Good news if you hate this blog

This project is now edging towards the six month mark and in that time I have learned a few lessons (one day I might collate this wisdom in a pamphlet called Impulsive Idiocy for Beginners, but that’s another story). You may be aware that the purpose of the blog was to experiment with various different ideas in order to work out what things I’m good at, what I enjoy doing most and whether by any small chance these elements could combine. At the time, a year seemed like a reasonable period in which to do this, but now it’s clear that I didn’t need that long. I think that I’ve already tried most of the things that are possible within the rather limited realm of quick-fire posting and now I’m just repeating myself. Making more cartoons, spoof letters or abstract illustrations isn’t going to tell me anything new; once you’ve done these things a few times they cease being a challenge and instead become part of a quota. That’s essentially all I’m doing now – variations on a theme to honour the commitment I made. It is still, I hope, mildly entertaining but the point of the blog has been lost. Am I any nearer to deciding which creative outlet I should concentrate my efforts on? Not really, no. Six more months of half-arsed effort isn’t likely to yield the answer either.

The upshot of this is that I have decided to call a halt to Creative Year at the half way stage – i.e. the end of this month. I realise I already have something of a reputation as a quitter in the eyes of some, but there would be no reward for carrying on. No one’s going to hang a medal round my neck or affectionately ruffle my hair. Without wishing to sound dramatic, it’s been quite a drain to maintain this blog and on several occasions I’ve been working until 3.00am to complete a post for the following day, feeling like crap in the morning and then worrying all over again a few hours later because I’m out of ideas for the next one. There’s a fine line between keeping your brain busy and dragging out material from its withered, restless remains. I could keep doing it until the end of September but I can’t see any point. My lack of enthusiasm would be obvious, the posts would be increasingly uninspired and only a handful of loyal readers would remain. It’s a shame, yes, but if you give it a few seconds you’ll get over it.

I will continue to blog in the traditional manner, perhaps after a short break and probably in a different place. Further details to follow. In the meantime, thank you very much for supporting Creative (Half) Year and try to enjoy/forgive the remaining posts.

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19 thoughts on “Good news if you hate this blog

  1. I think you’re both prescient and honest for coming to that conclusion, Graham. I hope it doesn’t sound rude (especially since I’ve only been reading this blog for a couple of months) if I say that the reason I didn’t leave a comment on today’s post was that I couldn’t really think of anything to say: I thought the post was solid, if not spectacular, and I didn’t think that was a particularly helpful comment to leave. Interesting now to read your own thoughts.

    Funnily enough, I was looking through some of the older entries the other day, and I was thinking to myself how the nature of the posts had discernibly changed over time. It was apparent how you’d moved from experimenting with styles and techniques more towards experimenting with formats and material; the cynical, humorous and observational posts seemed to become your chosen style pretty early on. While I was thinking this, I happened to notice your own comments on post 018, and it was interesting to see you’d come to a similar conclusion as long ago as that. Seems a pretty natural progression from then to now and your decision seems an eminently sensible one.

    And who said a creative year had to be 365 days anyway?

    Best of luck,

    Matt

  2. Blimey. I didn’t see that one coming. Where’s BarrieJohn going to blog now?!

    I’ve really enjoyed it, Graham, and I’m sad that it’s ending. On the flipside, I’m really proud of you for sticking at it for six months.

    I would have affectionately ruffled your hair, you know. I might have stretched to the medal too, but it would probably have been a chocolate coin.

    Looking forward to whatever you decide to do next.

  3. Matt is correct. A Creative Year can be any period you wish to make it. Just because the earth circles the Sun for 365 (ish) days should not dictate when you reach a conclusion.

    I guess it is better to know now what this process can or can not achieve than get to September and be at a loose end.

    As ever, I look forward to your next venture. I still think children’s stories with obvious adult undertones and humour is the way to go (I do not mean the urban myth of Captain Pugwash and Seaman Staines either).

    muchos besos

    T

  4. This seems like an appropriate time to de-lurk and say how much I’ve enjoyed this blog since I stumbled across it around 3 months ago.

    I had often wondered how you found the time and inspiration to maintain such a regular and frequent posting schedule, and I’m sure nobody will blame you for calling an end to the project at the half way stage.

    Many of your posts have demonstrated a keen wit and imagination, which I hope you will continue to make use of. Some posts were impressive because of the artwork, others simply because they were a bit weird. All in all, I will miss your daily dose of random stuff, and I do hope you will continue posting on a more relaxed basis as and when inspiration hits you.

  5. Sounds like an eminently sensible course of action to me. No point killing yourself over it. But like everyone else who’s commented, I shall miss the daily weirdness, wonderfulness and wisdom you’ve shared wth us. It’s been a lot of fun.

    And if you ever need any ideas for ridiculous cartoon character names, I have a big pile (Myles Wright, the golfer who can’t stop slicing, Robert Sleigh, whose career is on a slippery slope) so give us a shout.

  6. Well that’s disappointing news. I used to like checking the site on a daily basis.

    As a (struggling) comedy writer, I’ll miss the spoof letters.(They appealed to my sense of humour.)

    Anyway, good luck with the next challenge.

    Cheers
    Mike

  7. Sad news Graham, but not altogether surprising from comments that you made before. I don`t know how you kept it up really. I`ve had similar experiences myself in the past, when I`ve taken on things that I thought I could cope with in my stride, only to find the reality somewhat different!! Perhaps you should have made it a weekly blog, because of the demands on your time – but what`s done is done, and it`s been great fun for US (well, for ME, anyway!!!). I`m sure you`ll find another outlet for your talents, and look forward to discovering what form that takes.

    (All readers please note: if anyone mentions a job, responsibility, or worse still “opportunity” which is “a challenge” RUN LIKE HELL!!!!!)

  8. Fair play to you on your decision, Graham. All I can say is that I’ve greatly enjoyed your efforts and I salute you for all the good work.

  9. It’s been a fun ride while it’s lastest, but I can appreciate how this must have got you down at times; if you’ve found something you’d rather be doing, then it is better to be doing that.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next, Graham 🙂

  10. There`s no need for you guys to keep apologising for your typgoraphical erorrs – we all make them, so we don`t think you`re thick or something!!!

  11. I was prepared for a slightly adverse reaction to this announcement so thank you, I’m truly grateful. When I started this I really didn’t expect to get so many readers (I think I should thank Ariane for 90% of them!) and your support has made the whole thing worthwhile. I really appreciate your time and comments.

    I’m excited at the prospect of getting my life back and very positive about the future. After doing all this visual stuff I have quite a strong urge to do some writing, so that may be my next avenue.

    Matt, thanks for pointing out the missing post. It’s now back up.

  12. Or, on the other hand, Bad news if you love this blog…

    Entirely understand Graham, although the quality of your posts has got better over time, not worse. I look forward to following your future work, you’ve got quite a talent. Sometimes, less is more.

  13. Graham, Graham, Graham…

    First the failure to beat the cream cracker eating world record, and now this!?

    Looking forward to more reasonably paced blogging in the future.

  14. Nunn on the Run!

    Just stumbled on this post – never could be bothered to read the small print!

    Graham, I can only echo the above comments. I didn’t see this coming either but I fully understand your reasons. How you’ve managed to produce such a range of quality art, story-telling and wit I’ll never know.

    My favourites have been the satirical pieces, but all the posts have been clever and utterly random.

    I wish you the very best in your next venture(s), and I think your writings have been a real strength to this blog, and the other blogs I’ve read your comments on. Please keep us posted!

  15. I go away for a week and this happens! All the very best wishes to you Graham for your future endeavors. I have very much enjoyed your journey through head via photoshop etc…

    You will probably find it easier now to throw up the odd ‘creation’ when an event pings it into being rather than trying to force one out (always painful).

    Keep on bloggin’

  16. Hi Graham,

    Sorry to hear it’s been getting on top if you – you’ve definitely made the right choice to set a realistic end date so you can hopefully relax a bit & enjoy making the remaining posts. It certainly should be a labour of love for you instead of a chore!

    I’ve enjoyed popping in & seeing the mix of clever artwork, humour & experimentation & hope you find success in whichever direction you decide suits you.

    With a bit of luck, after a rest you’ll be refreshed & find that the deadlines you set yourself these last few months did improve your speed, resilience & technique for next time you’re working on projects (or at least will mean you’ll know what future work to turn down now!).

    All the best.

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