Well, there we are. 1,000 days of non-stop daily blogging. I am the best, I win, etc. Sorry this post is so late, but once you’ve read it you’ll hopefully appreciate that it took a bit of time to put together. I felt I should make the effort, you know. Special occasion and all that.
Of course, I’m well aware that I’m not the first person to reach a thousand days — as I mentioned a few days back, Mr Ian Dransfield got there first due to… well, starting before me. I joined the initial #oneaday crowd a little late, on January 19, 2010, whereas the people who actually started the whole thing off began closer to New Year’s Day. As I noted in that post I just linked to, however, I am officially the Last Man Standing and I don’t mind admitting that I feel more than a little proud of that fact. Through thick and thin, I’ve stuck by this self-imposed project with no end and no goal, and I have enjoyed the experience immensely.
And, more importantly, I plan to continue enjoying it from this point onwards. Post number 1,000 — that’s this one — is most certainly not a fond farewell and a hanging up of the… whatever implement best exemplifies blogging. (My computer keyboard, I guess.) No; it’s a significant milestone, for sure, but I see no reason to stop. There are plenty of things to write about. And while they may not always be the most interesting or universally appealing, as I’ve noted on this blog a number of times before, the original intention of #oneaday was not to be interesting or universally appealing. It was simply a kick up the bum to get those of us who enjoyed writing to do more writing. Writing for ourselves, rather than for someone else. Writing without limits, without the necessity of sticking to a style (though those of us in it for the long haul naturally developed our own personal styles), without word counts, without anyone deciding whether or not the thing we were writing about was worth writing about. And, of course writing without editing.
Yes, these are the pure, unexpurgated contents of my brain you’re reading every day. Unfiltered, uncensored, completely truthful. (Well, okay, regarding the latter, I might omit to mention a few things, but that’s not exactly the same as lying.) A couple of people have commented to me over the course of the past thousand days that they’re impressed by my ability to just lay my soul bare on the page like that, to confess to things that others might find difficult to talk about. For me, though, it’s actually something of a relief to be able to talk about a lot of these things, be it my depression and social anxiety or my enjoyment of visual novels that, in many cases, have bonking in them. This blog has been a good “friend”, as it were, providing me with a place to empty my brain of all the thoughts that have been floating around with it over the course of each day, and in the process I have made a few actual friends who have either related to the things I’ve written or just found them interesting. Which is, you know, nice.
More after the jump — it’s a long one. (That’s what she said, etc.)
I had a request the other day from Alton Hazelworth III that I give a rundown of my top 5 funniest dreams for my thousandth post. I’m not sure I can remember five dreams in enough detail to do that, unfortunately, but I can reshare a couple of rather strange posts from the past for those who are interested to know how my (apparently deranged) mind works. First of all, there is From the Depths of the Subconscious, referred to by Hazelworth as his “favourite post to date” and “the poo dream post”. Then there was Into Dreams, in which I described a selection of peculiar things that had flown out of my subconscious at various times in my life. Then there was earlier post Dream On, which isn’t nearly as interesting but does feature a comic strip with pictures of both Christina Hendricks and Brian Blessed.
So while we’re at this, let’s delve back into the annals of this blog’s history and pick out a few other posts that are noteworthy. I have done this on a couple of occasions in the past, and it’s been fun to revisit them. (It’s also quite fun to hit that “Random Post” button at the top of the page and see where it takes you. At least if you’re me.) Consequently, I make no apologies if I link you to posts I have already linked to in the past. Apparently they stuck in my memory as “noteworthy”, so… yeah.
I will probably regret this as I spend longer and longer (and more and more words) digging up old posts that I’m probably the only person who cares about, but here we go.
Ugh. Now I have no idea where to start. All right, let’s start with posts that have proven the most consistently popular, based on what WordPress’ stat counters believe are my Most Viewed Posts of All Time. If it ever loads. (It’s not loading.) Now it’s loaded. All right, here we go.
Apparently, my most-viewed page is my homepage. 22,848 views since some time back in 2008. I have no idea if that’s good or not. Ultimately irrelevant. Moving on.
My top individual post is Mini-Memes and Offensive GIFs (NSFW), which has had a mighty 3,251 views since it was posted on May 10, 2010. This is a post in which I first of all participate in a fake “Inside the Actor’s Studio” interview, prompted by a fellow #oneaday blogger, and find myself unable to hear the name “Bernard Pivot” without thinking of a piece of software called Pivot which allowed you to animate stickmen. Said piece of software was, naturally, put to nefarious use with a variety of offensive animations collected together under the banner “Battle of the Sexes”.
How to Play Pocket Academy is the next most popular post, with 1,592 views, though I think this is largely more due to the fact that no-one understands how to play Pocket Academy than due to it being a particularly comprehensive guide. So we’ll skip over that one and go straight to the next most popular one, which is Why Teaching Sucks (1,217 views).
For those of you who aren’t aware, I used to be a teacher. I worked for three years in secondary school before suffering a nervous breakdown and quitting, then I worked for a term on a maternity cover contract at a primary school. It’s fair to say that I did not enjoy the experience.
Actually, that’s not entirely fair. There were aspects of it that I enjoyed. There were a number of kids I genuinely looked forward to seeing each week. And school productions were always a massive amount of fun. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the profession — outlined in the above post — outweighed the positives for me by a considerable margin.
I was still working in that primary school when I starting posting daily on this blog. It provided a good outlet, but the amount of time I was spending complaining about my job gave me the push I needed to actually quit before I found myself collapsing. I did so, went to PAX East and eventually, after a lot of struggling, found myself with a career in Writing About Games, where I still am today. (It’s fair to say that The Shit Hit The Fan in the middle of all that, but we’ll leave that aside for now unless any posts come up.)
Continuing down the top list, Charities Have No Use For Your Avatar (969 views) is still just as relevant today as it was then. The post stemmed from one of those stupid Facebook memes that comes up every so often, where someone believes that changing their avatar to a cartoon character means that they’re “joining the fight against child abuse”. I put forward the notion that the whole “but it’s to raise awareness!” argument was, in fact, bollocks, and those who actually gave a shit about stopping child abuse enough to want to take action should put their money where their mouth is and donate rather than attributing a stupid Facebook meme to a charity who had nothing to do with it. I took a little flak for that post, which got shared quite widely at the time, but on the whole there was more support for my viewpoint than people yelling at me, which gave me at least a little faith in humanity.
Emi’s Inspiration is the next most popular post, with 683 views. It was a post about bettering oneself, inspired by visual novel Katawa Shoujo and the character Emi therein. Specifically, it was about the Couch 2 5K running programme, which is well worth a look if you can’t run for shit but would like to learn. I have successfully made it through that programme once and got most of the way through on a couple of other occasions, but have stalled somewhat recently due to a loss of enthusiasm and time. Perhaps I should re-read that post and pick it up again.
Next up is my post on The Sims FreePlay (635 views) but that’s boring and I don’t like EA very much right now so I won’t say any more about that.
The next most popular one, however, is one I feel everyone can benefit from, and that is The Only Art Lesson You Will Ever Need, a comprehensive guide to the fine art of drawing stickmen that has benefited over 585 people to date.. This is from the time on this blog between where I started using crudely-drawn Paintbrush pictures to illustrate the posts and when I started doing the comic, for those interested in the Official Pete Timeline.
Following that, my About page is the next most popular page. Which is nice, I guess, though I’m not sure if I should read anything into the fact that people are apparently considerably more interested in stickmen fucking each other than in me. Oh well. ‘Twas ever thus. (Possibly.)
Interestingly, Chinese Whispers, a follow-up post to Charities Have No Use For Your Avatar, is the next most popular post, with 449 views. In this, I examine the fallout from the whole “charity avatar” debacle and encourage everyone to not be a dick.
That covers the ten most popular posts on this stie of all time. Not necessarily my best work, but that which, for whatever reason, encouraged people to come along and read.
Now for a few of my personal favourites.
Post-Mortem is my favourite post of all time on this blog, not because it’s particularly good, but because of the entertaining memories attached to it. It is an extensive review of The Morning After, in which I go through and investigate exactly what incriminating evidence had been left on my phone after a night out on which I got extremely drunk with friends. This is a post said friends and I still laugh about today, and it always makes me think fondly of them. I was going through A Difficult Time when all that was going on, and they helped take me away from that for a little while, which was exactly what I needed.
My Life With Des was a post in which I explored my experiences with depression and social anxiety over the years. It was rather harrowing to write, but also quite therapeutic. I also think it may have helped a few people to understand me a bit better. If you haven’t already read it, you may wish to do so, and you might find it explains a few things. (I’ve followed up on this post a few times, most recently in Some Words on Social Anxiety. Telephobia is also tangentially related.)
Cheering things up a bit, I was quite pleased with my English-American Dictionary, which is fairly self-explanatory.
I was also quite pleased with Character Sheet, my attempt to quantify my own skills and abilities as if I was a character in Final Fantasy XIII. (Regarding the text at the start of the piece, I can no longer remember how I calculated my EXP, HP and MP. It was something to do with days and dates, I think.)
I’ve done a bunch of creative writing on this site, too. You can check it all out here, including a few posts on the creative process. Of particular note (in my opinion, anyway) is my month-long improvised tale Wasteland Diaries, which starts here; Midnight, which exemplifies the apparent fascination I have with death and the ethereal; Improv Theatre, which is actually a transcript of a chat session I had with Andie before we lived together; Welcome Home, which was an experiment in sci-fi; Wordplay, in which I attempted to write something vaguely coherent given prompt words from people on Twitter; and Sandwich, which I wrote shortly after my whole life fell apart.
I think that’s probably enough for you to be getting on with for now. I hope you’ve been enjoying (or at least appreciating and/or nodding thoughtfully at) my random meanderings on occasion, and rest assured you can look forward to hopefully many more as time proceeds ever-onwards. For now, though, I’m off to bed for a well-earned rest.