A Touch Of Nostalgia – The Best of My Very First Year As A Blogger.

The Best of 2006. A tad long at 8.5k words. Might be best printed and read at leisure (26 A4 pages in 14-pt Times New Roman). Please bear in mind the age of the material and, if you feel moved to argue about anything, save your energy, I’m not getting involved. Otherwise, comments, as always, are welcomed.

The text here has journeyed through several versions of Continue reading

A blog post of sorts…

OK, not the one I intended, as you’ll see, and a bit rambling, in an attempt to get up to date.

I’ve lived in a small flat, usually close to my monitor screen, for some 17 years and I’ve noticed that, over the years, if I was able to go out, the world would be blurred until my eyes adjusted to a horizon that was more than a few feet away.

On the day I was hauled off to hospital, I was dismayed – way too sick to feel more than that – to find that I was effectively blind out beyond a couple of yards. Just shapes and colours – no detail.

Over the weeks in hospital, with my cheery view of the incinerator plant, hedged about by the most drear winter’s-end landscape you can imagine (think Game of Thrones, without the charm!), my eyes did their thing and refocused.

Back at home, now, and can’t focus on keyboard or screen. Aaaargh! Continue reading

Being an amateur writer is no excuse for writing amateurishly…

Wading through all the elderly dross in the Guardian website’s food and drink section (overdue for an update guys – Christmas is so last year), I came across this article.

Then, in the comments, spotted a bunch of people, quite rightly taking the Guardian to task for spelling sumptuous as sumptious. Quite rightly, because as I’ve pointed out here more times than I care to remember, standards at the Guardian, at least in its online version, are going to hell.

Then up pops one Felicity Cloake, author of the article and, possibly Continue reading

Problems with old posts and other blog-related stuff…

WordPress are phasing out the theme I used, and have provided a similar replacement. In some ways this is better – much clearer text, for example – and in others, worse.

The big problem is with links. The new theme, by default, just displays them as bold text, with no indication that it’s a link at all. Pretty dumb as many people never look beyond the default settings.

A bit of tinkering, though, showed that Continue reading

Blogging perspective – can bloggers work?

The claim has been made, occasionally, that if bloggers can write for themselves, they can work for an employer. Is there any truth in that?

Well, it’s been suggested that I write a year-end summary of this year’s posts. Actually counting them is out of the question – not enough spoons to concentrate for that long – but extrapolating from what I’ve written so far this month which, surprisingly, turns out to be 29 posts, including this (and there’s one more to come today), that would come out at over 600 posts for the year.

That feels Continue reading

250,000 reason to carry on writing…

Not that I need an excuse – writing is as much a part of me as breathing – but I’m really crap at thinking up titles.

At 01.27 this morning an event I’d been anticipating for a couple of days finally happened – my blog recorded its quarter of a millionth page view this year.

OK, I know that there are blogs that get Continue reading

Has blogging changed me?

A Canadian blogger called timethief, based on Vancouver Island, with whom WordPress users might be familiar from the support forums, posed a question earlier this week on her blog – Has blogging changed you?

This, for what it’s worth, is my response – somewhat tweaked, I wrote the original late at night when I was tired, so this reflects rather more accurately what was going through my mind. Or trying to. You can read the original, should you wish (it’s about 300 words shorter), along with the rest of her blog, here .

If you’re a novice blogger timethief’s blog is a mine of information. We approach blogging advice from different directions, timethief from the nuts and bolts angle, me from what I know best, the writing angle.

You can find most of my posts on the subject here  but try using the search box to search for “blogging” “language” and “writing” should bring up more. Try with and without the quotes.

So, has blogging changed me? I’ve been thinking about that since the email thudded into my Inbox a few days ago, and the answer, now as then, is Continue reading

A brief, personal, look back at 2011 (and a peek at 2012)…

Well, as I’ve said elsewhere (possibly to the point of tedium!), I’m happy I’m still here. Better yet, I’m actually feeling much more positive. Physically, I’m much the same (crappy, but least I’ve stopped going to sleep wondering if I’ll wake up, and not really caring if I didn’t), but psychologically there’s been a huge improvement.

So much so, in fact, that I’ve invested in a Continue reading

Praise where praise is due…

I’ve noticed a strange trend online in the past few weeks. There seems to be a tendency for people to praise the writing of bloggers whose writing skills are, actually, often marginal.

I’m all in favour of encouraging people to write well – I’ve written quite a lot on the subject – but praise should be given where it’s genuinely warranted. By telling someone who’s not really that great how wonderful they are, you give them false confidence, and minimise any inclination to self-analysis and improvement, because it’s a sad fact that writers are too close to their work, very often, to see errors and defects without making an effort to do so – and I do mean all of us.

Far too many, it seems, fail to Continue reading