20,000 views: thank you but you are all nuts!!!

One of the interesting features of the WordPress site is the excellent statistics it offers about ones blog (s). A while ago I wrote about the importance of not worrying about what anyone thinks and just writing and since that time I have checked this blogs statistics only sporadically. When I checked this morning I was a bit surprised to find that the number of views of the site are now over 20,000.

In short I just wanted to say thank you for reading. I am humbled and more than a bit disbelieving that those of you who are regular readers are interesting in what I have posted here.

What I also wanted to offer some insight into is why I write on this blog: I get asked that question often in different contexts. For me it is simple: when I write I feel better. Writing clears my head and is also an indices that I am in control of my day and mindset and both are not controlling me.

This week, for example, I have not had much time to write and, more particularly, was feeling uninspired. Those facts of course were indicative of having a week where I found myself uncomfortably (metaphorically) stretched and feeling a little flat.

I love what the process of writing does for me personally much more than the words I publish so the fact that you read what I have written (after posting I tend to avoid re-reading) is the best feedback I could ever have about that which I write about.

I would love to say that I am going to write more: the fact is that I am going to have some weeks where I am struggling health or time wise so all I can say is that I will continue to write when I have something to say. I hope in return you get even 1/10th as much as me out of this blog as I do.

Thank you again for reading!

A bloggers lament: just not enough time in the day!

I have been fairly silent on this blog of late (save for posting my quote of the day). Normally when this happens I have not been writing because I have nothing to say. This week though I have simply found that I have not had enough time in the day to sit before by keyboard and write.

It is the conundrum of the amateur blogger isn’t it: I love writing and it calms me yet when things get busy I do not have the time to write! This week I have had a hectic week with work, as well as been in pain with a medical problem for which day surgery beckons such that when I have gotten home from the office I have been tired and listless and thus not in the frame of mind to write.

It goes without saying that in the last week there has been much to irritate me and much to provoke comment. From the first budget of the Abbott junta through to Lou Vincent’s betrayal of cricket fans the world there has been much to talk about

Some have said to me that “you have to make time” and that is a fair comment but that sentiment needs to be tempered by a keenness to not do a half assed job, whether one is a rank amateur or not. So I will not say that this week I will make time to write because to say so would probably lead me to write just for the sake of writing and produce dross. Neither of which appeal to me.

Rather, I will say that when inspiration strikes (unless someone out there wants to pay me to write … anyone … please!!!!) I hope I have time to commit that inspiration to prose. Otherwise it might be another week to lament from a blogging perspective!

Blogging: sometimes life just gets in the way!

I have written before on this blog about the fact that I write because I enjoy writing and I write about no specific topic because the process of writing is as important to me as the topic. Which is not to say that I write about anything other than things that are important to me or interest me.

This last week I have been busy. In fact I have found myself frantic at times with not just work but what could best be described as the usual vicissitudes of life. The biggest loser in such a big week has been my writing on this blog. I just have not had the time to write. Equally, I have to confess I have not felt like writing much and in this context I would just be writing for the sake of writing which is not a smart place to be.

With the weekend upon me and more time to think I have realised in equal parts how much I have missed writing this last week and how happy I am that I did not write something just for the sake of writing. I am not going to say here that I am going to commit to writing everyday: I am busy and to so commit would lead to the path of writing for the sake of it.

What I will say is that this week has made me realise that writing is more than just a hobby; it is an important part of my life that I have to make time for when I have something I want to write and am passionate about. Here’s hoping this coming week is not as busy as the last and I make time to write!

For the love of writing: why blog? Or ought the question be for whom?

I have been seeking some feedback on this blog and some other writing I have been doing recently with a view to improving not only what I write but also the level of readership what I am writing ends up with. I will confess to some frustration that I spend an awfully long time writing a blog for only 50 or so readers to view it.

One question that came up via email from one of the people that I have sought feedback from was this:

Who do you blog for?

In reply to that question I posed a fairly verbose and self indulgent response about writing for the readers. That lead to the retort from my feedback provider that he could tell when I was writing for a particular audience and not for myself or in a topic that I am invested in because the quality of my writing dropped.

This raises a valid issue in my mind: is blogging about one’s audience or oneself? If one is blogging for oneself then do the audience numbers really matter?

The more I have thought about this issue, the more I have come to the realisation that I actually do blog for myself. I feel better when I write and I feel even better when I am writing about something I believe in or am invested in.

Normally at this point I would asking you as readers for forgiveness for writing a such a self indulgent post. To do so would be against the central theme of this post: I am going to write for me from here on in and focus on topics that I am interested in. Readership may drop but finally I think I can say I am not bothered by that.

I think this slight change in mental approach to this blog will help with the regularity of posts and quality of writing. I know I am going to enjoy writing this blog more now that my mindset is to write whatever I want about whatever I want.

Just because I have said that I am not writing for an audience any more does not mean I am not interested in your views about what I write: indeed I hope this slight change in approach will lead to more interaction on this blog or via twitter or via email.

100th blog: for the love of writing

This is the 100th post to this blog. It is not my 100th blog / article as I was writing (or should I say ranting) about cricket and rugby on another blog and for another website. This blog had its genesis in two things: my purchase of an iPad and a trip to New Zealand. What came from a mobile travel blog has morphed into a blog about anything and everything I feel like writing about.

I have tried in writing this blog to, on the one hand, write about issues that bother me both from my life and also in sport whilst also, at times, seeking to be irreverent. I have been overjoyed by the fact that there are people out there who enjoy reading what I write and I will concede to being disheartened at times when a blog I have spent hours on researching and writing is read by one person (and that may have been me).

I get asked a lot: “why bother writing, you are busy enough as it is?”. My regular reply, and the truth, is that I love the writing. Actually that does not give justice to why I write: I love the process of getting the written word on the “page” and massaging it into a form that is readable. In a previous life I wrote legal opinions for a living and with that part of my life gone writing this blog has gone some way to fill that void. Now I get to write about what I want, when I want, in a form that means that anyone with an internet connection can read. The fact that people from 32 countries have read this blog has made me deeply proud.

The help and feedback I have received along the way from some wonderful people can not be discounted. Three people deserve special mention for helping (or trying) to polish the rough edges in my writing and giving me a forum coupled with this blog to write: Irene Watt (@pinkrugby), Jeremy Irvine (@Jeremy_Irvine) and Kate Stone (@oskythespy) you know how I feel about the help you have given me so all I will say, again, is, thank you.

Finally, before the festive season I was thinking about shutting down this blog. The daily grind of work coupled with a dwindling readership led me to thinking it had run its course. I have been reenergised over the Christmas / New Year period by the writing I have done, both here and in private, and will again be “strapping in” for another year of rants, sport and frivolity.

Thank you for reading.