I am sitting writing in a pub in Holbeck in Leeds locked out of my painting studio because I have forgotten the code which I cleverly stored on my phone which I then less cleverly left at home. I am reluctant to drive home in the blizzard conditions outside, and since I’ve forgotten the phone I have no means of telling anyone I am stuck in Holbeck, and of course I am (unthinkably) uncontactable. Not least, with no wifi in this otherwise perfect eating establishment I am unable to logon and link in to whatever it was I had intended to link to for this post. Indeed, I am the only customer in here: I have the warmth of the fire, the odour of the woodsmoke and Woody Guthrie in the background all to myself. I am quite happily alone in a world where it is increasingly difficult to find solitude.
This is not necessarily a good thing for a procrastinating introverted perfectionist (‘pip’), inclined to gloomy introspection in such circumstances. What I planned to do today was link to The Arts Media Contacts top art blogs of 2010. [ETA the link now I am safely home…] I haven’t yet had time to work my way through them, but I will. My blogging journey began in somewhat slow fashion in October 2010, when I began talking to myself in the corner of a virtual room on the outer edges of cyberspace. As a pip, it didn’t occur to me to tell anyone I knew what I was doing lest they be tempted to actually read my posts, and the concept of tags passed me by for the first few entries. Sadly I found the barren stats page well before I got the hang of tagging or publicising, and I began to wonder how anyone would ever find me. This early isolation makes me now particularly appreciative of each and every visit, so thank you to anyone reading this. If it is a repeat visit, I am both encouraged and flattered, and if it is a first visit, thank you for taking the time to click on whichever link caught your eye out of all the links crowding your online activity today.
As you might imagine, a blogging pip is potentially an oxymoron. No post is ever really good enough; the decision to click ‘publish’ is impossible; and who is ever going to want to read what I say? In my case though, I have fought with and overcome pippyness, with oddly unforeseen results. I spent a long time the other day widgeting to great effect and setting up image links to all my virtual habitats. Yesterday I noticed with alarm that every image I have is of me. At first sight, both my blogs have an alarming superficial air of narcissism and egotistical endeavour. Yes, I’ve done over 100 self portraits in the last few months, but there are limits, and I think these have now been exceeded. By the time you read this I will hopefully have done some remedial widgeting, if pippy tendencies haven’t intervened to throw me off track.
My friend Rowena has just started her blog journey, and reading her first post, I was vividly reminded of those early feelings of unknowing, searching, beginning: of exploring an entirely new world, and for a pip (obviously), angsty reflection of one’s own place in it. But I realise I have made a great deal of progress, helped most of all by engaging with some great blogs coming through my RSS feeds every day, and realising there are no limits. Even better, I can apply what I’ve learned from some of my online social interaction experience out there in the real world.
So that’s why the top art blogs of 2010 are a must read. Head down and get stuck in.