2013 has not been a great year for this blog.
Several times I made the decision to stop writing but either through inherent inconsistency or perverse stubbornness (not sure which) I recanted and elected to continue.
In the lead up to 2013 my blog had suffered several attacks from work based sources (as a consequence I can no longer write about work issues) and also, most damagingly, was attacked by a close member of my family. A family member who dismissed this blog as self aggrandisement, self-publicity, a fantasy ego trip and bizarrely as a means of fencing memories and feelings that they plainly thought I had no right to air to the anonymous, fake "sycophants" who read every post that I write [I wish].
The aftermath of all this was that I began to question every flowering of inspiration, every issue that motivated me to write, every idea for a post that happened to impinge upon my brain.
I went from writing three posts a week to barely managing to cough up one.
I accept that for some of you that was a positive outcome.
For me it lead to a year when this blog stopped feeling like it was mine. When my voice was muted, censored, diminished. When it was no longer enough for a subject to be close to my heart in order for me to write about it; I had to somehow justify it to these "other voices" that had insidiously invaded my head and presented me with a list of rules and regulations that I had to obey.
It's taken me the best part 2013 to realize that these voices have no right to be in my head and I have no business at all to be listening to them.
In that sense 2013 has been a great year for this blog.
The blogging landscape has changed enormously since I began writing here in 2006. Many wonderful blogs have fallen by the wayside to be replaced by automated shop windows and market stalls. Blogging has become less about sharing the experience of the everyday (and sometimes the unusual) and more about selling product.
Call me a puritan but I believe the only thing that should truly be sold on a blog is the writing. The words. The language. [So do buy my books.]
The disappearance of wonderful bloggers means less wonderful readers around to comment and bolster the spirits of flagging writers. You few who visit here regularly are very definitely diamonds in the rough. I know there are amazing blogs out there but having tried to find them I can tell you it is like searching for a needle in a haystack that is made of straw pretending to be needles.
But I have come to realize that that too doesn't really matter. Chasing a readership is just another way of obeying a voice in one's head that has no right to be there.
So at the end of 2013 and the start of 2014 - at the end of 1000 posts and hopefully at the start of another 1000 - it is time to rededicate this blog.
Not grandly or overly ambitiously. Not fakely or servilely.
To write as I see fit about things that matter to me and mine. To share and not to impose.
If you don't want to be here then - please, in the nicest possibly way - don't be.
But if you want to stay then know that you are most welcome.
Happy 2014 to you all.