I’m alive! I’m still here! I have, if you are new to this blog, recently finished doing a hundred posts in a hundred days. I realised halfway through the process that other people were doing this all the time without breaking a sweat, but I must admit that by the time I got to the end, I was finding it rather heavy going.
The actual process of writing a post was not a problem, but trying to come up with something new every day was becoming a bit of an ordeal. The world is a busy place full of distractions. If people are kind enough to let you occupy a tiny little bit of their headspace every day, you owe it to them to at least try to be interesting. It was quite sobering to see that my brain could only find slightly less than 100 interesting things to talk about.
Part of that might have been the relentlessness of it all. If you’re doing something new every day, there’s no time to think things through, no time to research things properly, and no time to change your mind if you get half way through and find that it just isn’t working.
So, how did it all go? Well, first there are the numbers. I did a hundred posts. But not in a hundred days. I took a holiday in the middle and missed a day or two due to shiftless laziness. It took me 112.
I had hoped to get 60 000 views. Hah. I got 34 978. So not quite. I have no idea how many comments there were, but on the last day I reached the 3000 follower landmark.
And the real point of it all? Well, part of it was that I wanted to get a decent body of work onto my blog. Which I’ve done; a hundred posts is a hundred posts. I have reached the point where I’m getting about a hundred views a day just on keywords alone. Part of it was that I wanted to get a decent bit of practice in and get better at writing. I have absolutely no way of measuring that. I have, over the last few days, been going over some of my earliest posts. They seem sort of mawkish and heavy handed. I have not, however, had a look at any of my more recent posts. Maybe they are mawkish and heavy handed too.
But. And right now it feels like a big but. A monster. I have forgotten how to write. I turned off my notebook after writing my hundredth post and that was it. My brain has turned into an amoeba. I even battled to give decent responses to comments. I don’t remember what an adjective is. Vowels? Apostrophes? Sentences? I don’t even remember the layout of the keyboard any more. I have become paralysed.
It’s a familiar feeling. I used to get this when I was studying law in another life. Before an exam, my whole life would become focussed on cramming my head full of dates and court findings and laws, and then suddenly it would all be over. I used to go into something just a little like mourning. Which is weird, because I didn’t like studying law. I would wake up the morning after the last exam and have no idea what I was supposed to do with myself.
But it would pass. Slowly. And eventually, I would wake up and remember that there were other things that made life worth living. Things that I actually enjoyed doing. Not that I haven’t enjoyed doing my 100 posts.
I’ve loved it. Probably more than I’ve enjoyed doing anything else in my life. I’ve loved every part of it. I’ve loved scraping the furthest corners of my mind for things that might interest just one or two people out there and make them smile. I’ve loved engaging (never my strong point) with the people who have been kind enough to follow me throughout, and those who’ve just popped in for a look. I’ve loved trying to bend and twist and beat the words I have always been passionate about into something I hope other people will care about too. I’ve loved seeing the same people looking in over and over again and tailoring posts specifically to try and wheedle a comment out of them.
But now it’s done. Time to move on. I don’t think I’ll ever stop blogging; after forty years, I’ve finally found myself a hobby. But in future I will do it when the muse moves me, not in a desperate flurry before I let myself sleep.
So that’s it. Except for one thing. Thank you. Simply pouring my voice out into the void would have sucked. But there was no void. There were mad, insomniac Australians, lurking South African wildlife lovers, sweet, encouraging grandmothers, real biologists and museum curators who were kind enough never to call my bluff, young people funkier than I’ve ever been, men in hats, cult survivors, photographers, writers, poets, the works. That’s what made it all fun.
I am eternally grateful for that tiny bit of headspace you gave up, and I hope you will keep letting me occupy it.
Enough navel gazing. Time to start thinking about a proper post again. Stick with me. Where else are you going to learn about Lowveld dogs….?