Tomorrow Is The Blog’s Birthday!

(premature parp)

Come one, come all, a truly great moment for our civilisation has arrived: I’ve managed to trick people into thinking that I’m capable of more intelligent thought than a particularly unlucky Whack-A-Mole mole for an entire year! 365 days! 52 weeks! 12 months!

Except that not really; I’ve taken days off here, there, and indeed everywhere – meaning the momentous birthday post will be number 304 across the 365 days I’ve written daily posts – and this blog has, to use a technical term, been utter horsesh*t at times. But I’m still rather pleased with myself.

I started this thing to encourage myself to write regularly, and while I’m sure that my English studies have had a greater impact on improving my written style than this collection of half-baked ideas, this blog has undoubtedly made me more comfortable with expressing myself with words. I’d always been competent at this, and happy to do it for school newsletters and local magazines if there were stickers / jam doughnuts thrown in to sweeten the deal (literally), but now I am actively looking for ways to get my writing seen by people, and I think I’m now more in danger of ramming my pieces down people’s throats, than never mentioning them at all, which is a good (if slightly saddening at first) thing for a writer to be doing.

For instance, I could realistically be writing for five different publications this year at UCL, two of which could be in new ways that I suggested, meaning I’d both create, and populate, a whole sub-genre of pretentious articles and pieces on student websites, instead of just doing the populating bit. Also, my novel has actually progressed this year, and I’m going to take a stab at NaNoWriMo next month (unless anything dramatically distracting happens in the next three weeks), with an idea for a novel already bubbling in my head like a tin of slightly iffy-smelling beans being swirled round an unwashed pot in a student kitchen, so even if existing publications don’t want me to vent on their pages, I can just do it myself.

Hell, I’m thinking of bringing back Wordsdays (long-term readers will get that one!) in their very own blog, where I would write about a different writer each month, and encourage exciting things like guest posts, and articles from my friends, to break up the monotony of having the same sad bastard prattling on at you all the time.

I’m also aware that few of these ideas will see the light of day, much less develop to the extent I’m envisaging, but that’s almost unimportant here. I’ve never been very ambitious in my life – the sage and eminent philosopher Homer Simpson once remarked ‘Trying is the first step towards failure’ – and while I’m hardly a born-again megalomaniac emailing thousand of novel ideas off to beleaguered publishers like a prostitute with an impressively communicable STI, I’m planning things and looking forward to things that I’m doing for myself, for the first time in my life. Before it was always ‘complete this essay’ or ‘finish this bit of coursework’, so doing things for my own sake, rather than for the sake of avoiding a telling-off, is rather awesome.

And I’m not publishing this on the cake-eating, party hat-wearing day itself because I’m going to start a tradition here on the blog that dates back to my very first post; every fifth of October, the birthday of the blog, I will express surprise and ridicule at one thing in my bathroom. This could be interpreted as a deep comment on the changing status of things as integral to our lives as bathrooms in such a short space of time, or even as a comment on the commercialisation of something that is ultimately functional in nature, the bathroom, but really this tradition is as valid as any other: it exists for the hell of it, and is meaningless beyond that.

So cheers for reading a year’s worth of these things, and here’s to an enjoyable next 365 days of posts about socks, stamp collecting, and water bottles!

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10 thoughts on “Tomorrow Is The Blog’s Birthday!

  1. Hi! I’ve been regularly reading your blog for the past six months or so, and I’m so so so so jealous that you go to UCL now! UCL’s one of my top choices for uni.

    I just have this one little thing I need to ask you — could please help me out?
    I’m giving both my AS and A2 together (in 18 months) and so I have no AS grades to put on my UCAS application. I only have predicted grades (which are fairly good). Do you think that affects my application?

    I know you may not know the exact details, per se, but any opinions will help. Thank you so much!

    1. To be honest it’ll probably affect your application a lot – they introduced AS grades so you wouldn’t have to use predicted grades for uni applications in the first place.

      That being said there’s not a lot you can do about it – apply with your predicted grades (point out the AS situation) and try to get an interview off those and an awesome personal statement. If the PS is good you’ll probably get an interview – just prove those predicted grades aren’t wildly inaccurate and you should be fine. Then you just have to worry about not screwing up the interview, which is a far more mainstream problem to have.

      Also what are you studying (UCL offers some weird degrees so I wouldn’t be surprised if you said the history of furniture or something)? And thanks for reading the blog btw!

      1. Thank you sooooo much for taking time out to type this!

        Aaaah, I’m looking at a BSc. in Economics!
        And because there’s nothing I can do about the AS grades, my referee has mentioned the situation in her writing.

        There isn’t an interview (in most cases) for my course, so my application must must MUST be the best representation of my capabilities, correct?

        Again, thank you so much for everything! And sorry for the late reply — my A Level exams are in progress and couldn’t come on here to check your reply. (:

        1. Wait, you’re doing your exams now? It’s like October, dude?

          And if a higher power (i.e. your referee) has mentioned it already, there’s probably a lot more you can do about it. If there aren’t interviews, you’ll just have to write the best personal statement the world has ever seen, so that you can apply to university without the grades that were literally invented to let people apply to university.

          No pressure!

          1. Yup, I’m doing the CIE board, and they hold exams twice a year, once in May/ June and then again in October/ November.
            And again, did all of that! Thank you for your all of your advice! (:

            I got an offer within six days of sending my application off, so now I’m a little at peace with the whole no AS grades thing, you know?

            Thanks again!

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