Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The view from my chaise longue

Today’s an anniversary: my first post, three years ago. That initial headline was remarkably po-faced (Car door needs protecting from physics) and the single comment, from Plutarch, is so enigmatic I cannot decode it. The next twenty-four posts drew a total of seven comments: three from Plutarch, one from Lucy, one from a guy who wanted to sell something and two from me.

Works Well was hard core then, no faffing with weddings. My eighth post (Marvellous mathematical moment) was my most ambitious, demanded exhausting powers of explanation and is the best I have ever written. Only Plutarch responded. In arriving at the present total of 480 posts I moved away from stern prescription and was eventually lucky to find a select group prepared to indulge me. To them I am eternally grateful and virtually all are to be found on the links list.

Latterly my blog has competed with novel writing and there were times when I considered pulling the plug on Works Well – then drew back in horror. Doing so would be like walking out into the desert alone. I enjoy writing and I enjoy other voices. Novels usually don’t get published and their achievement runs perilously close to self-abuse. And blogging can be a rehearsal for what goes into the novel.

It’s insufficient to say blogging is dialogue – it’s civilised dialogue. It encourages a desire to respond and even re-respond. But it’s not without risks. Recently, through not concentrating enough, I’ve buggered up several posts and even more comments. In effect I’ve betrayed that word “civilised” and the penalties can be severe. People just stop reading. My namesake, a practical man, would say it’s my own fault. And he’s right. Blogging is also meritocracy.