New Year

I find it helpful to tell myself that nobody reads this blog. If I worried too much about reaching an audience or following figures, I’d start to break from my own line and the cart would be set before the horse. I’m also aware that if I became fixated on publishing pitch-perfect material, I’d never produce anything at all. “Perfect is the enemy of good”, and in the pursuit of that final polish, things fall apart. I’ve found it more productive to punch as hard as I can and then stand back to let the dust settle. I sometimes look over old articles here and think how glad I am to have tried in whatever direction I made for, even if I fell short of the mark. And very occasionally I look back and find something that hit the mark or even exceeded it. That’s a great feeling, but this note could easily become a slippery slope towards navel-gazing.

It’s for these reasons and several more which lean towards self-obsession and insecurity that I treat this blog as if nobody was reading it. Even after more than a decade, I’m still not wholly sold on the blog format, but I certainly find it useful to measure and manage ideas as they arise and review them in retrospect. I tell myself that it’s a project that I undertake “for me”, because the idea of writing “for you” as an audience makes the hair stand up on my head with terror. I’m not sure what it says about my character that I’d rather be selfish than presumptuous, but the timing rings a bell here on New Year’s Day.

It’s my ambition to write more frequently and better this coming year. And it seems a very sensible moment to turn away from the text and thank everybody who reads, shares or comments upon this blog. Some of you have been here all along, while others have joined since the book Native was published in 2020. I tell myself that you’re not reading along with me, but how grateful I am to know you’re there

5 thoughts on “New Year

  1. Tom McKinnon

    I really enjoy you’re posts, reading them is a moment or two of peace and quiet when I get the notification where ever I am.

    Happy new year to you and the family

  2. Audrey Campbell

    Paddy, you could never conceive how much pleasure I get from your blog, and always open your emails first with anticipation and p,erasure. Never doubt your style of writing, it’s free, totally from the heart and skilfully written with so much accuracy and observation that to this tender old heart it actually hurts.
    When I read your book, Native, I opened the parcel and sat down with it at 2.00pm and read the whole thing right through, (no dinner for the troops that evening.) I haven’t done that with a book for years. So great was my pleasure being engrossed in your writing that it made me renew my friendship with an old book I’ve had for many years which I’m sure you know. “A Galloway Childhood” by Ian Niall.
    Selfishly I’m looking forward to your writing more this year, I know you are very busy on the farm and other commitments, but this is great news!
    All the Best to you and yours this 2022

  3. vmsmith

    Well, I hate to tell you this, but I read your blog, and I look forward to your posts. So add that to your anxiety heap! 🙂

    Happy New Year, and keep up the good work!

  4. I will just say this Patrick, your writing whether once per month , or every other day,is a moments peace, and contentment, in a world that is less so. Happy New year, to you, and your family.

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