Guest post: From frustration to self-expression by means of a little light blogging

Today's guest blogger, Stephen (a.k.a. BillyGottaJob) writes the excellent At-Long-Last-I've-Got-a-Job Blog. Here he explains his reasons for starting to blog - and why it's worth continuing.

I’ve never had any trouble “finding my voice”, as anyone who’s had the misfortune to share a management team meeting with me will testify. I’m not a great talker socially, but get me started on stimulating cultural change in an organisation, and you’ll almost certainly wish you hadn’t. On the other hand, if you are obliged to read one of my written reports at work at least it will have a bit of style, a reasonable grasp of when a comma, or even a semi-colon, would be a good idea, and a dearth of unlovely management-speak. No, it’s not lack of voice that’s my problem; it’s a lack of an audience that has chosen to be such, rather than the work ones for whom discretion is the better part of pissing me right off.

My blog first began as a way of allowing me to get the frustrations of unemployment off my chest. Even with the limitations of a work-based audience that I’ve described, at least it is one of a sort. When you’re out of a job, and your wife is evading her wedding vows to provide you with an audience on demand, you’re in danger of rampant schizophrenia when you try and operate as both voice and audience. So The Still-Jobless Blog, as it then was, fulfilled its purposes admirably and, to my delight, even seemed to entertain total strangers.

Having managed to get back into employment (although I write as Mr Osborne’s public not-spending fetish is only just beginning, so watch this space) I’ve found that the weaknesses of the obligated work audience have been amplified by the luxury of having established a voluntary electronic one. It's not just the involuntary nature of a work audience that's a problem, it's also the stiflingly narrow range of topics available to write about. But a blog has no such restrictions; so I’ve broadened my writing beyond angst-filled tirades about unemployment to include similarly angst-filled tirades about a whole lot of other things too. The freedom to range from the scarily scatological (Should I raise my obscenity quotient?) to the philosophically speculative (It's almost as if God exists...) via the whimsically sentimental (Valentine's Day massacre...) is liberating and stimulating in equal measure.

Thus now re-named as The At-Long-last-I’ve-Got-a-Job Blog my writing has become an indispensable part of my tool-kit of self-expression. I have established a small but loyal following and whilst, in audiences as in willies, it would be nice to have a bigger one I’m genuinely more interested in satisfaction than in size.


The At-Long-Last-I've-Got-a-Job Blog
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Helen Black said...

Just had a peek at your blog and you write very well...and so funny.
You're not a northerner are ya?
HB x

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Very entertaining post. It's so true that we need to find an 'audience' where we can, especially when we have no job / are unpublished (I happen to be in both categories). Glad that you have managed to find both now.

Anonymous said...

@Helen: Northerner? Me? Gosh, no - pappy southerner through and through. An Essex boy, in fact!

@Susie: Thanks - and very sorry to hear you are where I've been. It's not a fun place.

DT said...

Hooray for Essex, said he, a Chingford boy (for about a fortnight before moving). You have a very engaging style and I like the fact that your content is about things that matter to you.

Anonymous said...

I agree the great thing about blogging is having an audience when you have something to say, instead of when other people want to listen. (Is this achronicity? if so I'm all for it!) I find it really hard to understand why any writer wouldn't want blog, twitter or whatever unless he/she is truly tired of the writing life. Like you're blog by the way - totally agree on the Homer post!

Caroline Green said...

This definitely makes me want to read your blog...well done on getting that job and here's to hanging onto it, despite Cameron's best efforts.