blogging by numbers

I’m very interested in why people blog, so I’m going to bore you (again) with the reasons I do.

In my first blog post (which I’ve since changed to private), I said…

This is not gonna be a great blog. It’s going to be a totally selfish navel gazing experience, I say navel to be polite, a better metaphor is that I have my head right up my own ass.

My secondary reason for making this blog was to create an info dump. I tend to chew through a lot of reading fast, and then to go back to some of it in more detail. By stashing links and my own commentary here, my primary reason for blogging is facilitated too – connecting, networking. On both counts, I consider my blog a success – and a warm and caring one too. People (you) have been unfailingly generous with help and advice and support, and as time draws on, very real friendships too. I’m not a serious blogger, I don’t give a fuck about the numbers. I care about interaction and connections – their quality, absolutely not their quantity. Also, with my unfailing knack for melodrama, I said…

I’ve lost myself along the way and I’d like to find myself again, even if it’s just to say goodbye.

LOL.

I spend more time on your blogs than I do on my own. You in this instance refers to a list of blogs in my news feed that I check most days; the people whose absence I notice when you don’t post. It also refers to what I think of as genuine bloggers, people who seem to want to talk, rather than to sell. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with selling, just that I don’t like blogs that are just a combination of raw sales pitch in a transparent, sticky cocoon of slick marketing. You know the type; usually they’re just too fucking nice for a start, they glow like sunbeds with superficial charm. They either don’t bother visiting other blogs at all, or if they do, it’s just more of the same shallow charm offensive. Some of them even include a link to their stuff in their comments, which the rest of us know is just silly. I always visit my commenters by clicking their usernames, I’m sure you do too.

I think that for me it boils down to how much a blogger cares about their image and how carefully that image is crafted. No matter how well it’s done, the desperation of the hard sell is always obvious. It gives the rest of us cavities. I’m confused, by the way, by bloggers who seem desperate for a high follower count, what exactly for?

If you’re serious about being a pro blogger, you’ll have read these already. If not, do yourself (and your readers) a favour and hop to it.

Natasha Tracy on being a professional mental health blogger.

Natasha Tracy’s tips for a popular blog.

Keep it real.

what the f…riday?

So, Fryane Fried-on-Fridays babbled incoherently… I’m guessing it was a 3 shot espresso thing…

I have a SPARKLING idea for you. Please, please think it over.

Seriously.

What about 1x week you offer us, your devotees, the chance to “Ask Blahpolar” whatever we want!
Please please please?????
It can be short and sweet. You don’t have to work TOO hard, um…maybe?

Please say yes!

I fear for her psychotic soul, but she is one of the few people who can withstand a torrent of friendly abuse the size of a Matterhorn avalanche. Yup, mixed episodes cause mixed metaphors; mind you, so do hypomania, mania, anger and agitation. Despite my suspicion that she doesn’t quite understand the word ‘devotees’ and is impressively deluded about my fascination factor and my ability to be either short or sweet, I succumbed. Weekly posts would be a disaster for my page views, so I’m doing a weakly version. And here it is.

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Actual picture of yours truly. That's my 'thrilled' facial expression.

If you can think of anything to ask that I haven’t already barfed up in your newsfeed already, please do, because if there aren’t any questions, I’m going to die of shame. On the other hand, if you’d prefer me dead, silence is your best option. You’re welcome to be as rude, crude, offbeat and outrageous as you like.

It reminded me of a post I wrote a few months ago for the blogging 101 course. Okay it was the only post I wrote for it. Rereading it, I have to retrospectively diagnose full throttle hypomania, I was the shit of many bats that day. I get hypo on wp rather too easily and it’s fun till my mind reminds me of all the pain and self loathing. I can’t think of a less melodramatic way to say that (actually I can’t think of a more melodramatic way either). I used to be fond of reality, these days I’m pointing an ak47 at the motherfucker. I must also confess that I genuinely bore myself shitless, because it’s not interesting inside my mind, even when I’m nattering with the sea or an 8 foot praying mantis. I am however, up my own ass enough to be interested in questions about me. Well. Most questions.

Please…

Say something…

Anything…

Don’t leave me out here in the cold…

Hold me.

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tribe

So, tribe, how are you doing? We might be the only people who can ask each other that and just tell the truth. No pretence, no sinking feeling, no feelings of guilt when the truthful answer is, “up to shit” more often than not. Here we all are, intense and extreme people, people who other people often think have our heads up our asses, but here we are and we’re so fucking compassionate. There are days when this tribe – you – get me through it without me melting down completely. There’s a lot more I could say, but I won’t, because I’d fuck up my reputation for grouchiness. Seriously though, thank you.

This one’s for us:

Self Portrait (Osip Mandelstam)

A hint of wing in the lifted
head. But the coat’s flapping.
In the closed eyes, arms’ quiet,
there’s nervous energy hiding.

Here’s one who flies and sings,
and the word, in flames, hammered,
until congenital awkwardness,
by inborn rhythm’s conquered

and on the third day she woes again

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I’m not going to devote entire posts to grrratitude lists every damn day, just till my spleen is clear of the concept. Despite my antipathy to 90% of this whole process, it’s been a surprisingly interesting couple of days so far. I really am grateful to you for the comments – they’ve soothed me and inspired me (don’t stop!), well I’m grateful for you guys every day, you’re on the permanent g-list. Today you are the fucking g-list; the a-list of the g-list.

Gratitude list:
1. My tribe – the people I share this space with, this meeting of minds and wounds. The people I read and talk to, the people who teach me, advise me, make me think, make me laugh and on occasion cause my eyes to leak a bit at their beautiful and deep compassion.
2. There is no 2.

Seriously, you fuckers make a real difference. Thank fuck I met you, the past year would’ve been lonely and foggy without you.

Apart from that, today I’m saying fuck gratitude. The past two days’ comments have already given me so much help in my time of perplexed irritation, they’re a mixture of everything I love about my friends. I can’t deal with shit like choosing the best comment, the most helpful one, the prettiest one or whatever, so I chose the most divinely freely truly pissed off ones. There happen to be three, I didn’t pick a particular number. By the end of reading them, I was rattling spears, sabres and cages – I was more than ready to ride into battle screaming. Two of the three suggested alternative lists; beep suggested an ingratitude list and William came up with the pat on the back list. I wanted to post using all three headers today, but I fell asleep instead. Mmmm naps…

Continue reading and on the third day she woes again

once upon an annus

I said ANNUS you perverts, not anus. Can’t take you lot anywhere.

Blahpolar Diaries is a year old today, which means it’s wearing a onesie, disturbing my sleep and shitting its nappies round the clock. It also means I get to go all Sally Fields on your asses and make a gratuitously gushing speech, name drop and create that emotional single tear. Yup, one year one tear. One love. One heart. Let’s get together and feel alright.

*fans face like a starlet, grabs trophy from Kristin Scott Thomas* Oh! This is so punexpected! I don’t know what to say, but I’m going to spew words for two weeks anyway! First I’d like to thank Odin Allfather, without Whom none of this would be possible *gazes at ceiling, enthralled* thank You! Thank you Sean Penn for your direction and the cupcakes, thank you Johnny Depp for being my stunt double, thank you Portia and Ellen for all your support and friendship! I’m sorry, Ellen, it only happened once. A big hand please for the Cirque du Soleil for all the good times and Eddie Vedder (you know why, Ed). Finally, of course, merci Gandalf, I just wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a you. Oops! Thanks to all the little people, for keeping things going so beautifully, not to mention cleaning the ashtrays. Oh fuck. Stephen Fry, you absolute sweetie, thank you for whatever it is you did, I forget. *looks around feet at all the dropped names, dashes away the single tear, one hand dramatically to breast throws some unused exclamation marks to the crowd and then begins the walk of fame back into the audience*

Erm, yes… Enough bollocks for now, blah. Thank you guys, for being my friends and support network and fellow travellers on the double decker suck bus™. 780 followers and 44k hits, haven’t you got anything better to do? #humblebrag. May the sporks be with you.

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As you were, kids.