Happy Birthday to Me!

                Well there you are-I have completed a year of blogging! And WordPress, in their indomitable wisdom, have seen fit to award me a cup, in honour of the achievement. It was, and still is my intention to continue for as long as possible-even if I have wandered so far down the road to dementia that I cannot recall what I’ve written or whether I’ve written anything.

                It is always a slight concern that I may be repeating myself-[and here I try to avoid the obvious joke…], but in this next year some posts will relate to what I wrote last year, although not all.

                Helpful advisers to bloggers often say that in order to attract more views one should adopt a specialised theme and stick to it; a topic such as angling, car maintenance, mouse mat collecting or fire hydrant spotting. I’d have followed this advice were it not for one overriding obstacle-I do not have a specialised subject. I’m such a lightweight in terms of subject knowledge. I know a little about quite a lot of things, but not a lot about one single thing-including writing, at which I am still an amoeba.

                So I’ve had to continue in my usual, meandering, ranging style, with occasional rants thrown in for good measure.

                It has been good discipline writing a blog post twice a week. The stats still excite me, especially seeing the diverse parts of the world that viewers hail from. There is something thrilling about discovering that someone in Siberia or Patagonia has read a post. Strangely, one particular post, ‘Is the Art of Conversation Dead?-Discuss!’ continues to get loads of hits, despite being long passed into the archives [21.3.14 for anyone interested].

                Whilst I am pleased with my virtual cup I appreciate the comments, likes and visits of followers and visitors far more. But even so, I am less concerned with footfall than some, and not interested in making money from blogging, as a number of so called ‘followers’ have locked in to Anecdotage to show me.

                But I will be making a few changes to Anecdotage this year, mainly in that posts will appear once each week rather than twice. This is mainly because, good discipline and practice [and fun!] though it is, blogging is distracting me from what I consider to be ‘real’ writing, which is to say, my second novel and the short stories, one of which I am determined to get further than a shortlist with!

                So I wish all readers a very Happy New Year and may you make progress in whatever you set out to achieve in 2014. Oh…and see you on Sunday!

It’s not that we’re not interested, but…

                

                The majority of people who are parents acknowledge that having children does, on the whole enhance their lives, despite the high cost in terms of finance, energy, time and so on. Most of those with older or adult children are proud of at least one of their offspring and those with babies and toddlers will be full of stories about how many teeth they’ve acquired, whether they sleep through the night or that they can name all the capital cities in Europe. This is all natural and in the order of things.

                Occasionally, though, there is, amongst one’s friends or acquaintances someone who is unable to converse on any subject at all without reference to their offspring.

                “Have you booked a holiday yet?” you ask them.

                “No, but our Susan [or Mabel or Esmeralda] is going to Ulan Bator. She’s been invited to join a missionary choir blah blah blah…….”

Or,

                “Car still going ok?”

                “Yes but we’re passing it on to Julian [or Wayne, or Freddy] because he’s just heard he’s got into Oxford [Slade/RADA/Cambridge etc] blah blah blah blah]”

                Worse still are the doting grandparents. Myself, I am not yet a grandparent. Yes, I am looking forward to becoming one, but may I be struck down if I turn into the type of drooling, fixated granny or granddad who is unable to utter a word about anything except the exceptional, talented, unearthly beings that are their grandchildren. We meet them on our travels, these people who are unable to complete one sentence without mentioning their grandsprogs.

                In my previous life as a proper working person I used to meet up occasionally with fellow colleagues for training etc. In the course of these monthly meetings there was one poor soul who greeted me regularly with the words,

                “Oh hello! Are you the lady who’s got a little grandson, like me?” to which I felt compelled to reply,

                “No, I’m afraid I’m the lady who has no grandchildren.”

                I wish I’d been more courageous. I wish I’d said I ate them for breakfast.

And another thing; those who are grandparents regard us grandchild-less couples with pity, as if we are in some way defective and disadvantaged. ‘Never mind’, they say, ‘It’ll happen’-as if we are somehow pining for this longed for event. Another of my friends feels she must shield me from photos or information about her grandchild, in case I should be offended by the sight or mention of him. This is not the case at all. I am at least as interested as she is in my stories, or indeed this blog!

For this is the point. I don’t mind at all, hearing a bit about others’ families, and of course I am as proud as any parent of my own children’s achievements. But I don’t wish to be defined, myself by their accomplishments; because they are theirs. What I would really like is to be defined by my own achievements…and most of all…in my writing. Is it too much to hope for?