As I’ve been hinting for the last two weeks, I just passed the one year anniversary of writing this stupid blog. Look at all the gifts and cards you guys sent!
In other news this is also gonna be the last one of these I do, for now at least. Before you commence the weeping and the rending of clothes, do not despair too deeply, cos I’m gonna be back like Backstreet with a brand new groove like Kuzco. You guys all remember Kuzco right? Kuzco?
Why? Well, I’ve been harbouring a hankering to write some fiction for a while now, and this anniversary seems like as good a time as any to jump in and get started. To quote from the Who Are You Then? bumf I wrote at the outset of this endeavour –
“I’d like to write a book one day about a rogue mathematician and a karate robot and a mysterious ninja and a wisecracking juggler guy. Don’t steal that idea, that’s mine.”
That day has now come. I’m getting rid of two of those characters and adding a few more, but it’s substantially the same idea. It’s gonna be an episodic picaresque comic fantasy thing, it’s provisionally called The Duat and it’s gonna debut next week. As I wrote about in the charmingly titled Why Do I Still Write This Fucking Thing?, having a self-imposed weekly deadline has been immeasurably helpful in getting me to consistently sit down, put finger to keyboard and actually produce some-fucking-thing on a regular basis, so I want to keep on putting stuff out for people to read at regular intervals. I’m not quite sure yet what a realistic pace is; I’m shooting for an episode every two weeks but we’ll see how it goes.
With all of that said, I wanted to give this thing a proper send off. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve written over this last year and I’m pleased as punch that so many people seem to have enjoyed it. As a way of saying goodbye to it, I’d like to go through the archive a bit and pull together a few thoughts about the whole shebang.
OK, to start with I have literally just worked out how to do categories with WordPress. Having been back to add categories to all the old entries I can see that of the 46 total I’ve written, 28 were proper ones where I tried to work something out, 4 were lyrics & poems, 4 were stories and 10 were miscellaneous. That means about two thirds were proper ones, which is not a bad ratio. Hopefully the new categorisation makes it a little easier to browse the archive, should anyone ever be so inclined to do so, though to be honest WordPress’s navigation is kind of a piece of shit innit. I’ve been toying with the idea of migrating everything I do to a dedicated site, but that shit costs money yo. Anyway, I digress.
Looking at my most frequently used tags, I see that ‘bastards’ is at the top of the pile with four posts receiving that tag (for the record, the groups accused of or assessed for bastardhood were: Sainsbury’s, Ice Bucketers, Gentrifiers and Bad People). Hot on those bastards’ heels comes ‘business’ with three (Playing Games In Your Head, Finding Meaning In Your Day, and Whatever The Fuck This Was). Skimming through the remaining tags, a few that jump out at me include: Clare’s Accessories, Football Jesus, Molten Brain, Club Penguin and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.
What about viewcounts? Everone loves stats innit. Oh, just me? Well I’m doing it anyway. By far the most viewed post is Why Yorkshire Needs To Shut The Fuck Up About Yorkshire, with a runaway 3,865 views. It’s not hard to see why that one did well, it’s classic clickbait, it’s in a list format, it’s short and funny and just the right sort of thing to needle your idiot friend from stupid Yorkshire. Number two with a bullet is What’s Wrong With Hipsters, with 1,127 views, which is a lot harder to explain. I guess people just really like reading about hipsters, and it was written in response to a bit of news fluff that was floating around at the time about those cereal guys so maybe that helped.
There’s a big jump down to the next most viewed, Is Gentrification Good Or Bad Or Neither (Or Both), with 290 views. There’s a much more steady decrease after that, down to the least most viewed: two placeholder/interludes and my cool story about George and the Dragon which was actually pretty good and deserves more than the measly 38 views it had. That is of course, if anything deserves anything which is up for debate.
Top Five Time!
Here are five fairly arbitrarily selected posts that I think were good, even more arbitrarily ordered.
An early one which neatly encapsulates a fairly common thread in these posts, which is “hey Raph, stop judging people over trivial shit”.
These are soppy and fuzzy-hearted and earnest and I don’t give a damn cos I like them.
Largely here for the phrase “oppressive chocolate capitalists”.
I’m including this one mainly for the conversation it generated among readers. Following its publication a lot of people told me it was very similar to their own experience. Especially heartwarming were the number of people who were encouraged to share their own stories.
Possibly the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything.
Alright, now I’ve spent 150 odd words describing what my favourite bits of my own writing are I think we’ve closed the loop on this self-indulgence party. You can find the categories and archive on the right of this page if you ever want to go back and read any of this stuff. Like I said, the navigation is pretty shitty, which is why I’ve tried to pluck out a few highlights. Of course you could always start at the very beginning and read them all. Maybe gather the family together and read them aloud like they did back in the days before podcasts.
It only remains for me to say thank you very much to everybody who has read these posts, shared and commented on them, and talked to me about them IRL. The encouragement I’ve had from readers has been crucial in keeping me going when I wanted to chuck the whole thing in.
I’ll be back next week with a brand new flex, for which I hope some of you will join me.
This Is The End Now