From the dark room to bright sunshine

14 10 2010

My name is Sam Wilson, and like many other people on the internet I have a blog.Just like 99.9% of those people, the only people who look at my blog are me and occasionally someone I’ve asked to look at a post at let me know what they thought of it. Usually my girlfriend, whether she wants to or not. She’s good like that.

So far I’ve found blogging like emerging bleary eyed from a dark room into bright sunshine; difficult to focus what I’m doing and it’s all a bit hazy. I have never been able to decide where I want to go and the style in which I’m going there.

For example, my first ‘proper’ post is a long response to Derren Brown’s last programme in which he systematically moulded the mind of an average man to make him step up to the plate and be a hero in a crashing plane. Derren’s weapons of choice were abduction, psychological torture and… no, wait, this is old news and if you want to read my review just go to the blog. If you don’t, I’ve just wasted a cheap plug; I hope you’re happy.

Anyway, that post was what I’d describe as a ‘columnist’s review’ in that I’ve reviewed the programme but gone off on little micro-rants about various bits. The sort of thing you’d read from Charlie Brooker but not as good.

The next post was a short nerdgasm about Nike’s self lacing trainers from Back To The Future coming out. The style and layout of the blog was very different, and more like a diary entry. There was a picture, there was a video… check me and my fancy technology. Next thing you know I’ll flying around on a hoverboard.

The point is, I don’t have a set style that I stick to. You could argue that it’s a good thing, as it lets me demonstrate versatility or practice different styles of writing. It’s a valid point, and to some extent I probably agree with you. On the other hand, however, it feels restricting writing in different ways. Bear with me, I do make sense. If I had a specific writing style that would lend itself more to one thing than another, I think I’d be more likely to blog and have regular content. Because I don’t have that, I struggle to find the motivation to write one style over another and thus write the content that fits those styles.

If you look at my blog (go on, do it, I dare you) you’ll see that there tends to be a big gap between each post. I seem very conscious of the fact that whatever I write about, there is a fair chance that it will be old news. I’m a football fan, but it feels like if I was to write about football I’d just be writing what you could read a thousand times elsewhere on the internet. I could write an article about England’s monumental failure and how it wasn’t a surprise as we just aren’t very good at football. I could write about the state of football finances. I could write about my Sunday league team. You can find other people’s articles about all of these things in less than a second on Google. Yes, even my football team but obviously anything about the mighty FC Deportivo is less common than someone ripping apart the distinctly average England team.

It’s a mindset I need to get out of; while I don’t want to be drowning in the crowd of people all saying the same thing, if that’s what I’m thinking then so be it. Forcing myself to write something outlandish that no one else has said would probably come across as just that; forced.

So these are the big challenges I face as a blogger. Finding my identity and finding the material I passionately want to write about often enough. I see a lot of things in my life, and I talk about a lot of them, but writing them down? That’s the next step.

My name is Sam Wilson and, like many other people on the internet, I have a blog. I just need to decide what to do with it.

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