I was astounded to discover, when I posted my last blog post, that my next (ie, this one) would be my 100th! Really? I have written 99 blogs on random stuff over the past two years or so? It would appear so. It seems fitting then that this blog would not be a usual blog – as I have an announcement to make about the future of ‘andstufflikethis’. But before we get to that (see what I did there? Keeping you hanging in suspenders a while longer?), I feel it is important to take a look back…
When I started this blog my sole purpose was to get into a routine of writing. One of the first things my writers group taught me was you can call yourself a writer if you are writing – there is nothing more to it. And they are right of course. So I decided if I ensured I had a weekly (which started out as twice weekly and is now more like fortnightly!) deadline and a group of people who are relying on me for some waffle to read, then I would be more likely to set aside time for writing. And it worked! Not only have I written this blog fairly regularly during that time – but I also finished a novel and – lo and behold – another one! So, for any aspiring writers out there wondering whether writing a blog is a worthwhile use of their time, I say hell yeah! Not only does it get you into the discipline of writing and allow you to hone your craft a little, but it also lets you rant about things which your friends are probably sick of you banging on about. You have a whole new audience for your ranting – genius 🙂
It has interested me over the course of my blog career which topics seem to pique the most interest – and often it is hard to tell. People don’t often comment, though I do get some Facebook comments and sometimes months later when I see someone I haven’t seen for ages but who has been following my life via blog they will mention a blog they really liked. Feedback is great – but not so frequent, so you appreciate it even more when you get it. But I have noticed the blogs that get the most love are those with more of a personal focus – sure, people love the film reviews but it is the commentary on house buying, romance and life decisions that people relate to the most. Which – as a writer – is a really good lesson to learn. I always knew having events and characters people can relate to was important – but I get that even more so now. Of course you do have to be careful at the same time – as the internet is the internet – anyone can read what I write up here so I have to be comfortable with information being in the public domain. As such – there are a number of topics I could have written about but haven’t, just because I am not that comfortable with my friend’s mothers’ auntie’s dog knowing that stuff about me. So it is a fine line to tread.
At the end of every year WordPress give me a statistical breakdown of what blogs have done best – and how many visitors and visits I have had. If I was taking this more seriously I would do more to promote it and tag it so randoms from the interwebs would find it more easily and start following me. Starting out writers often use it as a way to build an audience, so if they self-publish then they already have some guaranteed buyers. But for the same reasons just discussed above – and due to general laziness on my part – I am kind of happy with it just being a random collection of friends, family, workmates, friends of friends and a few randoms who read me regularly. While it would be nice to write an ‘official’ blog for a media outlet and get paid for it, I don’t want my blog to become the be all and end all – my creative writing is where my focus should be (other than work, obviously!) so this is just a wee side project for me to chat about things I care about.
So, speaking of things I care about, time for the big announcement. (Spoiler alert! If you don’t want to know the big announcement don’t read any further!). One of the things that has been on my bucket list for a while has been to get involved in a political campaign. Although I attempted to campaign manage my Dad when he ran for local council last year – it wasn’t quite the campaign I had in mind, and the candidate’s decision to go fishing two weeks before the election wasn’t necessarily something I could control 😉 Hence, I have decided to get involved in proper politics this time – and will be volunteering for the Green Party in the run up to the September 20 election. Why? Because I feel like if I don’t do something to try and topple the current government (in a democratic way, obvs) then I will go a little bit crazy. Because the Green Party is most closely aligned to the things I care about right now – and also the things that the current government cares the least about. And because I think it will just be super interesting. (Is there also a very small part of me that thinks maybe I might meet the NZ equivalent of Josh Lyman in the process? Maybe. Like a miniscule bit :-))
As this will be taking up a chunk of my spare time – as I go around door knocking and calling people and trying to convince them to vote (and vote sensibly) this year – I have decided to put the blog on hiatus until after the election. Sure – hiatus is usually a word used when TV shows take a break (usually for random as Hollywood reasons) but as my blog often focuses on all things entertainment, it seemed appropriate. So – no more blogs from me until after 20 September. Sure, you will miss it I am sure – but I am also saving you from numerous diatribes from me about what a donkey johnkey is and how you need to save the planet by voting Green in September (though both of those things are definitely true :-)). Instead, I will just say this one very important thing: PLEASE VOTE ON SEPTEMBER 20!!! There is nothing worse in this world than apathy, and to not exercise your democratic right to vote (preferably in a sensible, well thought out way) is pure craziness. As much as you may choose to think otherwise, politics affects you every single day. Have a kid? Have a job? Trying to buy a home? Driving your car? Every single aspect of our lives is affected, either directly or indirectly – by decisions made in Wellington. So have your say on who makes those decisions. And if you don’t believe me, believe CJ Cregg from the West Wing – ‘Decisions are made by those who show up – you gotta rock the vote’.
This is therefore my last blog for a while – but I will still be around, and will still be writing – and will return in September with a crap tonne of ranting to do and a crap tonne of movies to review. In the meantime, feel free to read over some of my old blogs, especially the ones about politics – since I am all about that now 😉 Here are some links to help you out. And thanks so much for your support blog followers – you rock 🙂