a sense of community and which I really rate and recommend as a platform.
As usual, a thank you to those who have read, commented and been regular visitors to this blog over the past year.