Friday, June 25, 2021

Another Frequency

It seems the great intermission is over at last.. It's back to work next week for me, although I'm still waiting for someone to tell me exactly when I start. 

It also means something of a return to normality for the blog or at least so I'm expecting. It's been so long since I had a regular, stable work pattern it's quite hard to remember what normality here used to be. 

I think the way it used to go was that I'd only post on days when I wasn't working... although that can't be right, now I come to think about it. For some of the life of the blog I was working five days a week. For most of it I was working four. And yet I still managed close to a post every other day and more than that, some years.

Last year broke all records and this year, so far, has already seen one hundred and sixty-six posts, four more than in 2017, the lowest posting year in Inventory Full's history. Until June I'd only missed one or two days each month, if I missed any at all. 

I do have an excuse for slacking off this month - I've been on holiday. Technically, that is. It would be hard to tell the difference from the rest of the year except that we did in fact sleep away from home for a whole night last week and this week we went to another country. Okay, it was only Wales and we can drive there in less than an hour but it still counts.

Given the choice, I would not be going back to work. Nothing to do with the pandemic per se, just that it's now only three years or so until my retirement date and these last couple of years, what with Covid and cancer, I doubt I've worked more than nine months altogether and never more than three of them in a row. 

It feels as if I've already retired and it very much suits me. It would suit me a lot more if I was free to travel wherever I liked, which is how I always imagined spending my retirement, but I'll take sitting at home playing video games and writing blog posts about it over standing up in a bookshop for eight hours at a stretch any day.

The other thing is, I haven't really felt like I've not been working. Mrs. Bhagpuss sometimes teases me that I have a full-time, unpaid job now and it's this blog. I wouldn't go quite that far but most days it does take me at least two hours, sometimes as much as five or six, thinking up a post then writing, editing, polishing and publishing it. 

It has also occurred to me that, if this were a job, I would at least get weekends off. It's not like anyone's making me do it, though, so I'm not complaining.

As I'm sure must be obvious to all, they're rarely short posts, either. My average word-count is probably around 1200-1500 words, often quite a lot more. I guess I've written not too far short of a quarter of a million words this year. It's a lot.

As regular readers have almost certainly noticed, I rarely run out of things to write about. I have always been able to write (and talk) at inordinate length about almost anything. I could give you five hundred words on the dust on top of my monitor if I had to. 

Not running out of things to write about is not exactly the same as having things worth writing about,  however. I have been sensing of late that my enthusiasm for detailing the minutiae of the way I spend my enforced leisure could possibly be of more interest to me than it is to anyone else. 

That's not a huge concern since a) it's my blog and I like to read about what I've been up to and b) I've always been of the strong opinion that what makes something a pleasure to read is the way it's written rather than the subject itself, but even if that's so, it's also true that an interesting topic gives even the best writing a bit of a push. It was very noticeable, for example, when Valheim was all the rage, how even though everyone was writing about it at once I couldn't read enough about it. 

With that in mind, I'm certain sure I'll be falling over myself to get my thoughts into print when the next Big Thing comes along. Whether I'm working or not isn't going to be the deciding factor on how often I post then, although it might be if I have to choose between posting and playing.

For now, though, it's probably not such a bad thing for me to slow down the posting rate a little. Maybe if I'm running at four posts a week instead of seven I'll find myself having to pick more impactful subjects. Or maybe be more concise.

Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Anyway, I just thought I'd give a bit of background in case posting frequency does drop off somewhat over the next few weeks. It's nothing concerning, just a return to the status quo ante. 

Also I really didn't have anything else to post about today except bloody Dragon Bash, which I've been doing for hour after hour, and no-one needs that again.


  1. After 15 months away and working from home, I finally returned to the office for a couple of days last week. It was certainly an odd experience and one I was definitely out of practice for. I'll be interested in hearing your accounts of life back on the other side.

    Decreased frequency or not, your blog is always worth reading, even if it is only about what was left in your cereal bowl after breakfast. It _is_ about how something is written as much or more than any particular topic. We should all be so lucky that the quality of our writing exceeds that of our chosen topics.

    1. Thanks, and reciprocated! From past experience, possibly the most disturbing thing about returning to work after a long break is how quickly it feels like I was never gone. It works both ways, though. When I'm not actually at work I tend to forget work even exists.

  2. Agree wholeheartedly with potshot's comment of, 'It _is_ about how something is written as much or more than any particular topic.'

    And while my commenting has certainly been in decline over the past.. er.. long while; it isn't from a lack of enjoyment or engagement in what you've written. I still catch every post, even if sometimes that does mean going back and catch up on several days at once.

    More than that, over the past week or so, the thought of writer's voice has revisited me as it is won't to do every so often. It's been a while since I've written anything on the topic, but I noted some time ago I didn't think I'd quite found my way back to having one just yet, and that I liked some aspects of my prior blog writing style better.

    Which is all a long way of coming to the point of saying that with the topic back on my mind of late, I have come to the conclusion that the position I've coasted to is not one I'm happy with and so some considered practice/effort is required.

    You, Mr Bhagpuss, are one of the voices I like to study and take notes from. In fact, there was a draft I had kicking around in the back of my head that considered doing literally this about your opening in the 'Try Anything Twice' post. :)

    Of course the goal would not be to emulate you directly, nor to steal anyone else's voice, but certainly to learn and take the odd pointer from.

    Which is all an even longer way of saying; your posts are appreciated even if the engagement is lower. Not just from an analytical perspective but because they're enjoyable reads in their own right. I have no doubt I would chuckle at least a few times during your 500 words on the dust atop your monitor. ;)

    All that aside; I hope you're OK with the return to work, blog aside!

    1. Thanks! Comments are always a sticky question in blogs. So many people report technical issues with getting various blogging platforms to recognize them at all that you can never be sure whether people just don't have anything to say or if they're sitting back shaking thier fist at the screen because they can't get the software to co-operate. I know there are a couple of blogs I rarely comment on because it's just too awkward.

      You hear a lot about "finding your voice" in creative writing but less about how that voice changes over time. I've become way more conversational on the blog over time, I think, as well as a lot more personal. Those are things I've learned from reading other people's blogs where I've noticed how enjoyable it is to hear some context and backstory now and again. I think we all learn from each other all the time, or at least we ought to.

      As for work, I'm back for one day tomorrow and then I get three days off, so that's about as gentle a return as you could imagine!

  3. Nothing wrong with slowing down the pace. Blogging should be fun, not a chore, always. :)

  4. Best of luck in returning to the "regular" work location. Like the others, I'm curious as to how it'll work out for you after being gone for so long.


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