Monday, November 14, 2011

My future plans for the blog

Recently, some people who have been following me on my Twitter feed (for those who don't, I can be found publishing thoughts, rants, opinions and various salacious filth on @grimreaperblog) have asked me when I intend to make my return to blogging. I thought I would take a little bit of time in order to answer this question, as some of you seem to be harbouring the impression that your Reaper has decided to call it a day on his online journal.

Let's make this absolutely clear now - I haven't quit blogging. Some of you will be relieved to hear it, others will be disappointed by the news, and many won't give a shit either way. Writing is one of few things that I'm good at in life, and I intend to keep doing it for several more years - you won't be getting rid of me that easily. I think the blogosphere in the UK has yet to develop fully, and I still find it an exciting and interesting area to be involved in. After a quiet period following the General Election last year, bloggers are once again starting to find their voices as they adjust to the depressing reality that almost everything is exactly the same under the coalition as it was under Gordon Brown and I take heart from seeing the level of mockery and derision that Nick Clegg receives from the blogs.

Recently however, other matters have had to take precedence, such as sorting out my life after creating one hell of a mess earlier this year. Whilst 2011 has been a great year in some ways, it has been unremittingly dreadful in others. Yet the blog was one of those things that helped keep me going during the darkest days, when I thought all was lost. In a sense, it provided a helpful distraction. Instead of settling into self-pity, I could concentrate on writing up a blogpost or two, then think again about sorting my life out, feeling slightly less worn down. It's not healthy to have only one or two things to concentrate on in life, and the blog often helped deal with the occasional feeling that my life was simply too narrow in focus.

During my self-imposed hiatus, I have drastically increased my Twitter presence, and this is something I've enjoyed. It's a medium which I considered utterly pointless when I first joined it in August last year, but is now a startlingly useful source for news, information and punchy analysis on the issues of our time. The reality is though that I simply wouldn't have time to maintain the blog as prolifically in the past as well as retain my presence tweeting. Something has therefore had to give. Which is why I have decided that I will make a return to blogging, but it's going to be a little bit different to what it is now.

You'll still get your usual mixture of political commentary, showbiz gossip, talk about the latest trends and zeitgeists, all with a large dose of women's breasts, scurrilous gossip and what we think are amusing anecdotes blended into the mix. Fans, detractors and assorted window-lickers would expect nothing less, and they need not fear that the blog is about to become something staid and boring like Conservative Home. That said, some things do have to change.

I've made the decision to launch a new group blog which will be getting off the ground, provided all goes well, in January 2012. As well as myself, it will have a fairly small group of writers, all with their own views and their own writing styles, but all with the same love of politics, cultural matters, sordid gossip and who are also secretly a little too keen to get their voices heard. I would sincerely like to launch it sooner, but I'm simply going to be too busy over the next two months to manage it, so it's just going to have to wait until the New Year. Bills do have to be paid for, as well as the impending wedding.

Although at the time of publication I haven't decided exactly what the name of the new blog will be, though rest assured that the words Grim Reaper will be in it somewhere or somehow. I'm hoping to create something quite distinctive in the process and just like now, the blog won't be slavishly following the news agenda or whatever is currently trending - though they do occasionally influence your Reaper to write. There are also slightly selfish reasons for this change, as there will no longer be as much pressure on myself to come up with the goods several times a day.

Nor have I made any final decisions on who will be writing for it. I have already decided on one person who will soon be receiving a formal request from myself to join the team, and Miss Reaper may well be a writer on the blog, though not necessarily using that name. Miss Reaper doesn't actually like being called Miss Reaper, you may be interested to learn. What ARE you modern women like, eh...

More details on this, and information about how you could have the chance of joining your Reaper's team will be published in the coming days. This blog here will remain in an archived state, but there won't be much else going on here - all the action will be moving over to the new place.

* Oh yes, and to the people asking about the series on the actor who's married but isn't actually married, the next part of the series has been delayed after a woman who knows the man well pulled out of an interview where she could publish her side of the story. Her loss, but if there is anyone else out there who would want to speak to me, just email me on the normal address.