I kept complaining all year long about how I was being a bad blogger, how I was deficient both in quantity as well as in quality, that I finally decided to review my 2017 in blogging, and not focus on blogging goals ahead, as I usually do this time of the year.
Most of the year, I’ve been clueless about what to do next. On average, I post twice a week, usually essays, which means I’ve done a hundred or more in the past three years. I haven’t counted how many I wrote this year, but I got over reading all the ones that I thought were potentially good enough to include here in an hour, so I will say not that many. However, as both creator and editor, I have to admit I did rather well on some of them. I only measure by my own standards (and that’s a humblebrag if there ever was one) and these are the ones that pass muster, among a few others. In general, I haven’t had an exciting year blogging-wise, but it wasn’t a total failure either.
It started strong with this essay on writing and fame, which found more readers than I am accustomed to. I basically tried to justify the lust for fame that we all have, however secretive we are about it. A post that also resonated with both new and long-time readers was one on aging, where I was bold/stupid enough to post a couple of my self-photographs (I refuse to call them self-ie). In fact, I was bold enough to post several photos and videos of myself this year which either means (a) I’m getting more comfortable in my skin or (b) I’ve become one of those people who inundate social media with their self-photos to seek approval. Those people are in the millions, but I still prefer being in the relative minority of people who stick to writing to get attention.
You also had some poetry, though I’ve been pretty dried up in that department for months. I wrote one called Folk Song, inspired by Hank Williams Sr., and I think these lines are pretty strong on that one:
They told me to grow up
Before I grow old
They told me to save up
Before I spent my soul.
I pretty much followed up on the themes in this song for the rest of the year, which is a scary prospect. But, we’ll get into that some other time. There was other creative writing, like a play about burning ashes called Meeting, and a short story based on the song “Strange Attraction” by The Cure, about a teenage girl’s relationship with a rockstar. I’m currently working on a fictionalisation of a Joni Mitchell song, and will have more stories for you next year.
A couple of posts on blogging did pretty well, blogging being the subject that draws most readers in for me, and is the easiest to write. Bad Blogging and Blogging and Money are pretty self-explanatory titles of where my blogging is at these days, though they’ve seemed to help some people.
Two pieces I’m most proud of is one called Of Love and the Imagination, and a recent one called Of Private Music. I put a lot of myself into it, and I don’t know if they read with the same emotion and insight as I put into them, but they’ve been important to me on a personal level. In an interview I conducted with myself, I called my essays “meaningless nothings that you somehow find compelling enough to read” but these, especially the latter, were meaningful somethings to me.
I don’t know what to promise on the blogging front. To be honest, I’m freaking out. I’m a lifelong insomniac, but this month I’ve had the early onset of my annual existential crisis that usually starts around the time of my birthday in May. Why? Because I hate my job, and I’ll be turning thirty next year. I’ll be surprised if I survive as a passably human person till then. Waking up in the morning and dreading things doesn’t exactly inspire the act of thinking. But, I promise to work. You may or may not see a lot of action here blogging-wise, but I will write. A lot.
I published Of Opinions – the book this year. Those who’ve read it seem to like it. I haven’t gone back to it since March – the month I published it – because I can’t bring myself to go through it again. Despite a handful of positive reviews, I don’t know what to think of it. I just want to get on with the next long-form writing project, and believe in it enough to take it to a place where it will have better reach. I’m sure there are readers out there for what I do, but I haven’t had the greatest success in finding them.
Wow, all that talk and not a single self-deprecating joke. Am I losing the touch? I hope not, but I just wanted a break and speak as plainly, albeit dully, as possible. Next year, I’ll do pie-charts.
How’s your blogging year been? Any posts on Of Opinions that you enjoyed the most (among the many I’m sure you’ve enjoyed since you’ve been here, you beautiful reader you)?