Sunday, 27 September 2015

Seven Years and Not Counting

It’s with sadness that I announce that this blog post, the one which you have just started reading, is the final addition to The Blog of Stuart.

D'you want to know a secret?

A few weeks into this website’s life, I was already regretting the name and URL I had gifted it. But I was already too invested in it to give up. Plus, it formed part of my BTEC in IT, so I had to keep it going. It’s safe to say, I’m the only one in my class who even kept it up this long. Most barely made it past their first short upload.

I’ve looked after it for 7 years now, and, as a result, has formed a massive part of my life. I would honestly not be where I am now without it. I’m not even sure I would have noted how much I like to write without it.
Courtesy of Chris Parsons
(Click to enlarge)
I’ve documented a large portion of my life on here. Everything from the years I spent as a desperate single to a learner driver, university student and an unemployed graduate. I’ve covered it all, and you’ve shared it all with me; whether you liked it or not.

I’ve received all different types of feedback too. It’s included my head teacher discussing it at a presentation evening in front of my cohort. And everything else from lovely and sincere comments to people who have taken the time to email so I know how much they hate me. It’s all pretty incredible really.

And although my blog hasn’t gone viral, I still think it’s been quite successful. Much more so than it probably ever deserved. I've been averaging about 1,000 hits a month, for years. A lot of which are from irrelevant Google searches from a huge array of countries across the world, which amount to zero engagement… But still.

So I should have probably worked on the marketing of it slightly better, and actually offered them something other than throwing my extraneous opinion at them. There’s enough of them on the Internet after all.

I worked out what my voice should be in my second year of University. What I should have to make me different to all the other bleating on the Internet. That sparked the creation of the blog, and dissertation project, The Misanthrope’s Guide to London. Even though it had little success on the Internet, I got brilliant feedback from people who took the time to read it. People were enjoying it.

So it is that vein where my next project will go.

I’m not a fan of change, so that’s why it has taken me this long to bring The Blog of Stuart to a close.

I’ve been saying for a few years that I wanted to shake off the shackles of Blogspot and begin my own website and start afresh.

However, over the past few months, I’ve begun formulating what my next move will be. I’ve just been too scared to buy the webspace. This has meant I’ve been stuck in a circle I’m finally attempting to break. I didn’t want to produce more content for a website I would soon be closing but didn’t want to move from its comforting embrace.

That’s why I have written this. It’s my resignation letter, so to speak. I’ve informed you of my intention, and now I can’t go back for fear of embarrassment.

I now own a plot web space, and I've begun constructing the site. This is how it's coming along...
My new website is called The Misanthrope. It should feel like a news website, in terms of its look and content. However, don’t expect it be serious. The Misanthrope voice will prevail.
I will be venturing into multi-media blogging as well. I have some video editing software, and I have a number of ideas, so we shall see. I may not even make it past the first video for fear of hating myself just a little bit more.

Although I am excited to be starting my new project soon, I am very sad that I am finally saying goodbye. This blog has been a good friend to me and helped me out a lot.
I gave this website as an example of writing when I applied to Universities. I got multiple offers, so it can’t have put them off that much. It’s interesting to read blogs I’ve written before and after University to see my progression.

Anyway, I then used this blog as an example of writing when applying for jobs. Numerous times I’ve sat and watched a prospective boss reading my website on the other side of a desk and seen a wry smirk appear, and it's flattering. It was particularly interesting when one, from London, read my Misanthrope’s Guide to London blog. And okay, it did take me a while to get a job…

But I had two jobs for a period of time. One was working in a shop, where I had to interact with people. I didn't really like it because you’re not allowed to argue back with them, you have to be nice and smile. I can feel my throat tightening every time. Regardless, I very recently left this job thanks to getting more hours at my other, better, job...

The other job involves writing. And I’m allowed to be funny, so long as I also engage the reader in such a way, they want to stay on the website, and hopefully spend their money.
I’m getting paid to write blogs; how awesome is that? And I can’t see how else that would have happened without this blog.

But as I start a new chapter in my life, which involves the increase of my bank balance, it seems right to move to pastures new. After all, I can call myself a professional writer now, so I need to put this aside and start producing content one might expect from a professional…

Yeah, the thought of that is pretty funny.

But I can try, right?

So that’s it. These are my final words.

I don’t want to draw this out any longer.
Courtesy of Chris Parsons
(Click to enlarge)
Consider this blog closed. Out of service. Bereft of life. An ex-blog. Gone off to meet the big server in the sky and pushing up the virtual daisies.

Toodles m’deary’s.

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