Hibernation

Hey Blogosphere,

I’m back from yet another bout of hibernation.  Once again I’m struggling to find a balance between coursework and spare time, leaving me little energy to work on blogs.  Which is a pity, as I’ve had several thoughts and ideas rumbling round my head I’ve wished to put into words but not found the time or motivation to do so.  I also miss reading the blogs I’m subscribed to or browsing new ones, like shining spotlights into different parts of the world, different perspectives of life.

I won’t make any promises of a bold return like I have before as I’ll no doubt fail to meet them, but I do strongly hope I can get back into the rhythm of blogging.  Failing all else I may begin to post more on my sister blog, The Election Stalker, since I often spend my time reading through opinion polls and election results anyway as part of my procrastination; I might as well make something productive out of it.  However I will seek to produce some more thoughtful, analytical pieces as well.

See you in 2015!

Excuses, Excuses

Once again I must return to this blog with excuses of why I have been so inactive.  Since making the last post a month ago I began the lengthy process of moving home which has unfortunately taken up most of the time I could have used for blogging.  Additionally, my Mum and I took a week out to make a trip to Paris.  There’s a lot to be said about both of these experiences and I hope to write something semi-insightful about them in the coming weeks.  There’s also lots of world news, politics and book-related stuff to catch up on, which I’ll make my best effort to do from henceforth!

To prove this isn’t an elaborate lie, here’s a picture of me in front of the Eiffel Tower!

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The Election Stalker

As part of my commitment to returning to frequent blogging, I’ve begun a new blog!  The Election Stalker is aimed at tracking elections throughout the world, analysing both opinion polls in the run up and the ultimate results, providing neat graphs to help visualise trends and balances of power.  From now on I’ll be posting my impartial, analytical posts over there, so if you’d like to keep seeing these make sure to follow!  I’ll continue posting comment pieces on here, keeping this as my personal blog – as well as hopefully more posts on topics like literature, life, the universe and everything…

Stay tuned for more content!

First Anniversary

There are two pretty big anniversaries covered today, both from a year ago.  The first, which is probably of most relevance to readers, is that this blog is now a year old!  365 days, 220 posts, 10,548 views and 107 followers; it’s not famous yet by any means but has gone much further than I ever expected.  The blog is continuing to go through an unfortunate slump in activity as I continue to get to grips with university (my timekeeping seriously lacks something to be desired) yet I still seem to be getting views.  Views don’t equate to quality, of course, but it’s humbling to think people are even looking at the blog on a daily basis.

views

Although posts may be less frequent, I hope to return to posting about topics which interest me and engage further with the world community of bloggers.  Posts I currently have in mind include ‘What is Anthropology?’ based on my less than favourable impression of this bizarre subject, a look at the ages of world leaders, a fresher’s perspective on career prospects, a review of 2013 at New Year and intensive coverage of voting events ranging from by-elections, the European Parliament elections in May and the exciting Scottish independence referendum in September.  It’s a big year – watch this space!

The other anniversary marks a year of vegetarianism.  Despite the stray gelatine and one unfortunate incident where I tucked into half a chicken pie before thinking, “this doesn’t taste much like soya…” it’s been a remarkable success!  I charted my progress here and here, but even then I never expected to last so long.  “I could stop tomorrow,” I wrote back in December, while in January I admitted “I still believe I’ll eat meat again one day.”  The latter remains entirely possible, of course, although I find it difficult to imagine how it would occur.

So here’s to another productive, meat-free year!  I’ll see you next November 18th.

I’m Still Alive

Hello!  It’s been a very long time since I last wrote a post on here and I have to admit I’m really missing this poor, neglected blog.  Unfortunately time management at university is something I’m taking a while to adapt to, and the blog has sadly had to suffer as a consequence of this.

Rest assured, however – I am not dead!  I have some ideas for posts coming up, which may begin to trickle through when I find time.  Also, I’m rather impressed that people are still reading the blog – I’m getting something like 15-25 unique visitors each day!  I’d like to thank everyone who’s even just skimmed across an article for taking the time to have a look; I’ll try to produce something of more substance soon.

Writing

I am a writer.  This probably comes as no surprise since I write a blog, but I consider it to be one of the core elements of my being.  I must write at least two or three thousand words every day, be it on this blog, fiction, diaries or textual communication.  This is something I take for granted, but every now and then I remember that people actually exist who don’t like writing and try to avoid it.  I can’t imagine how empty a life that would be, but each to their own I suppose.

Thing is, I like to call myself a writer but does simply writing a set number of words actually make someone a writer?  I seem to have a hierarchy when it comes to the importance of the words I write:

  1. Fiction
  2. Blogs
  3. Diaries
  4. Textual communication

Interestingly, the number of words I typically write for each category becomes fewer as you advance up the hierarchy.  There’s a similar pattern to the amount of effort I put in.  But surely, if I value the fiction I write more than blogs then I ought to prioritise that?  Yet I clearly don’t, considering blog posts regularly amount to over 500 words whereas the most fiction I’ve ever managed to write in one day, in the last few months, is 429 words (yes, I do keep count…).  This has sparked a bit of an internal crisis within me: How can I be a writer if I don’t write what I claim to be worth writing?  Do I like the idea of being a writer more than actually writing?  Am I a fraud?*

The natural result of this crisis is to focus more energy into my fiction, which is largely my current strategy.  That’s one reason why I’ve reduced the number of blogs I expect myself to produce each week, and it’s kind of working.  There’s been a gradual improvement to my progress in fiction, with my current project soon to reach 4,000 words.  I’m a writer once more!  But I shan’t neglect this blog either; it’s all about striking the right balance.

Arguably, there’s nothing more significant in the labeling of someone as a writer than getting work published.  Which brings me to the most exciting announcement of this post: I’m now a published author!  Well.  Sort of.  I’ve had a short story published in a local anthology, Wirds fae da Wastside.  I haven’t yet held in my hands a finalised copy but it will be pleasantly strange to see my name in print once I get that opportunity.  It all starts here!

*Intense self-doubt is another symptom of being a writer, so I hear, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry too much.

Fringe Vlogs

So, I’ve decided to start a vlog!  You can see it at FringeVlogs on Youtube (I only have one video uploaded thus far).

My reason for doing this is that I’m beginning to see how the written format of WordPress isn’t ideally suited to charting interesting things in my life.  It has its place but I think I’ll be more encouraged to observe and be excited by the world around me if I’m carrying a camera around and filming things.

I originally wasn’t planning to start vlogging until I began university (this September – 48 days!) but I thought I’d sneak a bit of home in first.  Please take a look if you have the time.