15 February, 2006

First century

This is the 100th entry in Visions Before Midnight. It's a total that seemed hugely distant when I first began writing last November, but which grew steadily closer with the passing of the season and I (more or less) stuck to my original plan to post something new every day.

It's a hugely artifical watershed, of course, with just as little literal significance as 31st December. But it gives me an excuse to indulge in a bit of shameless self-absorption (yes, just for a change) and prod myself into considering just why I am maintaining this kind of commitment.

I suppose that from the outset I've approached this blog with something of a procedural, mechanical mindset, prematurely appreciative of the rituals I suspected would be involved in writing a daily entry, spending time thinking about what to write, choosing a headline, selecting an image and so on. I also wanted an outlet to pen something different to the kind of entries I've long mustered in my private diaries, as well as being an arena for freewheeling whimsy and rhetoric, a pot pourri of thought and suggestion, and a crucible for preoccupations and obsessions.

I embarked on the blog with a grand plan to tackle life's great mysteries and eccentricities with ruthless satirical insight and pithy observation. That lasted all of three days. Interestingly (well, irritatingly), the business of maintaining two different kinds of journal initially had the side-effect of keeping me awake at night. Then came the decision about whether to use other people's real names or keep everything anonymous. Then I wondered if it were best to stop talking about real people and places at all and make the blog full of conversation rather than reportage. Then I realised I could use up an entire day's entry by simply posting one photo. Bingo!

In truth my attitude towards this place changes every day, which I'm taking at the moment to be A Good Thing. Hence if I'm bored of it tonight, chances are I'll be enthused by it tomorrow.

As is inevitable, I can't help but continue wondering who (if anyone) is reading any of this stuff, and if so how they came by it. I know I compose different entries with different audiences in mind (a hugely pompous assertion), and then strain myself listening for the sound of inaudible applause. Perhaps that's de rigeur for anybody and everybody, day in day out, year in year out. Perhaps it's best I don't know who's out there, so as to avoid striking deliberately artifical and false poses and points of view.

As it is, I've clocked up my first hundred and, to dip into my well-thumbled book of cliches, it's been a pleasure. And while I'm there, you can have this one for free: as you were.


Blogger Stuart Ian Burns said...

Well, I'm you one subscriber at Bloglines. You could add a sitemetre which is a revelatory experience really.

10:46 pm  
Blogger Alistair Myles said...

Done and done. Cheers Stu.

10:55 pm  

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