Wednesday 24 July 2013

Blog spark lacking

Perusing my stats the other day, I was shocked too see a massive drop off in numbers. 50% down on the previous month. Then I looked at what I had written, and it all made perfect sense. In addition to having composed a mere nine blog posts in July so far - well, eight at that point - I reread them and was disappointed. Not crushed, just disappointed. So what have we got?

Breaking the posts down in categories:

Rock and Roll - 2
Moaning - 1
Blatant photo-only padder - 3
Random guff - 1
Birding - 1

Hmmm, not good. Nearly half the posts were mere excuses to whack up a photo, a quarter were about music, and in reality, another excuse to whack up a photo. There was one moan about twitching (followed a week later by a massive twitch), some crap about a toothbrush, and a solitary post about actual birding.

Completely stats-neutral photo from Hyde Park the other day

Let's take a quick look at July 2010, the same time of year, but the critical difference being that I wasn't working for a living, or at least, not working in the sense that I am now. 24 posts. I appreciate that this July isn't over yet, but this is still over double the output. Quality not quantity you might argue, but I think this argument falls over pretty damn quickly.

My toe - 3
Moaning - 6
Insects - 5
Random guff - 3
Patch birding - 5
Twitching - 2

It's a little difficult to talk about stats as the blog appears to be much more visited now than then, but overall the key differences are my broken toe, insects, a lot more moaning, and actual patch birding - notably absent from July 2013. The toe is an easy one - despite the gruesome photos, there is little better than reading about the misfortune of others, especially if it involves stupidity and subsequent pain. It evokes feelings of warmth and smugness, and is thus very popular indeed. The insects are a little harder to fathom. It is true that many birders become insect nutcases during the summer months, but still. My assumption is that my post titles were cryptic/non-descriptive enough to leave a ray of hope open that they might in fact have been about my toe or some other horrific injury I might have sustained. Hook, line & sinker. It still think it's a shame that blog visits cannot be measured in units of time. If they could be, re-reading how I bust my toe three times would measure up extremely well against two seconds of realising the post was about a butterfly and leaving again.

And so to moaning. I love moaning, I mean it, I really do. Back in 2009, with nothing really on my mind, clearly my thoughts turned to moaning a lot more than they do today. This is rather odd, as I have just as much to moan about now as I did then, perhaps more. Why I don't moan all the time is an interesting question. Am I too busy to moan? If so, this is awful news. I'm certainly too busy to go birding locally, so you would think I would moan about that but apparently not. Things I could have moaned about this week would include my lovely new 500mm lens that sounds like it has a golf ball rolling around inside it and is now about as useful for taking photos with as a golf ball, working in Canary Wharf, broken glass, and Royal Baby "journalism". Somehow I have avoided all four topics. Have I grown up? I hope not.

So what about patch birding then? Five posts in July 2010, none in July 2013. Not that birding locally in July is any good you understand, it's complete shite, but I still went out and tried, and thus had something (kind of) to say. I've completely given up three years down the line, and thus have nothing to say. The fact of the matter is that in addition to having lost the inclination, I just don't have the time. Work is monstrous, getting up early impossible, especially when you know that in all likelihood there will be nothing to see. Will trudging round the patch seeing diddly squat really spice up the blog? I very much doubt it.

I'm not saying I've lost my mojo, whatever that is, but there is definitely something missing. I need a spark. Any ideas, or shall I have a few more glasses of wine, and then for your amusement trip up on a cushion and break my nose, wrist, and a few ribs?


  1. You probly just need a holiday!

  2. This is totally true: when I saw your toe posts mentioned I thought "Oh yes, I really enjoyed those." I am sure that is much more a comment on me than on your toe

    I do like the local stuff whether it's birding or moaning or whatever. To be honest a second time, I find the twitching/travel posts depressing; I can't afford to travel as you do, neither in time or money. But also, I agree with your general perspective (I think I recall from various posts when you haven't recently twitched something) that the small patch victories are generally more exciting/rewarding than the big twitches or travel finds.

    The insects are really very pretty and the variety you catch in your backyard is surprising and enlightening.

  3. Its autumn soon - I'm sure you'll have your mojo back then!

  4. Please lay into benefit scroungers again. You will also get loads of replies as well - double bubble!!