12 Years of Blogging
In March 2007 I had just started a new contract with Hewlett Packard working on a major office relocation for HM Land Registry. To cut a long story short there were quiet periods in-between the bouts of organised chaos and as I was desk bound, I decided to write a blog to maintain the illusion of being busy. I’ve always enjoyed writing so when the internet came along it seemed logical to use it as a platform. I created several HTML fan pages in the late nineties but when blogs started to become “a thing” I immediately jumped on that band wagon. Prior to 2007 I had created and abandoned several blogs, mainly because I couldn’t find the right subject to maintain my interest. However on this occasion, I decided to go with the old adage “write what you know” and chose to share my life long passion for movies. So I created an account with the now defunct platform of blog.co.uk, called my blog Did I Pay to See That? and have not stopped writing since.
There are posts elsewhere on this site recounting the circumstances of how the various blogs I’ve run over the years have morphed into Contains Moderate Peril. Certainly the decision to consolidate all my writing projects in one location was the right choice and I marvel at the fact that I’m still regularly writing. But although it can be difficult at times to sit and create content, I find it far more unsettling not to do so. Writing is not only a passion for me but an indispensable form of therapy. The wider world is in a state of flux and the UK seems to be facing an existential crisis at present. Then there’s my own personal situation as I address my ageing parents caring issues. Being able to process all these complexities through the medium of writing is invaluable. I also enjoy the musings and thoughts of others, especially those bloggers that still maintain an in-depth writing style and tackle the bigger issues. I also like the sense of community. It’s still there although it has shrunk in size over time.
While reflecting upon over a decade of blogging, I have concluded that Contains Moderate Peril has certainly peaked and has already had its fifteen minutes of fame. In 2014 the blog and podcast were established in the LOTRO community and among the circle of MMO bloggers. The numbers were good, in fact the volume of website traffic was such that a more expensive hosting package was required. Something I couldn’t afford. However, I was offered sponsorship from HostOnePlus which was both welcome and a compliment. Certainly after migrating the site the statistics reflected the biggest audience I’ve ever had. But as ever, life has a habit of changing things. I was beginning to suffer from burnout and felt it was time for a break. A year later I temporarily stopped blogging and parted ways with HostOnePlus. I resumed again after a short break and relocated Contains Moderate Peril to Squarespace but the forward momentum was lost. Perhaps that was a good thing in a way, as I returned to writing for pleasure, rather than worrying about growth.
When I talk to friends and colleagues and tell them about my writing, I’m often asked if I regret sinking so much of my time into my “hobby”. The answer is always a resounding “no”. I’ve met many people through blogging and podcasting and I put great stock in such friendships. Writing has not only led to me reading more but it has also exposed me to far more diverse content. Maintaining a blog has also meant that I have learned new technical skills and improved how I communicate. And its also been a lot of fun. Riffing off other blogger’s content, exchanging ideas, even agreeing to disagree (something that so many people have forgotten how to do these days), has all been a positive experience. As to the future, I see no reason to stop writing, although there will be interruptions from time to time, brought about by the reality of my life. In the meantime its business as usual. I have three posts outstanding and I’ll get on with them, once I’m done looking at that bird on Mrs Coltart’s roof.