This is another in the series of non-advice advice. Today: writing a blog.
Writing a blog is a very easy thing to do. You just have to start typing words on your keyboard and you don’t necessarily need to have a plan on where the sentence is going to end or what you want to say really. Sentences tend to wrap themselves up at some point anyway, so don’t think the pressure is on you.
Every once in a while, when you’ve been writing for ages and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna go anywhere, you can stop typing mid-sentence, leaving your paragraph unfinished. This will give an intense sense of urgency, a hectic fin de siècle impression (even at the beginning of a century) and the illusion that you lead a life so busy you can’t even finish your own thoughts. Your readers will be impressed. Quite often though, it's
There are literally thousands of blogs out there, and some of them even have readers. This is the type of blog you should aim to write. Some people write a blog and they pretend that they don’t care how many people read it / that they only write for themselves and if anyone else is reading it it’s a bonus / that it’s just an online diary really and not suitable for public consumption. That’s what Brett Anderson was saying about his music before he released his solo album in 2007, and now he doesn’t have a record contract.
Most people start writing a blog, they post every day, then they post every two or three days, then once a fortnight, and then they haven’t posted for so long that they don’t even know what their password is anymore. Then something incredible happens in their lives (e.g. there’s a funny announcement by the train driver on their way to work, their Mum sends them some pictures of when they were little riding the family dog in the back garden flashing a toothless grin at the camera) and they can’t log in to tell us. I suppose it bodes well that we’ve completely lost interest by that point anyway.
For bloggers who continue writing past the 15th post, it is inevitable that they will repeat their style and/or stories sooner or later. Some of them actually work in completely cyclical terms and you will read the same bloody stories again and again every five posts or so. In fact, there are one or two blogs linked here to the right that I feel I could sit down and fucking write myself with 98% accuracy instead of logging on to read them.
Of course, in order to avoid criticism for being “repetitive”, “unimaginative” and “talentless”, you can pretend that the tired old format you use is part of your writing style. So, for example:
a) London Preppy is written in simple, childish prose with a vocabulary of 80 words maximum, but I maintain that my Spartan narrative is intentionally so, the austere, minimalist and stark writing is deliberate. Who cares if I don’t produce eloquent, Corinthian prose – it’s because I don’t want to, not because I can’t. Ahem.
b) In London Preppy nothing ever happens apart from that I go to the gym, moan about work a bit, occasionally throw in some Guillain Barre Syndrome reference, that sort of thing. This is not because I completely lack inspiration and lead a boring life focused around two or three obsessions of course, but because I am making a statement about the pointlessness of existence, human despair in urban environments, the absence of morality, that kind of shit.
Including some pictures will certainly work in favour of your blog. There is too much nudity around the internet for people to stay there reading your crap without some visual assistance every now and then. These pictures can be of yourself – don’t worry, no matter how shit you look there are always people out there who will leave a comment and tell you that you look amazing, you’re fit as fuck and they want to shag you. Take these comments as seriously as your self-awareness allows you to (you know the truth really, don’t you?)
If your blog is successful, you will be able to identify some aspects that make it stand out and be different to any other blog out there: well done, you have created your own little world. Be careful not to change these elements, because you will alienate your audience and create brand confusion. Elements of the London Preppy blog that should never, will never be altered are, in no particular order:
- A pretence that nothing really matters
- Music references from 1994
- Half-naked pictures of the writer and his friends
- Dressed pictures of the writer without his friends
- Literary references from a limited spectrum of books
- An unjustified belief that pale looks good
- A tedious formulaic account of the day’s events
Finally, getting exposure to your blog is always good. Links on other blogs and facebook fanpages definitely help, but what I really want, is a London Preppy picture – yes, shirtless I’m not kidding myself, but with trademark red block across the eyes – on the cover of a magazine (I know my market: Attitude / Gay Times / AXM / QX / Boyz / DNA are all good for this) as part of a feature on blogs/bloggers and with an article I’ve written inside. I can dream. Or maybe I should go off now and email all these people with this amazing idea.