Thursday, January 01, 2009

Start as you mean to go on

A very happy 2009 to you all, dear readers! This is shaping up to be a pretty transformative year for me, with several Big Plans in development that I will keep under wraps for a while longer. For now, I am indulging in a spot of reflection, and I hope you will join me for the ride.

Among my Christmas presents this year was a copy of the first Belle De Jour book, pulled together from blog entries written between 2003 and 2004. Ah, the heady days when starting up a blog was seemingly only a few Kevin Bacons away from snagging a publisher for your first novel or being offered a regular newspaper column. Does fate still smile so kindly on bloggers in the cruel new dawn of 2009? It would appear not.

Over here in the free world, it seems that everyone and their dog has got a weblog these days, covering every topic under the sun. And while we should of course be grateful to live in a country where freedom of speech is respected and protected, the lengths to which some will go to prove this can sometimes beggar belief. To wit, last week's Channel Four alternative Christmas message, starring one Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Somebody at the station's commissioning department clearly still has a lot to learn about how the world works.

But returning to the blogosphere for a moment, if I've learned anything from it in the past four year, it is this: With a handful of notable exceptions, most of the best blogs are powered by self-regard, or, to put it another way, a strong belief in the merit and interest of one's opinions to other people. I don't mean that in a bad way, as hard to believe as it may seem. There is a world of difference between writing a blog and keeping a diary, and in order to have any kind of success at the former, self-conscious witterings about the tedium of everyday life simply won't cut it. Pepys it ain't.

So, my main resolution for 2009 is to generally lead a more exciting, less predictable life than the one I've grown into over the past couple of years. Which will be no mean feat, seeing as giving up booze is next on the list. Don't ask me why. Like I hinted above, there are a few reasons for me to believe that I will be living in "interesting times" this year, and I may well wind up a raging alcoholic by June. Good times! Stay tuned.


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