Now that we’re back up and running, here’s a Comment from the yesterday which I’ll deal with as best I can. It happens to be relevant to this general enterprise.
Bonjour Mr Watson, i’m at uni and i’m required to do a blog…WHAT THE F?! where do i start and why does anyone care what i have to say? i’m just a northerner living in London…nobody gives a shit…anyway i digress, i typed in “comedy blogs” to get some ideas and you’re one of my faves so gave you a click, can you ‘elp? p.s you walked past me at Paddington station and you’re taller than expected, congrats on the height!
Firstly, thanks for your kind thoughts re: my height. Pretty much exactly six foot, but I let myself down by slouching. People are regularly surprised by my relatively impressive stature, when they meet me in the flesh or at any rate when I walk past them, which is something I do quite a lot in the course of my attempts to get between different parts of the world.
What is the point of a blog, you ask? Like these modern paintings which look a bit like they’ve been done by a baby but turn out to be acclaimed as genius, the value of a blog is only really measured by the readers. Not necessarily the number of readers – we all know there are lots of people out there paying attention to the Kardashians RIGHT NOW when they could be thinking about, say, Jarvis Cocker instead – but the impact that it has upon those readers. A blog which entertains and informs four people is well worth doing. One of the curious truths of the internet age is that, basically, everything is worth doing in the sense that it has a chance of amusing/provoking/enlightening someone, somewhere, thanks to the peculiar lottery of search engines and the passing on of web memes and all the rest of it. (The only exception to this is LOLcats. I’m pretty sure there is no point at all in them. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, don’t google it.)
Being ‘required’ to write a blog for uni, though, seems rather odd, in the same way it would be odd to force someone to keep a diary. I can only assume you are on some sort of creative writing/new media course and they’re keen to be modern. My only advice really would be to choose one thing that interests you, and write even a tiny bit about it. Whoever you are, whatever you are, you will see one thing a day that’s worth commenting on. You see someone being rude on the way to uni? Or a funny hat? Or hear an odd expression? Or watch a TV show that’s surprisingly great/awful? Basically any thought you register is potential blog fodder.
With any other form of publishing you’d have to self-censor, you’d have to try and have some continuity of subject within each blog, and from one to the next; for example, if I suddenly broke off from this to announce that last weekend’s ‘Sherlock’ was one of the most amazing televisual experiences I’ve ever had, it would seem like poor structuring in most other formats. I mean, I never even touched on it till then. But that’s the freedom a blog gives you. You really can just ramble.
Like many of the other new channels of communication the internet has given us, blogs are disposable and probably a bit silly. But life itself is rather silly, when you consider how it ends and what comes afterwards, so, hey. You might as well write something, Rachel (I think the commenter was called Rachel, but I might be getting confused because almost everyone who reads this IS called Rachel). And if you do, I’ll put a link up here.
This was the first in a new series of Can I Help You, the popular feature where I deal with readers’ enquiries/problems, but from now on I’m only ever going to do one per blog. So it’s the ideal forum if you have an issue that’s absolutely not time-sensitive and doesn’t require any specialist knowledge whatsoever.
The title ‘Hello, why are we doing this?’ is what my comedian colleague/friend Sam Simmons had as his Twitter ‘bio’ when he first signed up to it. For me it sums up the most sensible standpoint one can have about Twitter/the internet/most human projects: I don’t really understand why I’m doing this, but on we go.
Tomorrow: gig news/TV news/trying to find purpose etc.