Up until this point, I’ve had a plan for every blog post. I still have three or four drafts waiting to be written up.
There is no plan for this one. Let’s see how it goes, together!
Tonight was intended to be a #cinenand experience. Nando’s, then a movie at Cineworld. Unfortunately firemen told us we couldn’t see the film after all, so we went home.
As I cycled, I realised I’d be back sooner than anticipated, giving me a precious slice of bonus time. Immediately, I thought I could write another blog post. Then I realised what that realisation meant.
Maybe, against all odds, this is something I will stick with. “I’m going to start a blog” has all the hallmarks of “I’m going to join a gym” or “I think I’ll get a nose piercing”. Seems like a good idea at the time, but even if you start the process you will probably regret it in seconds and spend more energy coming up with excuses for bailing out, than you’d ever need to spend committing to it.
But here I am. This is something like my 27th post in a couple of months, which is good going. I have a little over a thousand total views. This isn’t good, or bad, it’s exactly right.
It’s exactly right because that’s exactly how many views I get if I go about this blog business the way I have. I link it only to Facebook. Very limited audience. Others may stumble across it via ‘recently updated blogs!’ pages on WordPress, or Blogger, or however the hell it works, but the truth is I don’t really publicise.
I’d like to, but as soon as I start trying – really, earnestly trying – to reach a significant audience, then that opens me up to failure, and that feels awful.
It’s the same as the act of writing them, even. I don’t know how well they read, because I’ve never read one. It seems unlikely that the pace is smooth and even, that the flow is satisfying, because… I don’t take the time to ensure that is the case.
The harder I try, the more I open myself up for failure. If you don’t try, it’s impossible to fail. It’s also impossible to succeed, but that’s a footnote at best.
Now. I am not nearly as hobbled by this depressing philosophy, if I can even use so grand a word, as I was in my younger years. But it still lurks there, crouched in a dark corner of my mind. It’s there.
As I got home, just outside my house was a single lonely balloon, bobbing just above the ground. I could have taken my phone out, smacked a black and white filter on, and put it on Instagram. “Lonely balloon” I would have typed.
When I see people post thoughts, moments, jokes and so on… There’s a process there, and I can see it. Relatively innocuous events fire off some neurons, “I can make some content out of that” is not the literal thought, most of the time, but that’s the gist of it.
I have the moments, the same as everyone else, I spot them. I slip my hand into the water, I lift that silvery fish out and look at it for a second… Then I lower it back in and watch it slide away.
I knew I was doing this – opting out of that particular social media mode – a long time before I knew why.
I don’t want to share these moments, thoughts and jokes with the internet. I want to turn and share them with another human being. That kind of connection is much more important to me, at the moment. Much more valuable.
Obviously I still post things on Facebook, I still write this blog. I don’t see myself unplugging any time soon, but there it is.
That’ll do for now.