Friday, 6 May 2011

Get On With It...

This is the last song I will ever sing...
No I've changed my mind again. Goodnight and thank you.
Morrissey, Disappointed - Bona Drag, 1990

Goodness me, has it really been a month? I have been neglectful. A whole month. It's almost enough for me to trot out the Blogger's Apology. You know the one... where Tumblrs and Wordpressers and Bloggerers start their latest offerings with a profound and painfully sincere mea culpa to their apparently distraught readers about why they have had to fend for themselves in the world for the past day/week/month/year(s) without any insight or learned counsel from the oracle that is they. There will then follow a lengthy attempt to justify being MIA, most of which can be summed up by the word 'life.'

I was going to have a look for some choice examples from the internet for you, but I was worried it might seem mean. Fortunately someone with far less scruples has saved me the job, having created the excellent blog 'Sorry I Haven't Posted - Inspiring Apologies from Today's World Wide Web.' Have a look, it's very funny.

That said, being absent for a while has made me think maybe its time to wrap it all up on here. There are no financial rewards, nor are there people queuing up to offer writing jobs in the media (I believe there are things called journalists who do years of training to do that kind of thing, and failing that, celebrities). More dispiritingly, the most popular post on Mint Custard remains what I thought was a cute story about why bears don't wear underpants. I would be happy if this was due to an appreciation of creative writing or a love of bears or somesuch but according to Statcounter the main reason people visit that page is because they have typed 'gay bears' or 'Bear Grylls nude' into Google.

Fortunately I know that my reasons for writing are mostly selfish. Parents and people in the military will be familiar with the concept of sharing information on a 'need to know' basis. I have long suspected that Mint Custard and countless other blogs operate from the opposite, a 'need to tell' basis. Whether people want to know or not, we are not capable of keeping our opinions to ourselves. It churns inside of us and we cannot keep our traps shut. You may cover our typing fingers with over-sized children's mittens, but we will find a way to proffer our tuppenceworths on the interwebs. We must, because that is who we are.

What makes each individual blogger like this will be unique to them. Perhaps they are those loud, opinionated people in the real world; brash, confident, convinced of their innate rightness on any topic before them. Maybe they are the complete opposite; tiny mice whose blogs give them the courage and a voice to talk about things that matter to them, and where someone, anyone, might listen for the first time in their quiet lives.

Whilst I am under no illusions that I am a 'need to share' person, I know I also write because it makes me happy. I'm no great wordsmith - in fact, and though its a painful truth, its still true, I'm not even Miranda Devine - but it still makes me happy to try (try to write, not to be Miranda Devine, though I bet I look better than she does in a skirt suit).

I've spent the past month continuing my Tw*tter experiment (@mintcustard for those who wish to know), connecting with people in different ways, and finding new ways to make pithy remarks in 140 characters. The problem is whilst I quite like using Tw*tter, it does make me feel like a crazy old man shouting through the cracks in the window of an abandoned house at passers-by. Yes I'm still sharing, and the internet still does the same collective shrug it gives blog posts, it's less rewarding because the process of writing is removed.

Clearly those 140 characters are enough for many people, but I've come to realise - or perhaps to affirm - that it's not quite enough for me. I have missed being here, bashing away at the keyboard trying to string sentences together about stuff that excites me and things that I want to talk about. Look over to the right in the subject cloud. There's a lot of them.

To the collective shrug, keep on shrugging. But to those that do listen and respond and comment and contact, thank you - you bring me great happiness. And to those that did notice I was gone so long, a quiet but sincere 'sorry.' Please know that I'm listening when you mutter under your collective breaths, 'get on with it...'

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