It’s been a strange and busy year… and we’re only in week two.
Of course, I’m determined not to be one of those “I’m so busy!” people, but I do rather a lot of things. Fortunately, most of them are very interesting things. Stuff I get to do, rather than stuff I have to do. And… not to put too fine a point on it, sometimes, my life is just plain weird.
But this is the blogger’s dilemma. The more things you do that are interesting or unusual, quite often the less opportunity and inclination you have to blog about them. I like this blog to be interesting, of course – but while it’s necessarily about me (it is, after all, a personal blog), I’d like it to be more about stuff that comes from me – out of my head – and not just a catalogue of stuff that happens to me.
There are some very good stories to tell, of course. There was that time I was sitting by an open fireplace in a farmhouse in Istria learning about photography from the editor of a food magazine. Or the time I was reluctant to go into a record shop, only to end up buying £1000 worth of vinyl for £5. Or that time Gerard Depardieu’s next door neighbour made me an eight course meal. Or when I stole a bottle of wine from the House of Commons while wearing Google Glass. All in the last few weeks…
But to be honest, I haven’t been in a storytelling frame of mind – and none of these stories have a particular point other than ‘hey, look how cool’ – which is not what I really want to be writing about. It might even be worth reading, but it doesn’t feel like it’s worth writing. They’re not necessarily the same thing. I mostly write because I enjoy it and I want to be better at the craft of it.
I mean, sure – I’m aware that I’m very lucky and I have some very interesting experiences, but unless I can extrapolate some kind of universality, lesson, or – y’know – point out of any of them, I’m just that guy posting tropical paradise holiday snaps on his Facebook page for his jealous workmates to see. And that’s not necessarily who I want to be.
In a similar fashion, I’m in the process of learning to be a better photographer. I used to be prolific and enthusiastic, but almost entirely unskilled. However, for the past six months I’ve been paying attention to photography, and the more photography I study, the happier I become with my pictures.
As a result, the ones I’ve been posting on Flickr (other than the constant stream of iPhone snaps of album covers – which is another story for another day) are the ones I’m quite pleased with. There are fewer of them, but they’re substantially better.
I’m going to apply the same philosophy to my blogging. More high quality input, more improvement in the quality (though not necessarily the quantity) of the output.
I’ve just kicked my Feedly account back into life with a whole bunch of sources that will, hopefully, inspire me – and that will, I’m hoping, help me lift this blog up a notch or two in 2014, in the same way that my photography has improved.
And maybe I’ll end up telling some of those stories I mentioned earlier. Or I’ll choose some other ones. There’s going to be plenty of opportunity. I’m writing a couple more books this year, directing a film, running a festival that’s travelling to an absurd number of countries around the world, working with a music tech startup that I think could be a complete game changer, starting some exciting projects, learning some new things (currently diving into the world of organic wines) and going on some real adventures.
There’s no shortage of stuff to talk about.
But I’d like to do it well, and I’d like it to have some sort of purpose. So for the moment, I’m breathing in, not breathing out. Listening, rather than talking. Stocking up on inspiration so that when I do blog, it will feel – to me at least – like it’s worth reading.
Or at the very least, that it was worth writing. Which, as I mentioned, is not necessarily the same thing.