“There’s not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met.” — Jim Henson
I wrote (and finished, though never published) a novel some years ago where the chapters were made up of different characters’ emails, diary entries and blog posts. I hadn’t, at that point, written a blog myself. A reader friend complained that the blog bits weren’t sufficiently “bloggy”. They should be short, pithy and punchy; something one could read on the train for light amusement without having to concentrate too hard.
Needless to say, when I came to actually write a blog for real, I failed to make it “bloggy”. My posts are long and dense. You would probably never consider reading this for comic distraction while being shoved up against a commuter’s armpit on your way to work.
Moreover, unlike sensible bloggers, I haven’t specialised in any one topic. I jump from creativity to personal health to recommended films to family stories. I have periodically thought of focusing on one thing, but I fear I’d get bored or worse: end up posting for the sake of posting. (If there is anything I dread, it’s wasting your precious time.)
I have contemplated having some sort of cheery advice column for readers; not because I Know All – ha ha! – but because that’s what I’m approached for the most in my non-writing hours. As you can tell, I am more than happy to pontificate on any number of issues.
The only criteria I do have for this blog is to write honestly. This has not always been easy. I know from our social-media-savvy times how we’re expected to curate a bright portrait of our days. It is integral to our capitalist structure to show we’re winning. This goes hand in hand with the way we’re always being sold something that costs money with the promise of making our lives better (because we, on our own, are never ever Enough).
I am not invested in selling you anything; I won’t even have ads on this site. I am only interested in stripping away the excess and looking at the story underneath. At the thoughts, decisions and moments that have enriched, changed and shaped me.
I have shared very personal stories about my history with depression, emotional eating and family deaths. I periodically have a crisis about why I have a blog in the first place when I am such a private person. Then I meet people who write in after reading a post, and I know my world expands because of it. Because of you. I am continually moved beyond measure by how you, my spectacularly wonderful readers, reach out to me.
Today, on this blog’s second anniversary, I bow to you lovely people for sticking with me. Despite my random subject matters, the long dense posts, and not being bloggy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
What you read
The most read posts from the past 12 months in descending order:
Living With Less Waste
Inspire Me: Himani Mehta Dehlvi
In Praise of Being Single
My Midlife Crisis: Becoming a Vegetarian
What you liked
Where you are
In the past 12 months, this blog has been read in 109 countries, though 20 of these don’t count as they clicked, they saw, they fled (sob).
The highest percentage of my readers is in the United States. Other countries in the top 10 include Brazil, China, Germany and Japan. These are countries where I don’t know anyone and, with the exception of Germany, have yet to visit.
This is a delightful surprise as I’ve long had a sneaking suspicion that only friends and family visit this site. Indeed, for the longest time, the only people to read my blog were my mother and sister. And my mother didn’t even read me as such, but tolerated having each post translated to her.
Having listened to me for two years, I would be so thrilled to hear more from you. If there is anything you would like to read more (or indeed less) of, or if you have suggestions, ideas or general feedback, I’d love it if you could take the time to contact me. I can be reached via the comments box below, the contact form here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org any time.
Thank you again for being here with me.
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” — JM Barrie
Reflections on time:
Feature films show the passing of time by resorting to often clumsy (and obvious) hair and makeup – or even actor – changes. In contrast, Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater, was filmed over 12 years. We witness the cast come of age from young children to college-going teenagers before our eyes.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking continually tops lists of most-bought-yet-least-read books. My late father is the only person I know who actually did read it. I’m not sure I’ll ever read it myself, but as my father used to say: it’s always valuable to understand physicists’, geologists’ and palaeontologists’ understanding of time – it places our own worries in perspective.
Here’s a 1996 (and analogue! hence the quality) TV commercial I loved when it first came out. It’s for Swiss watch company Swatch called Time is What You Make of It: