Guest Bloggery by a Complete Stranger


This week I took part in this really cool project called a blog swap where I basically signed up to lend my blog to a random person for one post.

Check out Conor’s Blog and read below to find out a bit more about him, his blog, and his blogging style.


Aloha everyone, my name is Conor and I’ve been randomly partnered with Melissa to take part in the 7th 20sb Blog Swap.

Now, that’s a cracking start to any romantic anecdote eh? I can imagine us getting married and years later, at dinner parties people asking us how we met.

“Randomly assigned” I’ll grunt, taking a huge bite out of a chicken wing as Melissa sits cross-legged, arms folded, smoking a cigarette and tensely staring into nothingness.

Happy times.

(Holy grim spectre of the future Batman! My mind went dark quickly there..)

Anyway, in the VERY BRIEF time between the announcement and the deadline, we emailed a few times and came to the vague conclusion that we’d both discuss something about our own blogging styles. So that’s what I’ll do, because she’s awesome, and this is her blog. I’ll also probably swear less because it’s like I’m a guest at someone else’s house, I just took my shoes off too.

In his article ‘Why I Write’, George Orwell identified 4 key motivating factors that compelled people the become ‘writers’.
1) Sheer egoism – the desire to be thought of as clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death etc.
2) Aesthetic enthusiasm – the desire to celebrate the beauty of the external world, and also the arrangement of words and ideas in a way that is appealing.
3) Historical impulse – the desire to see things as they are, to observe and record facts.
4) Political motivation – the desire to push the world in a certain direction.
A mixture of these 4 elements wars against each other in each writers work, and can be seen to some extent in all writing. Bloggers are, in spite of the greatest attempts of literary snobs to lambast them, writers, and as such these elements are everpresent.
I’d like to suggest two more:

Laziness and Cowardice.
Let’s face it, who has the time to write a novel? I’ve been ‘planning’ a book for a while now. Every month in fact, the idea for a new novel pops into my head and I spend weeks obsessing about it and making notes, sometimes even typing the first few lines of a paragraph. Somehow I’m always in the preparation phase, drinking and convincing myself that writing in my little notebook in the café doesn’t make me look like a complete tool. Also, being a boy, I’m a complete coward, and the idea of starting on something huge and actually sticking with it is about as scary as the idea of date night my 50 year old Glaswegian neighbour, you know, the one who stubs the cigarettes out on her tongue. Also, like my neighbour, rejection of something that has taken months to create is able to punch you in the kidneys hard enough to make you pee blood.
That’s right, good old commitment problems, typical male.
My blog is like a mistress; young, cheap, carefree and prepared to do things a novel won’t – like experiment with mpegs and hyperlinks….filthy bitch.

Rage, where would we be without it? Probably still sitting in bed as I am now, but with less rage. I’m a bit of a cynical c__t if I’m honest, but also eternally hopeful. When that goes awry, I use my wee blog to vent, and in doing so I get the vague satisfaction that I am doing the world a service, even if it’s just ranting about sometimes I don’t like people using ‘Ciao’ as a signoff. That’s total bollocks of course, as the few people who read my stuff only do so to hear how many times I use phrases like ‘skullfuck with a barbed-wire dildo’. R&C is different from political motivation as it seldom has anything to do with pushing the world in a certain direction, unless the direction is a facial move away from barbed-wire dildoes. Venting is one of the main reasons why people blog, and long may it last!

My blog, Pizza Box, began as an attempt to impress a girl I was seeing. She and I of course didn’t last, but we remain friends, and I have continued with my blog with the sort of loyal skepticism usually only seen in tawdry self-help books. I began trying to balance a personal blog with a blog that occasionally discussed the Law, and legal developments, but found that it suited my writing style more to write a blog that balanced humour with personal observation. Sounds pretentious? IS pretentious. Then again, we’re all egoists. Half my posts are self-indulgent and useless, while the other half are an attempt to rationalise, criticise and record my dull and innane thoughts.

I spent some of the day scanning through Melissa’s blog, and really loved it. I was delighted to find that Melissa, like myself, has undertaken the 101 in 1001 challenge and I spent a while comparing both our goals and coming to the conclusion that hers were much more noble. There was also a short post about her late grandmother leaving her a note to be found after her death, and despite my complete lack of knowledge about the context of the gesture, I found myself welling up. Maybe that’s what I like most about blogging, the honesty that a good blog has and the emotions it raises. I also love the fearlessness that some bloggers bring to discussing things about the world around them that they disagree with or are worried by. Blogging has the power to provide inane drollery or change governments, and a readable blog will always be somewhere between the two, but hopefully have something to offer the reader. I think Melissa does a helluva job.

There are probably many more reasons to blog, but as time has almost run out on my end (it’s 23:55 here) and I feel I should stick to the rules of the swap. I’d like to thank Melissa for the blogspace and hope she comes visiting sometime again soon! Hopefully this will be the start of a good friendship, but maybe we should get to know each other a bit more before I put a ring on it. Ciaooooooooooooo!


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