Happy birthday to my blog

Happy birthday to my blog

My blog turned 10 in January, but we didn’t have a party, mainly because I didn’t notice. It was only when a fellow writer mentioned they had been blogging for 10 years that I went back to check how long I’d been posting here.

There is an enormous gap between my first and second posts in 2011 (about ten months) and I can’t remember why this was the case, but I’m the first to admit that my posting has been sporadic over the years. I’m trying to post more regularly now. Thank you for hanging in there.

I originally started this blog because I was doing a graphic design course and desperately wanted to share what I was learning. It was all so new and interesting, and the teacher in me just wanted to tell the world. I’m not a natural born teacher because I’m way too impatient, but something kicks in when I find out something interesting. I always think “who can I tell?”

I originally called my blog Design Basics. I set about explaining the principles of graphic design in simple terms, covering topics such as white space, balance and proximity. When I grew tired of imagining myself as a graphic designer (too many poor results and not enough talent), I started writing about anything that interested me, and some common themes emerged. I frequently wrote about communication with a proliferation of writing tips, and suggestions for ways to improve your PowerPoint slides. In those days, my job involved reviewing slide decks, and it constantly amazed me that they were so terrible. When I left that organisation 14 years later, things had improved a little, but not as much as I hoped.

When I look back over my early posts, I’m a little embarrassed by them. They seem amateurish and rather puffed up, as if I actually know what I am talking about, when I was was really just pretending, but I can’t bring myself to delete them as they represent part of my blogging journey and therefore my life. It’s a bit like throwing out the drawings your kids did at pre-school. They may have grown and matured, but you still remember them as little boys and girls.

Having reached this milestone, I wonder what I should write about for the next ten years? The experts advise you to pick a topic and stick to it, but the idea of doing that bores me to tears. I don’t like the idea of being boxed in and having to write about the same thing week in and week out.

These days I frequently write about books and writing, because this interests me, but I don’t want to become a book blogger because then I would have to read books I don’t really like, and I can’t see the point of that. I am very particular about what books I read and like the freedom of being able to pick and choose.

Over the past ten years, I’ve learnt to be more critical about what the ‘experts say’ and more inclined to just do whatever I like. I think this is one of the benefits of growing older. You worry less and less about what other people think, and it’s very liberating.

On a final note, if you have been reading my blog since the beginning, thank you. I love knowing you are there and appreciate your support. If you’ve arrived here more recently, welcome, I hope you will stick around.