Trying to be heard above the eternal din.

Whilst I always attempt to be interesting, topical, thought-provoking or just write a witty little piece on something that has happened to me, I appreciate that not all of my blog posts will hit the mark with everyone.

Occasionally I write a piece that I am genuinely proud of and on those rare occurrences I will allow myself to think for just a short time that maybe, just maybe it will come to something but alas, sandwiched there on social media newsfeeds between a picture of a slightly amusing shaped potato that someone found lurking at the bottom of their salad drawer and yet another video of a cat doing an acrobatic display after a cucumber creeps into its peripheral vision, it’s so easy to scroll past.

One second and it’s gone, never to be seen again amongst the army of other posts and shares clamouring for attention like the ever open mouth of a persistently hungry baby bird and once again my efforts will slide into total obscurity.

My blog post, my one paltry share of my efforts in a struggle to be heard above the eternal din will diminish into online oblivion and another week will slide by.

Being an amateur writer in a vast ocean of other amateur writers as well as the professional ones can be incredibly frustrating.

A few people have suggested that I tailor my blog to a specific topic or subject for example:  living in France, the trials and tribulations (that sort of thing).

I can completely see their point, perhaps more people would subscribe if they knew what they were subscribing to, you know if there was a common theme that ran through all of my posts that they knew they would be able to relate to.

Well unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, ‘I’ am the topic.

I am the subject, the common theme. Just me being me and telling you about whatever happens to me or perhaps to a friend of mine, or maybe just something that particularly interested me that week.

My life is not always consistent and sometimes not even that interesting, not to mention that I am incredibly fickle. Did I mention that I was mildly both OCD and ADHD? What a delightful combination.

In fact, one could well ask why I even started a blog in the first place.

Even my own brother seemed to miss the point a little.

He one day helpfully suggested to me “can you take a bit of constructive criticism?”

“Yes, of course,” I said, immediately sensing that in reality, I probably couldn’t. Who can?

We’d drunk a lot of wine by this point.

“Don’t take this the wrong way” he continued “but I preferred your blog when you were writing as that character, the one with, oh what’s that phrase….” he stopped, busy searching for the right term

“I’ve never written as a ‘character'” I said a little confused

“Yes, you know, oh what is that damn phrase, it’s, ermmmm” he paused to think again.

“But I’ve never written as a character” I robotically repeated in my usual ‘does not compute’ manner.

My brother is almost as stubborn as I am, so he remained utterly undeterred and continued searching his brain for the elusive phrase.

“The one with …..oh I nearly had it then, this is really frustrating” he looked at me as if to say come on hurry up and put me out of my misery here.

I simply shrugged “I genuinely don’t know what you mean”

“Gnnnnnn.” He exclaimed in pure exasperation “you know the one, they’ve run out of Prosecco at the local supermarket or wearing ridiculous designer heeled boots to go up a mountain or.. what is that f#**ing phrase”

“First world problems?” I offered helpfully

“YES! That’s the one, first world problems, yes, anyway, I preferred your blog when you wrote as the character with the first world problems”

“But I’ve NEVER written as a character” I said for the third time “that’s just me” I was hopeful that now we had established that fact, we could clear this up quite quickly

“Oh. Haven’t you? I thought it was some character you had invented”

“Nope, just me and my experiences”

“Well, I’m just saying that I liked it better when you wrote like that”

“When I wrote like what?” I said in equal frustration “I’m just writing about me and my experiences. I’ve always just written about that”

What followed was a heated, wine-fuelled debate, where ADHD comes head to head with borderline Asbergers syndrome about semantics, presumption, assumption and whether or not my audience were expected to know whether it was me or merely a character or even care about distinguishing between the difference, or something to that effect, to be honest, I can’t even remember precisely how it developed, it rapidly ramped up to DEFCON 2 and then went silent for a while and then we promptly changed the subject.

I daresay it ended up with him thinking that his sister is a probably a bit of a silly cow if these things do genuinely happen to her and are not just elaborate fictional situations of some ‘first world problem’ character.

I recall at one point after the debate had safely abated, he was sat looking thoughtful and then said “Yes, I suppose you do tend to wear the most impractical clothes for outdoor pursuits now that I come to think of it” as though the penny had finally dropped. Though I do thoroughly take on board what he was clearly trying to say, that despite that I am not writing under the pretence of a specific character that my writing style is very much subject to change depending on what I am writing about and what mood I am in.

Hey, welcome to my world and that is precisely the point. This blog is about MY world. My scatty and sometimes irrational behaviour.

One week I’ll be all over a new favourite subject and the next… Pffffff, in a little puff of smoke it will have disappeared entirely from my horizons.

I understand that this haphazard approach to content makes it hard for you good people to read and enjoy everything I write because you never know what I will be serving up from one week to the next week. Will it be a sumptuous meal worthy of a hearty congratulations to the chef or will it be a hastily assembled concoction from the leftovers of some other leftovers that I found lurking in the fridge? It’s an analogy, of course, I’m definitely no domestic Goddess, but one I’m sure you will all understand.

My idea of an interesting piece is not necessarily everyone else’s. Sometimes I am quite surprised by the blog posts that really seem to hit the spot and equally I am as surprised by the ones that seem to make no impact at all.

So, perhaps for those of you who are new to my page, why don’t you head on over to My Posts page on this Blog and have a read of some of my previous and past posts and see what you have missed and for my loyal followers that have been with me from the start, maybe you can let me know your favourite so far, it’s a start for me to work towards honing my posts a little to ensure that you can enjoy them more.

Though, I can’t promise anything like consistency. I always have such good intentions but then I find that I get easily distracted…. ‘Ooh…look there’s a castle”


Just leave a comment with the title of your favourite blog post (or close to it if you can’t remember exactly) or perhaps a comment with some other suggestion entirely and I will happily take on board all of your feedback.

As always, thank you for your support and wishing you a great weekend, one and all.

The Virtual Recluse



One Reply to “Trying to be heard above the eternal din.”

  1. Hard to have a ‘favourite’ blog. I look forward to and enjoy them all because whatever you write about, whatever fires your enthusiasm, piques your curiosity or gets your dander up that particular week, the writing style is your own, strictly first person; your knack of finding just the right tone of scathing or incredulity or hilarity about whatever has come into your (you insist) limited sphere. But then, as ever, I am biased, as many of the topics you’ve written about have reference to things I remember (and some I might prefer to forget! lol) They always feel relevant to me, so I can’t speak as a dispassionate outsider. The consistency is their inconsistency, that there is no general theme and that the opinions expressed are entirely your own on the day, not seeking approbation nor to influence. It’s like opening a bag of Lucky Dip. The trivial and the mundane are what we all deal with, daily; it’s like an acknowledgement of the exasperations we all face, but from your viewpoint. We don’t need to have had the exact same experiences to draw analogies We all know there are bigger issues and from time to time we address them, so from time to time it’s good to be reminded of them. Keep doing what you’re doing as long as it serves a purpose, sometimes just getting it out of your head is all the purpose it needs, and if others enjoy it all to the good. The older posts are still there they have not ‘disappeared’, you could even ‘recycle’ some or compile them into an e-diary at some point.
    I’ll shut up now…. Love Mum xx

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