Monday, 1 February 2010

Blogging The Blog 9: Running Out Of Steam?

This is my 600th blog posting which may seem an odd number to commemorate but when I look down the list of postings for editing they are listed in groups of 300 so I am now at the top of my second page.  This blog has now been running for two years and nine months compared to the three months which is supposed to be the average.  However, as the few postings last month show, perhaps I am running out of things to say.  I think in part it is now that I am in a job and so do not have the time between writing applications to comment on the world, nor the time to read the newspaper or websites to pick up stories to explore.  I think a large part of the problem is that when I started the blog I had a lot of ideas, complaints and observations, fiction too, that I had been carrying around for many years looking for an outlet.  Over the past couple of years I have probably covered the bulk of those things and with me not going on holiday or travelling anywhere new and now having a very shrunken social circle compared to ten years ago, I am just not getting new input to stimulate comments. 

I identified three types of blog: the journal blog, the scrapbook blog and the anger management blog.  In terms of the journal blog, I have too few new experiences to warrant postings of that kind. I do get some, but they tend to be a reflection on what I read in the newspapers and what I see on the road.  Having to travel for my work and being holed up in a hotel room for much of the week, these are narrow horizons so reduce the stimulus that would provoke blog postings.  In terms of travel I have not left the UK for almost two years now and that time it was only for two days.  I have not been on holiday even in the UK for almost two years and on that occasion I was so ill I could not appreciate it.  I have no holidays planned and not even any work travel outside my daily and wekely commutes. Consequently, experiences outside my home and work towns are limited and even in them I move in very small circles from home to the shops and back and from the hotel to work and back.  There is some artificial input from recounting my journeys of decades passed, but by definition they are finite and I am going to soon run out.  Also it simply emphasises how little I am doing with my life these days.

The lack of source material also applies to me doing a scrapbook blog, I have scoured the internet for items of interest to me to include and until I begin a new interest have exhausted the supply. With my addicition to online gaming and when tired of that, basic computer gaming, I am not even writing fiction to potentially fill these pages.  Detective novels set in Weimar Germany seem to be an established sub-genre these days so the wind has been taken from my sails in that regard as I see these books selling on Amazon and know my stories will never get to that situation.  I no longer have the time to write things and knowing how many amateurs are out there writing (between 42-49,000 novels are entered at a time for amateur writing competitions that are run in the UK) it seems pointless to add my stuff to the pile anyway.

I have come to realise that there is another type of blog: the review blog and there seems to be hundreds of these reviewing things  especially like fashion and interior design. The trouble with me is that I consume things far too late to have a review blog.  I read books I buy from charity shops; I only watch movies on DVDs; I have not bought new clothes for years; my household items are  second hand or remaindered.  My reviews of movies or pop music or computer games tend to come long after the things I am looking at have gone out of fashion.

I anticipate, that all I will have left is the fourth type of blog: the anger management blog.  I noticed that not blogging much last month did leave me far more tense and crotchety than usual.  However, whilst the blog is clearly an outlet for my anger it also seems to foster it and it seems that I am even running out of things to be angry about.  I guess there will be the election and especially if the Conservatives win, I will be complaining about the even more divided and poor country that will be being constructed, but that will be about it.  Being angry in my blog is good for me, and may offer consolation for people feeling angry about the same things, but perhaps is insufficient a resource to sustain my blog for long.

Once I had envisaged this blog going on for many years, but now it seems to be starved of source material just as my life is empty of experiences and will be as long as I am clinging to short-term contracts and cannot afford to do anything except save for the next period of unemployment.  I envisage that existing going on indefinitely from now on, especially given that my sector of industry looks on the verge of a severe collapse.  While I may have reached the 600 posting mark, I have little expectation that I will reach 700.  Maybe that is right.  Perhaps this blog is dwindling because I have said everything that I need to get out of me and from now on would simply end up repeating myself as I encounter the same irritations again and again.

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