My structured style of posting has gone totally skew-whiff. I’ve done this on purpose in part as the rigmarole of coming up with themes for certain things was becoming somewhat tedious. I’ve decided to relax on that front and basically post what I want and when I feel like it.
I’d like to apologise to those I follow and whose posts I have always made sure to read, like and comment on up until lately. There is a good reason for it which I’ll explain now.
On 5th November began a journey that I honestly never believed would come upon me when my mum was admitted to hospital. She had a blockage in the tube connecting her liver and stomach. Not too long later we found out the problem could be cancer. Shortly after that, we found out the problem was cancer.
She got moved to another hospital for specialists to take a proper look. The prognosis wasn’t good. EDT said the tumour was inoperable owing to its location. They said chemotherapy would be the only option in hoping it would reduce the size of the tumour and hopefully make it operable, but the chances were slim.
Then a surgeon, Professor Ajith Siriwardena, took a look at the situation and it once again changed overnight. He declared the tumour was in fact operable and that he was prepared to give it a go. On the 14th December, my mum was admitted to Manchester Royal Hospital and the operation took place on 15th. Nine hours of surgery and the Sri Lanka born professor managed to get the operation done.
Since then she has been recovering. Four days on the High Dependency Unit and she is now recuperating on the main ward. She’s been there over Christmas and I know that it has been killing her, just as it’s been killing my dad (who’s been there every day and for every single visiting period without fail), my sisters (one of whom went on her honeymoon during all of this – she wasn’t going to, but Professor Siriwardena himself told her she should) and all of her grandchildren.
The perspective is this; surrender one Christmas for the sake of many more or vice versa. There was only ever one choice.
As you can imagine, this situation has been weighing heavily on my mind and has been the cause of a lot of mental fatigue. Honestly, keeping up with my blogging has been difficult. I basically had a choice; use the little time I was able to concentrate reading everybody’s posts or use it to write myself. It had to be the latter.
So that explains why I haven’t been so active in terms of keeping up with everybody’s material. The reason I haven’t just clicked on them and liked them upon reading the email is simple. I want to read your stuff! I fully intend to catch up as soon as I get the chance.
I’m not a fan of ‘like for like’. I know we all do it, but I think it pays to read other people’s work because you can learn from it by doing so. I know there are people who’ll just blindly like my posts and I do appreciate it, but I appreciate those who read and comment so much more. I won’t become that person who just likes for likings sake in the vain hope the person will like my stuff back. I want to read and enjoy the things people have to write about and I want the same in return.
I have really enjoyed blogging. A lot more than I thought I would actually. I started Paul.E.Bailey’s World a little over four months ago and I feel I’ve kept true to my word in making the posts as varied as possible. It’s tested my abilities as a writer and I think I’ve done a decent job. I feel
However, I must say the blogging world in general is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth on occasion. It seems to me that there are some who are using WordPress as just another means of social networking. I’m seeing an awful lot of meme posting without any written words to accompany them that manage to accrue an amount of likes I could only wish for on my posts. A meme you’d likely see posted on Facebook. Then there are the poems that contain maybe thirty words, don’t rhyme and come across as plain pretentious. Same again; more likes than they could possibly dream of.
I don’t have a problem with poetry; I’d just like to make that clear. Some of it is really, really good. I can’t help feeling that some of it, notably the shorter ones that obviously took less than a minute to type and really took no thought at all, is essentially the poster whoring themselves for likes. They know that followers will see how short and sweet it is and immediately go and stick a like on it. The likers don’t have to think about doing it because they don’t have to think about the words that took ten seconds to read.
I might sound bitter here and I suppose I am, but I feel I have just cause to be. Almost every post I ever shared here on WordPress was worked on intently and often over the course of days with edits and reedits along the way as I vied to make each one perfect. I put a lot of work and effort into my writing. I take it seriously. I have to because I want to make a livelihood of it. Finally, a job I actually enjoy doing rather than performing menial tasks for menial money.
Then I post it and invariably watch as a select few followers take the time to read and/or like my work. I’m grateful for every view, like and comment I receive. Then I see a meme with an inspirational quote on it; a quote that the poster didn’t actually create; a quote borrowed from somebody else. I see that the meme has about ten times or more the likes that even my best performing posts manage to accrue and it leaves me feeling so disheartened!
I bust my proverbial arse to compose a piece of writing and work to make it as flawless as possible only to see it get shunned in favour of a generic meme from another blogger. As a man who already suffers where confidence is concerned anyway, this kind of thing really doesn’t help at all.
I thought WordPress was for bloggers; people who have a desire for artistic expression, mainly through the written word. Is it that Generation Facebook has snuck into our world or is it that certain bloggers have started to become lazy? I’m not sure. All I know is that I really don’t appreciate that Meme City has now spread to WordPress from all the other social media sites. I thought this place was my escape from that level of mundanity. I guess not.
On Facebook, I’m fighting a war against people who post memes all the time. I’m lucky if posts about my blog get more than a couple of likes and shares while memes that aren’t funny, intelligent or interesting are treated like internet royalty. It seems I can’t beat the meme regardless of where I go. I refuse to break to the mind-set of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ though. I think memes are stupid things and another step towards lowering the IQ of the masses.
I’m going to try and appeal to those of you who are reading this now. Let’s try and make WordPress about what it should be about. Let’s stop catering the ego of the lazy meme posters in this world where writing should be the higher power. Let’s stop making it easy for those who can’t be bothered to read proper posts that have taken us time and effort to work on. Keep the memes for Facebook and Instagram. If you must drop one as a supplement to your work then so be it, but don’t make the meme that contains a quote from somebody else the work itself. Have some more pride in yourself; both the poster and the one liking the post.
WordPress is for writers and readers. Let’s all be what we came here to be!
Tell me about your blogging experience and what your thoughts, joys and frustrations are. Are you a WordPress meme poster who feels I’m perhaps being harsh? Do any of you agree that memes are best left for sites like Facebook and Instagram? Are you like me and prefer to read a post before liking it or are you happy just to show your support regardless? I’m very interested to hear what my fellow bloggers feelings are on this matter so please drop your comments below.
I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Ajith Siriwardena for saving my mum’s life. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift!