This is the start of a new journey. For the past few years, I have been writing material for a variety of websites. As anyone familiar with my work knows, I write primarily about sport, particularly rugby, and have been lucky enough to have been published by some fantastic websites. Although I plan to continue this work, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about branching out into something a bit different. Writing for others, although extremely rewarding, is by its nature a restrictive process. As I’m sure a lot of writers can identify with, it can be difficult to convey your own thoughts while working within the parameters of publication. As well as the essential restrictions in respect of word count etc., you are also hampered by the need to please editors and sub-editors in relation to the copy you’ve submitted. While this is certainly a worthwhile skill to master, it can often result in a published article that has been changed substantially from the piece you’ve actually written. Although the basic point of the piece usually remains intact, something as subtle as a word being changed here or there can radically alter the tone or essence of the article you’ve written. Even something as simple as the headline/title being amended can change the whole perception of an article from the perspective of the reader. Of course editors are well within their rights to change copy in any way they feel appropriate, but it can be a restrictive process for the writer.
What I like about blogging is that it grants me the freedom to write on topics that interest me without the need to redact and edit the material at the insistence of an editor. Of course, there is nothing stopping me from writing for other publications (as I will continue to do, time permitting), but this blog allows me to write sincerely in my own words, without the need to worry about the restrictions of space or tailoring my copy to the meet the requirements of a certain readership. Although I may be writing for a much smaller audience (if indeed there are those kind enough to follow my musings!), the words presented will be mine and mine alone. For a long time, I resisted the idea of a blog because I felt it somehow meant more to be published by other outlets (and it is undoubtedly a privilege), but I find myself increasingly attracted by the freedom and opportunity a blog permits. It also enables me to branch out into other areas that I’ve long wanted to write about such as music, film, history etc. And I see this blog as complementing rather than replacing my existing work. A new journey begins, then. Whatever else it is, I hope it won’t be boring!