(I promise I’m not just asking this to flaunt my time-management skills and ability to write things on an alarmingly regular basis. Honest)
I write many things beyond this blog. I write for Savage, an arts magazine run by UCL students, and have penned five pieces, three of which have been published; I’m also working on a massive poetry project that I realised today had been started incorrectly, so the first 200 lines or so had to be scrapped; then I’ve got two novels on the go, two short stories, and up to three more that I’ll write over Christmas to enter into a competition next year; there’s also the poetry I’ve started getting back into; and I plan to make up for my NaNoWriMo fail by writing a short story on each of the twelve days of Christmas, as a kind of daily writing challenge that doesn’t need to have a coherent plot across each day.
And with all this in mind, I’m thinking of starting a third blog, a ‘This Is Where James Dumps His Ideas For Stories, Poems And God Knows What Else’ blog, free from the daily routine of this one, and the collaborative structure of the Zone Of Proximal Development (not that those structures are necessarily a bad thing).
It’d be a thing I update infrequently, and frankly randomly – after having written no poems in four years, I wrote three in the space of an hour last night – based on how often I’m writing, which is in turn based on a thousand other factors in my life. I’ve hesitated to do this before, because this would require a breaking-up of my content, dividing things into separate URLs based on my own inconsistent and changeable opinions, suggesting that they’re somehow qualitatively different things, instead of my ideas and opinions in verse and prose form, which is what they all are.
But I’m realising that things need to be broken up for the sake of convenience – for the same reason that I use the categories feature on WordPress with every post, it might help for some of you to find my narcissistic blog posts easily, without having to slog through my attempts at iambic hexameter in the process – and that, to a certain extent, these things are fundamentally different. On this site, the ‘speaker’, if you like, is always me, so self-undermining cynicism is never too far away, and it lets me soften my opinions about more controversial topics by mocking myself, and suggesting it’s all a bit of a laugh really. But there are times when I’m being actually pretentious, or trying to be genuinely artistic, which might not fit too well as serious attempts to create ‘art’ on a blog in which socks are discussed with worrying frequency.
Because it’s not about the end product here; whether I’m whiny or annoying or amusing is entirely up to you, as the unbiased reader (compared to my own internal monologue you’re totally impartial), but the intent of the pieces – to by cynical and nasty, or meaningful and clever – is entirely my call, and considering where I write is as much my decision as what I write, perhaps I should start making the distinction between stuff I want to be read seriously, and stuff I’m totally fine with being skim-read to see how many obscenities and references to YuGiOh Abridged I can throw in.
So I’d encourage you to give me some guidance on this, hence the question in the title. I’ve had over eight and a half thousand views in the last year, which is a bloody lot more views than I’ve given to my own pieces, so I think decisions about the reading of my work should be made by those who actually read it, i.e. you. I’m going to keep writing things, and sending stuff off to competitions, magazines and god knows what else until they’re sick of me, but if you guys want to get in on that too, let me know and I’ll make another blog named after me or something original like that.
And on the subject of viewer interaction, remember that sarcastic end-of-year summary I’m going to do? I’m still welcoming submissions for ways in which 2014 has sucked a little bit, so don’t hesitate to have a bit of a moan in the comments here, or on the original post.