So, a year ago today I sat down, largely on a whim, and wrote this post. And from that moment on I have been a blogger. Bloggers, to my mind, were largely the people spoken of in tones of both hushed confusion and utter derision by the print media. They were the people who made me laugh by saying what everyone else was thinking, but had previously had no outlet to do so. It was somewhat disconcerting to find out that it really was that easy to join this club, who had previously sounded a little like the Freemasons to me. I had, as I so succinctly put it then, no fucking clue what I was doing. But people responded to me anyway, so I kept on trucking. A year on and this stream of precisely 180 posts seems to have been the catalyst for a huge amount of change in my life. I wasn't intending on meeting anyone through this stuff, let alone making friends whose writing I genuinely respect and enjoy. Let alone falling in love with someone.
But it's great because it means that, though I've contemplated killing this whole thing stone dead on many a dark night I'll always be incredibly glad that I started it. It means that I look at virtually everything in the world around me and wonder whether I might have anything worthwhile to say about it. It means that, for better or worse, I can picture a good few of the people who read this blog and try to work out whether they might enjoy what I've put up.
Mostly, it means that I can enjoy the monstrous ego trip that is tied up so tightly with the notion of people enjoying what I've written - whoever they are. I've been called a couple of names I didn't deserve in response to things I've written, but I've been told a hell of a lot of nice things I didn't deserve too. Recently, I've happened upon a concept called 'standards'. That is to say, the idea that I might be selective and careful in what I write, rather than just spilling everything out onto the screen. The lady and I were talking recently about how frustrating a band The Flaming Lips are, as they produce beautiful songs and utter tosh in equal measure - a fact that can't have fully escaped them. I mused that perhaps they simply like to throw everything they do out there for public consumption, and let time be the judge of how good it is. My approach to blogging was similar for a while, as summed up in a quote from one of those lazy diary posts I put up ages ago: "Do not worry about the foolishness and banality of what you write; let Time take care of it."
Time has shown me so far that some of the posts I thought were shite are now worth reading, and that others I was quite proud of at the time are awful offal. And Time has taught me that I am embarrassed by those ones so, for now at least, I am adopting a policy of greater selectiveness.
Which, in turn, is making me reluctant to say anything at all most of the time. Still, in a world where Twitter is bringing us every vague thought and bowel movement that ever occurred to anyone, it's a policy that makes me. A friend - a friend who doesn't read or know about my blog- told me only a few minutes ago to me that I am a secretive, private man. I am far from this, I am a man who is happy to reveal coruscatingly personal details about my life to anyone who'll listen. But only sometimes.
Welcome to the next year of Chancing My Arm and thanks for choosing to read here, it mollifies me beyond belief.