First Post - Reasons & Rules For Writing.
This isn't my first go at this whole blogging thing.
In fact anyone reading this who has known me since I was 16 will be aware of this. That in a former life, if nine years ago can be called that, I had a blog where I used to write ill informed comment pieces. Those of you who payed close attention to it at the time, and undoubtedly I am describing a vanishingly small sample size, will remember a couple of things.
Namely, the narrative voice was of a snarky, ill informed teenager who read to much Vice, not enough theory and the comments pages of the Sunday Times with disturbing frequency.
As well as this my imaginary reader may recall the posting was often infrequent, mostly poorly researched, and some times contradictory. It relied to much on commenting on comment - which in all fairness can be forgiven. I was 16. It is however something I will try and avoid in the future
Those of you who read everything I posted - at this point it is now extremely likely that the sample size discussed has dropped to include only me - may also remember that I enjoyed writing it. This would probably have been clear from reading it. There is no other reason to have produced it. Especially given that it lacked originality, insight, basic structure, proper syntax and grammar, any clear sense of editorial message, a more than negligible readership or any personal gain on my part, financial or otherwise(1).
The only reason I wrote then, was for fun. That's something I want to do again. Which seems overly earnest - and if there is any place not to be earnest it is on the internet.
But there you go, call me Hemingway(2).
With all of what has been said in the proceeding four paragraphs and a sentence firmly in mind(3) let's turn to the actual point of this post. I am going to start blogging again.
There are a few reasons why. As I've been through, it's for fun mostly. There's also the burning need to write opinions down and publish them in some format. So I am wary of annoying my Facebook contacts by posting frequently about politics(4). Thus, this thing.
So without further ado let's non-sequituously launch into:
[INSERT NUMBER HERE] RULES FOR BLOGGING ON THIS BLOG(5).
NUMBER ONE - Try, as much as is possible, to limit the scope of the subject matter written about to things you have a decent amount of knowledge about. Lest you look a twat in the eyes of others.
This generally doesn't actually close off that many possible topics to write on, the point is that most people have a subject matter, theoretical method or writing style that they can employ when writing. The idea being to find it and give the reader a unique and interesting perspective. There is a sub-rule to this rule, which would be to try as much as it is possible to not cover topics that have been done to death and try to avoid commenting on comment. Which is a rule I used to break pretty much every time I wrote.
NUMBER TWO - TRY, AS MUCH AS IS POSSIBLE, TO AVOID USING ALL-CAPS, OR ANY OTHER STYLISTIC DEVICE THAT BREAKS THE RULES OF GENERAL GOOD WRITING WHERE THE AIM IS TO INTENSIFY OR ILLUSTRATE A POINT. LEST YOU LOOK A TWAT IN THE EYES OF OTHERS.
It feels like getting shouted at when you read it and makes people think you're stupid, the second one being the thing that should bother you more. Much like using more than one exclamation point doesn't intensify the point, it just makes you look a thick cunt!!!!!! This rule also includes deliberately misspelling or breaking grammatical rules in an attempt to question the intelligence of others. Dat meks u luk lyk a elitist cunt, wich meks u luk spoopid 2.
NUMBER THREE - Avoid Cliches. Lest you look a twat in the eyes of others.
This is actually a cliche in style guides, but it's a good rule none the less.
NUMBER FOUR - Avoid sensationalism, sloppy quotations, poor referencing or outright misrepresentation and falsehood. Lest you look a twat in the eyes of others.
At pain of breaking rule number three I'm not going to reference the phenomenon currently apparently sweeping the globe that does this, but we all know what I'm talking about and the content of the rule largely speaks for itself.
NUMBER FIVE - Don't be afraid of complexity, but don't overcomplicate the simple. Lest you look a twat in the eyes of others.
The world is rarely a simple place, and phenomena taking place within it can rarely be boiled down to one or even a few causes. However, if a piece of analysis is relatively straightforward that doesn't mean that the take offered on it is naive - it may well just be that the issue is fairly straightforward.
NUMBER SIX - Enjoy writing, try and make it so your reader enjoys reading, and break any of these rules sooner than say anything you're uncomfortable with. Lest you look a twat in the eyes of others.
I ripped this one off of Orwell pretty much. As well as having six rules - that's Orwell's to.
(1) The last one isn't strictly true, I think I made £0.02 from AdSense, which I never claimed.
(2) I find that joke funny. In it's original form it was going to be "But there you go, call me a 'power bottom'" but that makes reference to an in-joke. Referencing an in joke has got to be bad form when writing for an, admittedly non-existent, audience. Although, come with me reader as I explain to you that, the joke does work on more than one level. Obviously, it's a play on words, but also it forces the reader to think of me as Hemingway - a latent thought that might actually go unchallenged, because the disgust at the arrogance displayed might be mistaken for disgust at the shit-ness of the play on words. Clever eh'?
(3)Especially the part about me being Hemingway.
(4) Some people don't like Facebook being used for that. For my part I actually think that's what it's best for, because updates of what you had for lunch/engagement /pregnancy are fucking boring and anyway that's what Instagram/Church Noticeboards/Actually speaking to your friends and family is for.
(5)List articles are the fucking worst, as are people who say things are the 'fucking worst' - but I am consciously mirroring the first post on the original blog which had a list of rules I, and by extension everyone because I was a sovereign legislator in a kingdom of (bell)ends, ought to follow when blogging. Given that I wrote it in 2008/09, before BuzzFeed and by extension list articles per se had taken off, I'm not sure what I was echoing. It may just have been that it's a lazy way to write and I was a lazy writer. Now it's a lazy and derivative way to write, ergo I'm now a lazy and derivative writer. Which means I've grown as a writer.
(6) The more astute amongst you may have noticed I broke most if not all six of these in the course of this post. Try and see where, answers on the back of a postcard - or not, whatever.