I was going to try to write something special for this thousandth post, but actually my head is full of writing that isn’t really appropriate. I’m currently working on something that won’t be out for a year, that I can’t seralise here, and that I can’t talk about yet. I’m also planning my post on Saturday’s Doctor Who for Mindless Ones and the post I’m going to do tomorrow here on the Surf’s Up album, and various other things of that nature. Nothing life-changing.
Then I thought about doing some grand summing-up of all my posts to date, perhaps paraphrasing Orwell and saying “Every line of serious work that I have written since 2008 has been written, directly or indirectly, against closed systems of thought and for freedom and openness, as I understand it.” — except that judging from the stats for the most popular posts on this blog, most readers either come to the blog looking for a jpeg of the Sgt Pepper album cover or they just like it when I swear.
I get very depressed when I think of that kind of thing. Assuming that each post took an average of two hours, that’s 2000 hours I’ve spent writing on here — eighty-three days out of the last four years, when to a first approximation I could just have written a single post, titled Batman, consisting of the words “pee po belly bum drawers” and a scan of a Beatles album cover, and I’d have had roughly 90% of the traffic I’ve had.
But the odd thing is, this blog *has* made a difference, usually when I’ve thought it hasn’t. A couple of people have told me that they’ve taken part in the AV campaign or No2ID because of things I’ve said here, even when those posts have been unpopular. One of the writers in the new collection of Faction Paradox stories out this month only became interested in Faction Paradox after reading one of my posts. A friend (I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about this publicly, so I’m being vague) has written a (wonderful) novel based around one of my non-fiction books. I’ve been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, appeared on Radio Ulster, and been quoted on the back of a collection of one of my favourite comics.
None of which is said to be self-aggrandising. I’m under no illusions about the importance or influence of this blog. To an extent I’ve actively sabotaged chances at becoming an ‘influential blogger’ by doing things like having a massively public stroppy falling out with Sunny Hundal and quitting Liberal Conspiracy, or turning down Rich Johnston’s offer to write for Bleeding Cool. Influence wouldn’t suit me, and the few times a large number of new readers have come to this blog have usually been those times I’ve been most stressed and felt like quitting.
But somehow, some of what I’ve written has actually mattered to some people. And so I suppose, since I feel obliged to try to say something pompous and so on for this post, I’ll say this: If you’re doing something because it’s what you genuinely think you should be doing, whether it’s writing, or activism, or playing music, or proving mathematical theorems, or *anything*… if you’re doing it not to make money, or for peer approval (even though those things are nice), it’ll matter to *someone*.
Sorry for this, anyway. No more posts along these lines until post 2000.