(I’m so decisive I just swore in the title for the first time)
Decided to stop doing the weekly literature posts on this blog, for two main reasons; firstly, to an extent, it’s not you, it’s me.
I realised the difficulty of writing about literature in an intelligent way every week, in addition to regular school work. The problem was that, in planning for the series, I came up with eleven or so texts that I had read over the past few years and felt theoretically comfortable writing about in some depth. However, while I would like to be able to write about Huck Finn and Nineteen Eighty-Four, it’s been over a year since I read those.
While I can remember the plots well, I’ve forgotten all of the stylistic features and specific bits of language analysis I picked out on my first readings of these texts, I realisation which contributed to my decision to make notes as I read The Inferno and Middlemarch to a massive extent, which are the aspects of literature I find most interesting.
Furthermore, I’m not convinced my fifteen-year-old attempts at language analysis would be up to the, admittedly quite high, standards I now set myself when I’m reading work.
I could have looked up a plot summary on Schmoop or Sparknotes, but that was another problem, in that I’d end up regurgitating whatever they said about the work. This is problematic in that it could be simply wrong or poorly-justifiable, and any intelligent reader of these texts would scoff and laugh at the analysis of such websites, and in the sense that you read this blog for me; not in an egotistical sense, but the blog is named after me – I presume that you want to know my opinions about things.
Another issue is that of fatigue; my Wednesdays used to be free from all but one lesson and extra-curricular engagement, but I’ve started playing at Powerleague on Wednesdays, I’ve got a meeting with my care nurse next Wednesday, and I’ve got an interview on the day this is posted (it’s being written in advance).
The nature of intelligent discussion about literature means hours must be invested to produce an end product of a reasonable quality, let alone a high quality; my homework essays take upwards of three hours. Therefore, spending that time every week on writing about books is unsustainable in the short-term, as I just showed, and in the long-term, as the weeks roll into months and exams once again rear their ugly head.
I overestimated my workload and my ability to remember stuff, so as idea became implemented, I realised the total suckitude of my planning.
Equally, I do this for the views, to a certain extent; any medium that is published for the general public to view must, by definition, be tailored to suit that audience to a small extent, and you guys’ characteristics selfishly do not match up to a neat little audience I can gauge the interests and desires of by looking at my little blue graph on my ‘Stats’ page.
Essentially, I post rants and societal observations six days a week, and literature once a week. Therefore, my ‘readers’ are likely to be more interested in reading my opinions on life, not literature, a distinction reflected in the nature of bloggers who have followed me. As a result, I am seeing a great drop-off in the views, likes and comments of the Wordsdays posts.
Obviously, I’m not totally driven by these numbers – I don’t make a living off the site or anything – but I write on here for the enjoyment of both myself as a writer, and for you guys to read the ramblings of a perpetually annoyed bag of hormones and half-digested cheese sandwiches; if no-one’s gonna read said ramblings, there’s no point in the hormone-bag writing them.
I don’t want to kill this idea outright; I think a weekly series on the blog adds a structure to it, so I don’t look like a raving guy suffering from insanity with a computer and an Internet connection, and I am genuinely interested in literature and discussing it – I’m doing English at University. However, I think introducing the series so suddenly, and so soon into the blog’s lifespan, was a mistake, as it was an unexpected diversion from my usual style, repeated every week until it became more like a fly repeatedly banging its head on a window trying to escape a room than a place for discourse.
Maybe next year, eh?