Thursday 7 February 2013

A2: S2 - Brainstorming

Things have been manic lately.

So much has happened and is happening right now, that I sometimes struggle to keep up with life, let alone write about it. It's not just events and physical happenings, its the ceaseless chatter that swirls around in my head, only half of which I manage to actually catch and take note of. The little orange notebook actually begins, saying:

"There are so many words and phrases which incessantly buzz across my mind at any one time, that any hope of catching but one just enough to ponder it, is almost futile. I can only reconcile that I will be able to retain one of these sentiments just long enough to find a pen and paper to unleash my unquenchable stream of enthusiasm onto. I've come to the conclusion that every action carried out by my body is accompanied by a ceaseless babble of ten times as fast, by my mind. My whole life seems to be impaired, amplified and annotated by this persistent interior monologue which I myself only become aware of on rare occasions, like leaving the radio playing all day, and then only just noticing it was on."

Regardless of what happens in reality, I think it's always important to write. Hence why I wrote the above, in a weirdly paradoxical manner. Especially when things are going completely tits up and you cannot seem to get your head around how you even feel about a situation, for me, the only peace I find is through words. For some people religion is their security. For others it's the reassuring predictability of math and numbers, and for others it's logic and science. For me, I guess I find my peace in the creation, observation and craft of words.


The blogging conference featuring the one and only Blake Samuels and blogger Zoe Griffin, was almost painfully insightful. It was incredible because I gained so much knowledge and advice from Zoe Griffin (and somehow got swindled into buying her book) but painful because it just proved to me just how little I know about blogging. If anything, I'm in way over my head. She kept stressing the importance of knowing your 'niche market', 'defining and refining' yourself and knowing your 'target audience'.... Scarphelia has none of these. I realised that this doesn't seem to be much more than a diary. Yet, for some reason, it just seems to be...working. Five thousand hits in one month for a blog with no niche, no target audience, uncategorisable and undefinable... well I must be doing something right!

And that was when I realised that yes, perhaps I'd get a bigger readership and yes I'd probably start making some money if I changed Scarphelia to go with the generic format of a fashion or lifestyle blog, but then it wouldn't be real. As I read all this information in the book about how to do exactly what Zoe did, how to make sure you copy all these other people who became successful, when suddenly everything seemed to fall into place. Being told the way to dress, being told the way to do my makeup, being told I'm not interesting enough for X Factor, not intelligent enough for Oxford, not talented enough to succeed in following my dreams - My whole life I've always had these 'guiding' hands desperately shoving me from all sides trying to squidge me into the mould of a normal human.

But I'm not.

I'm a diamond in a world of squares. And not in the precious, rare and exquisite manner. In the irregular motherfucking polygon manner. I've decided I must be a diamond because I started as a square like everyone else, but gradually I began to slant off and skew away from the norm, until now I'm that same old square, except I have a rather peculiar angle about me. And Scarphelia just seems like the perfect microcosmic example of that. Even my blog is a skewed up little quadrilateral, causing a mess of the neatly stacked rows of square blogs of the Internet by not fitting into any categories, but not being totally outside any of them either. That's when I decided I'd rather have two loyal and loving reade-no, friends, than have two million generic bullshit readers just trying to copy each other into one up-manship. I'm okay with being a diamond in a world of squares, because I think I know which one is silver.

One thing I did decide I needed to do, however, was go diamond hunting. I'd never be as foolishly naive or ignorant to assume my blog and I are entirely unique, in fact that would be an awfully sad and lonely assumption. But I know there are diamonds out there, I know there are silvers. Just look at Florentine and Ariella. So, I decided that I would take matters into my own hand and find them myself, as well as helping wandering silvers to stumble across me, so I set up a Blogging Network at my uni. Then, I was lucky enough to find SYSIS. But that's another story.