I didn't wake up this morning thinking, “oooh, today is a significant day.” Nor do I have a beer-fuelled celebration planned for this afternoon in the balmy bank holiday sunshine – or even a rosé-fuelled celebration planned for later this evening in the warm glow of post-May Day shenanigans. In fact, I didn't realise it was a milestone of a day today at all (well, vaguely) until I opened my Creativepool Blog folder on my computer.
But today, as it happens, marks the publication of my 150th blog written for Creativepool.
I don't expect you all to suddenly rush out and have a street party in my honour, however much you might like my ramblings. But I do think some sort of acknowledgement of this momentous milestone is in order. Nothing fancy, mind; there doesn't even need to be anyone famous at the party (though Elle Macpherson is always welcome to pop in later for a Kir Royale). But I might take a short gander down memory lane and look at my back catalogue since March 2010 when the Creativepool blog first said “hello, blogosphere” – till May 2013, over 100,000 members later.
My first ever blog was a rather tongue-in-cheek celebration of the then new iPhone 4 – tongue-in-cheek because my overuse of my iPhone overran into the bedroom and, well...let's just say it led to a talk with my wife about technology addiction and “boundaries”. I applauded other technology too, from Dyson's bladeless fan to a virtual reality pet which ran around all over my desk – looking rather cute, as green aliens go.
Then we had the vitriolic blogs complaining about all manner of things which fuelled my ire. I've never been a morning person, let alone a Monday morning person – so when I say vitriolic, I really did let rip from time to time. Like when I talked about some of the complete morons I've encountered who call themselves “training course leaders”. Or, worse still, recruitment consultants. Especially the one who asked me, “Do you stammer when you write?” I admit it, when I wrote about this sort of spectacularly cretinous ignorance, I sounded like Jeremy Clarkson chewing a wasps' nest...and then washing it down with a few mouthfuls of cactus.
I'm no aficionado, but I do like my art too. I've raved about the brush talents of Ronnie Wood (who'd have thought it) and the child-frocked Grayson Perry who is infinitely more talented than I previously gave him credit for. Then I went all Clarkson again on some of the dross I've seen year after year at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. Don't get me started on Tracey Emin or the boobtastic Meredith Ostram (who paints pictures using her bare breasts), unless you want me to start spitting blood – which might produce something quite Pollock-esque, as it happens.
One of my favourite artistic finds, though, was Dina Goldstein's exploration of the darker side of the Barbie and Ken dolls. You can read my blog and see some of her fantastic images by clicking here.
I've also had a good moan about the job market and corporate jargon, discussed the pitfalls of being a humble freelancer and offered advice about how best to work at home. Because unless you're very disciplined, you can find yourself drifting off into daytime telly mode before you can say "Jeremy Kyle" or "DNA test".
I also love critiquing adverts. There are some right humdingers out there, but there's a pretty large batch of great ones too. Among them are the wonderfully understated Volkswagen ads, and the garrulously brilliant Kevin Bacon EE ones. I also pride myself on being one of the first people to write about that terrible Brad Pitt Chanel No.5 ad (after Saturday Night Live got their hands on it). My ire is here for your enjoyment.
So, what have I got out of my experience of writing 150 blogs for Creativepool? Well, first of all, it's given me an outlet to write creatively while that idea for a novel continues brewing. Secondly, I've discovered that you creatives can be a challenging lot to write for – in a good way. You're very vocal when you comment on them on LinkedIn (thank you) and that means there's never a dull moment.
I also love the discipline of writing a blog. Once a week, unless there's been anything obvious in the news to write about from the perspective of the creative landscape, I sit down at my desk on a Monday morning, faced with a blinking cursor on a blank page. I have to try and inspire myself – either by targeted research or by surfing the web or reading the news until something leaps out at me. Sometimes the words flow out in a torrent – other times it's like pushing a bathtub of bricks up Mount Creation while wearing banana-skin boots. But dull it ain't. For me, it's always challenging, always fun and always interesting. I really hope, 150 blogs later, some of those adjectives ring true for you too.
See you at blog 300...
by Ashley Morrison
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