Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blogito Ergo Sum?

I started blogging during a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning. I was bedridden for a week, my wife and children were staying at my mother-in-law's and the boredom and isolation (along with broadband access next to my bed) resulted in my first blog entry.

I expected my random musings to disappear into the ether. Blogging would be a solitary, cathartic activity - the 21st century equivalent of a journal - but to my surprise people started to post comments. My vanity was flattered by the knowledge that others had read my words and considered them worth responding to, but more importantly I enjoyed finding myself in a community of witty, intelligent, incisive people whose comments augmented my half-baked ideas with real wisdom. I was hooked.

What should I write about? I was a bookseller and knew that this was the part of my life that would be of more interest to others than anything else, but Ottakar's had just been taken over by Waterstone's and I was accutely aware that my new employer had sacked someone over the coments of their blog. I was left with my personal life - dull, unless you can reinvent it with the wit of Stephen Fry - and a fairly random selection of subjects that arouse strong feelings in me. I opted for the latter.

11,550 hits later I have to confess that I have run out of things to say. I can't tell you the really juicy things about bookselling because I have a mortgage to pay. Also as far as Waterstones goes, it falls a long way short of the 'Evil Empire' status that some have attributed to it. It is a big company run by retailers and there are frustrations associated with that, but boringly for blog readers there are lots of good people in the company and overall they're trying to do the right thing.

Perhaps I should write a whimsical account of being a father in the 21st century, as that's all I do in my spare time. However when I read self-consciously witty articles by sensitive 'new men' about parenthood (written in a nauseatingly intimate style that is obviously designed to court female readers) I feel nothing but contempt.

That leaves my interests: books, music, philosophy, environmental issues etc. I've written about a few subjcets but many of the subjects I'm most passionate about would bore the arse off most people. Do you want to read my thoughts abouts Sibelius? No. Do you care what I think about Gordon Brown? Of course not. So what is there left to blog about?

I think it is time to leave the blogosphere; not in a permanent 'never again' dramatic exit, but simply as an acknowledgement that it is pointless to blog for the sake of it.

I have been accutely aware of the need to add content at least once a week and have recently found this increasingly difficult. I can't quite bring myself to abandon the pretentiously titled Age of Uncertainty but unless I suddenly have a lot to say, I shall keep my counsel.

As David Soul sang, 'Don't Give Up on Me Baby'. I will still blog, but I will try to deliver quality rather than quantity. Less is more.


Resolute Reader said...

Well that is sad, I enjoy your musings and I have to say I would love to read your thoughts on Sibelius, particularly his Violin Concerto.

I think Blogs are of their time. They fit a moment in the writers life and if the writer is lucky, this matches up with the desires of a few people who want to read them. In this regard, they are identical to newspaper and magazine columnists. Few are the writers with the wit, energy and inspiration to continue one of those indefinitely (believe me, I know, I've tried!).

Nevertheless your ramblings will be missed - you wouldn't believe the number of links from my own blog that die the death. Will have to be proactive and find some more. All the best with things. Drop a comment on my blog if you want to occasionally. And direct some of your readers towards it. If you don't want them, I'll be glad of the hits!

Good luck.

Steerforth said...

Thank you for your kind words.

Re: Sibelius - I love the Violin Concerto but think that the real genius of Sibelius lies in later works like the 4th and 6th symphonies.

Unknown said...

Oh I would love to hear your real thoughts on the mighty W, but like you I am aware of the concerns blogging about work brings up. I am very careful in what I say, just in case...

Do hope you continue blogging, even if it is only occasionally.

Best wishes

Nowhere Girl said...

Oh no - first Bye Bye Belulah and now you! It seems all of the bloggers I enjoy visiting the most are moving on.

I'll also miss your musings and insightful observations. I hope you will still post occasionally, and still leave comments on my blog from time to time to let us know you're still around in the blogosphere. And thank you again for your advice when I was unemployed. I appreciate your generosity with your advice and your humor. Best of luck.