Sunset over Heathrow,
Behind the great steel eagles
In rows – no, not eagles,
But a pod of beached whales,
Their endless journey ended,
Dying with the dying day.
A fairly long post today – but in short, regular updates are going to now ‘officially’ stop. I’ve been keeping my schedule since August 2012, but nowadays I have a job and many more commitments than I did back then. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been missing posts – although you seemed to like my catch-up day, if I can’t commit to regular updates I won’t. Particularly because I want this blog to be something I update with poems that I really enjoyed writing and spent time crafting, rather than being a chore. Sometimes I’ve just dashed off a quick poem with no real quality, just because I’ve felt guilty if I haven’t.
So, after over two years of regular blogging and 431 poems, what have I learnt?
- Blogs are a great way to give you discipline as a writer – and with that regular practice comes skill.
- If the blog isn’t a way to secure your livelihood, it’s ghastly thinking of it as work. Making content just to get traffic/likes is pointless. That said, there have been times when I’ve published work knowing that regular readers will enjoy it, and been very pleased to see when they have liked it. But that’s personal, and this blog has been.
- Sometimes what does get traffic will surprise you. My two most popular poems have been consistently ‘Your Lust’ and ‘The Harvest Mouse’. The former, it turns out, is the name of a website that provides material of a decidedly… adult nature, which appears to be popular in India. I decided not to change the name though. The latter, however, I still have no idea about why it’s popular. It seems to be one of the only poems about harvest mice, and consistently gets attention, despite being the eighth poem I wrote so long ago in 2012. Beyond that, love poetry remains consistently popular.
On the other hand, some of the projects I’ve done out of my personal love – like the ‘After Other Works’ section of the archive, and ‘Hyacintos’, and most of the more experimental poetry – have been very unpopular. It’s a shame, but I can see why. I enjoyed them anyway, particularly the half-year of ‘Paradise Lost’.
- I don’t know if there’s any way to get people to comment – but on the rare moments that they do, it’s great to hear from readers. They’re often very sweet.
- Blogging is hard work. Learn when you can say that other things are more important.
Beyond that, there’s probably lots more I could say but will leave aside. There will, of course, be more poems, but I can’t say when they’ll come. But until then,
The Hapless Neo-Romantic
I would quite like to share the most-read poems this blog has ever produced. Perhaps one day I’ll return to regular blogging, and these will be my guide.
- Poem 69 – Your Lust
- Poem 8 – The Harvest Mouse
- Poem 70 – New Year’s Candle
- Poem 126 – Fert Unda Nec Regitur
- Poem 162 – To the Angel on my Shoulder
- Poem 180 – How Awful Goodness Is
- Poem 236 – Oh Fleeting Joys of Paradise
- Poem 393 – The Invisible Man
- Poem 414 – 08:00
- Poem 417 – 11:00
- Poem 68 – New Year’s Dance
- Poem 429 – 23:00
- Poem 10 – The Shadows Beyond
- Poem 38 – I Wish I Were
- Poem 36 – I Could Fall in Love with You
- Poem 391 – Somebody Told Me That You Were Once in Love With Me
- Poem 408 – 02:00
- Poem 412 – 06:00
- Poem 401 – If I Died
- Poem 9 – The Unfriendly Universe
- Poem 413 – 07:00
That said, I will return in the next few days to update this post with my all-time personal favourite posts. Because what use is a poet without strong personal affections?