57 minus 01: Well.

Posted: 16 August 2021 in 57 minus, blogging
Tags: , , ,

When I came to the final 55 minus post in 2019, I wrote the following:

David Allen Green, who tweets as @davidallengreen, will occasionally quote-tweet some bit of news and merely append the single word: “Well.”

It can mean anything from a gentle “I told you so” to “I wrote about this, you know” to a “yer never gonna believe this, folks, but…”

But often, it’s just a “hey folks, this is interesting.”

And that’s how I intended the title of this post until I started writing it and realised it additionally meant a few other things.

For a start, I’m ‘well’. Which I wasn’t completely sure I would be on this day when I re-started the blog eight weeks ago.

And, two years later, I can say much the same.

With the odd exception, I hadn’t blogged for 18 months. Yes, there’d been the annual A Life In Pictures post, and the one about my late brother on the twenty-third anniversary of his death, and a couple of other posts, here and there, but I took most of 2020 off, as well as the first six months of 2021.

And instead of planning a simple, slow re-introduction to blogging, I committed to not only a daily blog for fifty-seven days, but to write one new piece of fiction a week as part of it. (For that, you can thank an old friend who I promised I’d write new fiction, and put it out there. Kind of pleased me just how much I enjoyed keeping that promise.)

I can’t honestly say I expected to burn out during the run – I’ve done enough of these countdowns now to have safety nets if I need a day off. Sometimes, it’s because ‘life’, that lack of respecter of deadlines, gets in the way. On other occasions, it’s because I had a shitty night’s sleep and am like a zombie the following day.

And other times… well, other times I just need a day off, and I’ll take one so this thing doesn’t run the risk of feeling like a chore.

So, I’ll stick up an extra two ‘fictions from the blog’, or I’ll pull out a fairly timeless (by which I mean it’s not topical) post I’ve written in reserve, or even post, what we called on Livejournal, a meme; a Q&A or something.

Two things surprised me this run, though.

First I didn’t expect to enjoy the writing as much I did. The actual, physical and mental, wrangling of words to make them do what I wanted them to do.

I have enjoyed that. I didn’t expect to. I mean, I didn’t expect to dislike it. But I genuinely didn’t expect to actively enjoy it.

Secondly, it surprised me how quickly I got back into the daily habit. A pleasant surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

Lessons learned?

Only three, I think, , one of which was something that did what it was supposed to, the remaining two I kind of knew in advance but it was comfortable to have them confirmed.

(1) Having and using goingcheep was a objectively good idea; something that’s very much not this blog, a daily brain dump, a couple of hundred words, on tumblr just to loosen up the fingers and get me in the mood to write. Never have I appreciated it more than I have this time around.

(2) the days of people frequently responding to the blog are long gone. Popular bloggers – usually with a specific bent, like DAG’s legal blog – might get a discussion going in the comments section, but personal blogs, blogs that wander all over the place? Not so much.

I did consider cross-posting to Medium but in the end decided against it this time. Maybe if I was actively aiming for a large readership, but I’m doing this as much this time around for my own amusnment and enjoyment as I am for others’. But it’s still something to consider moving forward.

(3) Which brings me to the readership numbers. Other than when I knew a post was getting some traction on Twitter, I didn’t even check the blog stats. I really can’t recommend this enough as a practice. And it wasn’t as if the blog was being promoted; I didn’t promote the blog on Facebook, for the fairly obvious reason that I’m not on Facebook. (Maybe that’s a post for another day.) I do link the posts on Tumblr but I get almost no click-throughs from it. But I still do it, because why the hell not?

And now I’m writing that out, I’m wondering whether I should at some point find some way of promoting the blog.

Hmm… something else to consider, I guess.

So, budgie, after fifty-six days, how did it go?

For me? Great. I got to stick – more or less – to the plan I’d had when I started: some old fiction, some new fiction, the Saturday Smiles, only one post on politics, (more will come in the ’57 plus’) and some reflections on the world during/after covid.

Some stuff didn’t work out, of course.

I had intended to put up some very personal posts. Never happened. I mean, there were a couple of personal ones, but not the three I’d written that were deliberately very personal, about me, about the inside of my head, and about personal history.

To be honest, I’m still not sure whether they’ll appear in ’57 plus’ but of those three I’ve written and not posted, I’d lay good money that one will appear, one might appear at some point…

…and one won’t, at least not without heavy rewriting; there’s still stuff in it that I’m not overly comfortable putting out into the public sphere.

Which leads me to the following.

This is the final post in the run of blog entries leading up to my fifty-seventh birthday, which if you’ve been paying attention and have even the slightest understanding of, y’know, numbers… is tomorrow: Tuesday 17th August.

I’ll probably post something tomorrow, if only because I no longer ‘have’ to do so, I could take the day off and not one of the six of you who are reading would blame me in the least.

So, yeah, there’ll be something. But, honestly, right now? I’m not sure what. I’ve a couple of creepier fast fictions about birthdays, one from 2009 and another from 2010, so maybe I’ll stick them up. I honestly don’t know right now. I’ll decide tomorrow.

And then…? And then…?

Well, then I start the new run of fifty-seven posts, and these are intended to be a bit denser. Some more stuff about politics, some more essay-type posts.

Oh, I’ll continue the fictions both old and new, and the Saturday Smiles, and the Ten Things posts. But some deeper stuff. Maybe some stuff on comedy, both the craft and the performance; there’s been precious little in this run other than the Saturday Smiles, and we could all do with just a few minutes light relief.

And I did enjoy doing those Saturday Smiles, especially finding clips of which readers were probably unaware and introducing them to people who didn’t previously know their work.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed reading the run.
 


OK, I think that’s about it.

Thanks for reading. Not only today’s but any of the posts you’ve read. Something else is coming. But meanwhile…

Fifty-seven days. Fifty-seven posts. One fifty-seventh birthday.

Well.

 

See you tomorrow, with… that something else. 

 


I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is the final entry in a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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