Dear Friends: may I be 137th* to wish you a Happy New Year!
(*Well, it is the 30th of December, and the whole internet culture is making us more and more competitive every day to be first and best with greetings and compliments, so I expect I’m way behind already in my New Year greetings.)
We all know it’s not in my nature to be nice to people, but I really am very grateful for every reader who has ever stopped by my slippery little corner of the internet in 2018.
For me, this year was full of plot twists. I started a new job which ate my life, sucking energy and brainwaves in equal measure. It made it difficult to write at times, and impossible at others to make actual progress on any of the works projects I was trying to keep on the boil. Even still, I came damn close to getting a couple of them published, but as we say in my dear home county of Clare, nearly never bulled a cow, and being nearly published is about as life-affirming as Schrödinger’s cat.
Despite the fact that I’ve been quiet in December, I did really enjoy blogging this year. I regretted not having enough time to visit my favourite blogs, and feel I missed a lot from you this year. But I tried at least to keep up with my own.
Sometimes a big writing project is just too, well, BIG. Blogging comes in lovely bite-size pieces, though. There’s always time for a blog, even when a chapter is too steep a mountain to climb.
(Well, except if it’s December, and you’re distracted by a mince pie. But otherwise, there’s always time for a blog. Honest.)
Not to mention that blogging is social media, which means INSTANT GRATIFICATION WAHEY!!! It’s terrible, really. I might slag it off, but I’m as complicit as anyone when it comes to looking for a reaction to a posting online. You know pretty much immediately who’s reading and whether they like it or not.
Bigger writing projects take forever to go through the sausage machine and spit out results. Blogging tells you right now whether or not it worked. If people like something, you do more of it: if people don’t, you shrug and move on, without too much anguish or time wasted.
My most popular posts this year were all very different from each other, too, which is evidence of how much fun I had spewing wild thoughts online. Of course, they were all satirical or cynical, which as we all know is my raison d’être, and also my reason for being. The Top 5 for 2018 were:
- Honest Blurbs For Honest Writers
- Demotivational Posters for Writers
- Confessions of a Critic: What Makes People Write Nasty Reviews?
- How I Learned To Cure My Anxiety With A Classic Smoky Eye
- A Living Wage For Writers – From A Most UNLIKELY Source
So, what’s coming in 2019?
One thing I did manage to do this year was write a new series for the blog, which I’ll begin to post in January. It’s a blogging skit, told from the point of view of the Bestest, most Amazingest and Humblest Social Influencer of Them All. I tested a few pieces for this earlier in the year, and had enormous fun in the process.
The genesis of the idea came from reading one too many articles about hugely successful bloggers who all seemed to be suffering from crippling anxiety for some reason. I started to wonder why.
I soon realised that if there’s one thing the internet has taught us, it’s that just like Sesame Street said: we really CAN be whoever we want to be… or at least, whoever we say we are. In fact, I’m not even sure there’s a difference any more. Because if the last couple of years have also taught us that facts are what we say they are, then social media is our biggest loudspeaker. And sadly, it appears to be making us sick.
However, I’m never one to let a serious or worrying issue to slip by without making some sort of joke about it. With that in mind, I’ll be posting my guide to being a social influencer, with special focus on the most popular and influential subjects, such as:
- Politics and Social Activism
- Home Decor
- Personal Growth and Transformation
- Motoring (obviously)
The whole project has been a revelation to me, as a niche blogger. As I said earlier in the year in an introduction to the tester piece How I Learned To Cure My Anxiety With A Classic Smoky Eye, being Ireland’s 5th most successful niche literary humour blogger focusing on conversations between fictional stereotypes is all very well, but if you’re doing well in one niche, why not cover ALL the niches?
I’m looking forward to introducing the philosophy of the Superblogger to you all in 2019. In the meantime, and before I get into full parody mode, I hope all of you have a healthy, peaceful, joyful and bountiful New Year. It’s been a pleasure doing the giggling with you in the old one.