The realisation comes fairly quickly to the blogger, that you either have to enjoy blogging for its own sake or you’re not going to be a blogger for long. Self-published web articles won’t make you a professional writer. Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame was a very analogue theory. In our digital age, most pages of carefully composed arguments are scanned and clicked away from in less than a minute.
Most days, I allow a little time to the thought that all the energy and emotion I invest in these pieces is futile. But my philosophical approach holds sway: I will stop writing when I don’t want to write any more. In the meantime, I have more ideas than time to write.
So this blogging enterprise is driven from the inside, but it helps along the way to get some reinforcement. A kindly comment. A challenge from someone who has taken the time to read the work closely enough to see its flaws, but found it interesting enough to engage with. The pulse of the visitor stats when someone higher up the social media food chain (but, in the case of Piers Morgan, lower down all other food chains) tweets a plug.
But these welcome intrusions, if not exactly dealt randomly, aren’t earnt in proportion to effort or excellence. So if the blogger starts to count on them, disappointment and bruised self-esteem will follow. Best to enjoy the writing and self-publishing process for its own sake.
This week, though, I have been reminded that there is a reward. Something that makes the late night hours of research and keyboard tapping have an extrinsic value. For the fourth time in 12 months I have met people who know me through the blog. A beery evening of the widest ranging, always entertaining, cricket talk: from making balls out of bicycle tyres, to grieving at Tendulkar’s retirement, to the dress code for women in The Lord’s pavilion. Then today, in the rain, a net at my club accompanied by my kids and wife, with the writer who cannot remember not knowing cricket and his partner, learning the technique of a foreign game.
You really should know already, but if you don’t, Subash and Kathleen are on a world cricket tour. Look out for them at a cricket ground near you. If you have a love of cricket, you may be in for a treat. I certainly was – ample reward for Declaration Game.