Followers (people still read blogs?)

(650 words)

Today I woke up to a couple of emails saying that a couple of users had ‘followed’ or ‘subscribed to’ this blog (I have literally forgotten and I haven’t the energy to check). Internally I had a few reactions to this, and since externalising the apparent chaos inside is really my primary objective here I thought I’d lay it out in writing.

Tragic hyperbole aside, what’s going on?

I apologise in advance if either of those two users is reading this and get perturbed by what I have to say, but quite frankly this is a place where I’m gonna write what I like. But more on that later.

I checked out both these users, one seems unsure about what to blog about and yet has two blogs and the other (of whose posts I only looked at two) seems to be a self-styled lifestyle guru type bod with such earth-shattering advice as “you want to be successful? Stop watching TV!”. I paraphrase, obviously, both because I’m lazy and because I’m a dick. This immediately irked me because I am very defensive of my stagnant lifestyle.

So fucking what?

Well that’s just it. If I’m blogging, putting out my thoughts in an ostensibly public – if largely invisible – medium, why does it surprise and bother me when I get the indication that people might be reading it? Why not just keep a fucking diary like a normal person? Clearly I like the idea that it’s laid out there for someone to see but the idea of that someone actually seeing it makes me boil over with insecurity.

At some point I’m sure I’ve mentioned people at school who found my blog when I was in my early teens. It was, I can assure you, even more grindingly awful than this. Eventually I shut it down just out of embarrassment and in retrospect I feel that that was a mistake. It was where I poured out what I was genuinely thinking or feeling (to the best of my awareness, and we can’t really do any better than that). The ridicule I received, which wasn’t a lot, was enough to make me stop and just turn off that tap. That is never really a good idea. I suppose I worry that if I put down unsolicited thoughts, as I intend to, I might invite that same kind of derision because I am hardly one of the world’s pre eminent scholars.

Sounds realistic.

Well no, not really. It’s an idea to which I find myself unwittingly ascribing on a regular basis: “if you’re not the best, don’t even try.” Which is counter-intuitive and, moreover, counter-productive.

But that’s it. That’s the point, and my justification. I’m going to post what I want here, not because I think it’s instructional or interesting or funny (though I do hope that those things will be dotted around from time to time, purely by accident) but because I need to. Because I want to. What I say will not be massively considered, it will probably not be groundbreaking (we live in hope), and it certainly will not be designed to suit anyone other than myself. If I attack somebody or get pissy at an idea or belief I have come across, that’s because that’s how I’m feeling. It does not represent a considered and reasoned opinion because I don’t have a lot of those.

I’m 21 and I’ve been ignoring my thoughts and feelings, out of convenience, for years. I’m coming from a bit of a disadvantage compared to other people I know and just saying that makes me feel a bit better about putting this drivel out there. Because maybe by the time you read this, I’ll have been going for a couple of years and I’ll have started to make sense.

Or at the very least, you’ll have started to self-edit.

Hey, me – go fuck yourself. Myself. What?

More to come.

–Frank

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