Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 end of year review (of my blog)


January was a hesitant month for blogging (on my blog). i only posted two posts and both fell towards the second half of January.

i wonder what i was doing in the first half of the month.

the first post saw me commemorate the release of the B-Format edition of The Bird Room with a limited-edition, 24hr tweet. (can't remember what it was now.)

and in the second, i mention (among other things) reading Ray, a short novel by Barry Hannah. (i never finished it, despite it being only 23,727 words long.)


the first post of February marks not only the start of my correspondence with Ben Brooks (TBP by Canongate sometime in 2011) but also my obsession with Word Mole, the word-based puzzle game that came pre-loaded on my phone. honestly feel that the Word Mole jingle/song/advert/thing i recorded and showcased in this post is maybe the only good musical thing i've ever done.

i then seem to try to capitalise on the small spike of interest/hits from my first Word Mole post -- resulting in an over-the-top Word Mole-centric second post, crammed with real/fake (you decide) enthusiasm about the game.

following this is a throwaway third post (think it is a link to a Vice article about a cat cafe in Japan) posted maybe only to convince myself/dwindling readership that i am blogging/still a blogger/trying harder with my blog again/not someone who just posts two things a month/a great guy/a cat lover/zany/cat-focused/Vice-reading/full of great non sequiturs/a twat?


looking back on it now, March actually seems like a pretty interesting/diverse/not bad month for my blog ( it started with a reasonably-well-received sitcom by Socrates Adams-Florou and myself and ended with a link to an eight-part stupid/slightly meta/mostly stupid fiction thing called Fanfiction About My Cat, published on/by Pangur Ban Party.

i'm not totally convinced about the posts in-between, but in general i feel that if anyone described March on my blog as a 'fallow month' i would have an argument with them about it.


April started with a surprise announcement post about a Turkish edition of The Bird Room, complete with an acronym for the youth-culture phrase 'What the fuck?'

in the second (and only other post of April) i include a link to a 'Booknotes' article i did for the website Largehearted Boy. i remember having a lot of fun writing this article and thinking about it and looking at the finished thing. hooray.

hopefully this optimism balances out the bleakness/lack of enthusiasm/half-hearted-ness of my only-two-posts-in-a-month relapse (see January for the other one).


May started with an unexpected foray into poetry (specifically haikus). it also announced the beginning of 'Other' Magazine ( of which i was very vaguely involved with.

following on from the generally-well-received first post of May, i seem to then ruin everything with a by-the-numbers post called 'five wikipedia entries i looked at recently'. i remember, even as i was typing it, an all-consuming feeling of 'oh god, this is rubbish, why am i typing this, just trying to blog again, why am i unable to blog, what is wrong with me, my life is an unmitigated hell, etc.'

May ends with a linking post to a (maybe self-consciously 'zany') article i wrote for the aforementioned online journal 'Other'.


during the month of June i blogged 0 times.

**spoiler alert**

i wonder if this was some sort of ominous portent for the second half of the year?

**end of spoiler**

what was i doing in June?

was i trying to finish a draft of my second novel?

was i playing Word Mole?

was i teaching creative writing somewhere?

(honestly can't remember.)


ok, by looking over the first post in July, it seems i spent the month of June moving flats and sorting out a new internet connection. the fact that this first post is called 'Update 1' leads me to suspect i was planning to update my blog more frequently from then on (even if i hadn't really got anything to say).

this suspicion is confirmed by the other fourteen posts (can't be bothered to link them individually) in July. the sudden surge in blogging activity i now see (with distance) as what it was: a last-ditch attempt to blog, no matter what, just to increase hits/readership again, directly related to a fear of logging in to my statcounter account and seeing the number 0.

to try and increase hits/readership i devised two competitions/things other bloggers could get involved with. the first was called 'Desktop Battle', the second was a proposition for an annual 'ICYBT' (International Change Your Blog Template) day. both were met with a surprising (3-9 participants) amount of interest.

i think i did other things in July too, but i'm not sure what they were.


in August i posted once, promoting an appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

i remember having a nice time at the Edinburgh festival.


i posted 0 times in September.

(i wonder what i was doing.)


i posted 0 times in October.

(i have no idea.)


i posted 0 times in November.

(really, no idea whatsoever.)


i posted 1 post in December (this one.)

i wonder what this means? (if anything?)

is this the end of my blog?

am i ever going to blog again?

does anyone care?

did i have a nice time in 2010? (yes, generally)

am i going to write a second novel i am happy with? (i hope so)

have i completed a second novel? (yes, but not one i'm happy with)

do i have a new idea? (yes)

have i written any of it yet? (no)

do i have any money? (no)

what are my favourite small-press/indie/not-yet-published novels of 2010? (Richard Yates by Tao Lin and Everything's Fine by Socrates Adams-Florou)

did i buy a nice coat at some point during 2010? (yes)

am i wearing it now? (no, i am inside)

etc. (etc.)

happy new year everyone.


Crispin Best said...

this will be the last blog comment i make in 2010

Brian Centrone said...

Rolls eyes and shakes head. Reminds self about own blog neglect. Not that Japaneses Cat Cafes can be competed with.

Morag Edwards said...

Hi Chris, your blog caught my attention because I've been thinking along similar lines. I'm wondering if the general blog has outlived its usefulness. I follow many blogs but rarely read them due to lack of time and, if I'm honest, a lack of interest. My Stroke Diary had a massive readership but my general posts are rarely read.Perhaps blogs work best if they are short-term and meet the interests of a specific group.I'll write a blog about it...

DJ Berndt said...

This is a great post.

snakesandapples said...

Hi Chris!
I suppose you don't remember me, though we have met this summer in Manchester. French girl, pipe smoker, harassed you with the meaning of the book while eating fries and dessert at the KRO2 bar in July.
Don't worry, it's alright.
Anyway, I thought you would be glad to know that your book is much appreciated by my university teachers right now. At first, I had lent it to one of them who is specialized in language's theory as an act. And it passed on, apparently.
You may not be translated right now in France, but at least, you are read by specialists.

If you're on another project, let me know.


chris killen said...

crispin, good comment.

brian, good luck blogging in 2011. not sure if i will. thinking of doing a website instead, maybe. i don't know.

morag, yeah, feels like blogs might have 'had their day' maybe. or there is a certain time a blogger can feasibly sustain blogging (2.5 years?).

DJ, thank you.

sarah, course i remember. was good to meet you. thank you for letting me know. wow. still working on a 2nd novel. might be a while yet.

Brian Centrone said...

Chris, Not sure if I will continue my blog in 2011 as well. I really have nothing to say on a constant basis. Do have a website that I have not officially launched though. So, we'll see what happens. I think Morag is right. Blog have out lived their usefulness. Twitter has taken over. Why read a blog when you can read a tweet?

Laura said...

Why not work with someone else to work on your blog? When you have two people writing you can inspire each other. Sometimes when I have writers block if someone gives me a subject I will spend hours researching and finding out new things which I can write about again.

I prefer blogs much more to Twitter... if you start writing again I'm sure lots will read. Setting up Google adsense may also help give you an incentive to blog :)