Monday, February 06, 2006

Back to Basics

This whole blogging thing continues to delight and infuriate in pretty much equal measure. When I started this thing almost a year ago, I had no idea where it was heading. I didn't know if anyone was reading, and so I actually made an effort with the whole writing-it part. Lately, I've become aware that what I'm doing is talking to an audience, and it's just not the same. In fact, I've become downright bloody lazy - I mean, a post that just asks what you wanted to be when you grew up isn't exactly creative writing, is it? It's become everything I never wanted it to be. I love that people read and comment, because I am basically a narcissist and extremely needy to boot. I'm just aware that all I'm doing is whacking something up to keep people visiting, when I really couldn't blame anyone for buggering off for all eternity, given some of the crap I'm churning out.

So, time for a rethink. This isn't like when you tell your boss you're leaving so that they'll tell you how much they like you and give you a pay rise. This is me saying thank you for your support and contributions, and I'm sorry I've given you sod all back for the last few months. I know, I know, bloody woman, why don't I just get over it and not agonise over every tiny little thing all the time? Easy. Because I am a mentalist and you are all my imaginary friends (except for those of you I actually know, but naturally most of you look better in my head and are nicer to me. Especially you). So I'm going to shut up for a week and see how the mood takes me. Hopefully, the all-new, shiny and improved Surly will be a little more entertaining than of late.

Failing that, join me in a week or so for an incisive, cutting-edge discourse on why I hate apples.

Carry on christ on a bike, that's irritating, isn't it? That certainly won't be coming back.


Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

blog loathing is very big right now

if you like, we could swap blogs: you can be UC and i can be SG


but yours is a great blog, honesttogod

be sure not to disappear into the ether...come back soon!

06 February, 2006 16:00  
Blogger frobisher chimed in with...

I think we are all our own worse critics, don't beat yourself up about it. I think its best to have a healthy contempt of your readers and just do what you want. Don't worry about writing trivia the most heated debate Ive seen on blogs was about cabbages. Treat yourself to digital camera and entertain us with some pics!

06 February, 2006 16:27  
Blogger Lee chimed in with...

Honey, we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't want to play to an audience.

Now get out those tap shoes and *dance* missy!

06 February, 2006 17:13  
Anonymous Arabella chimed in with...

Read you when you get back. I still think about your post in January - 'Futile' - by the way.

06 February, 2006 17:30  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

No! I need to read you every day to take me away from the world of nappies, nursery runs and baby talk. Of course as your sister I can actually talk to you in the real world, but it's not the same.

Please don't go, please don't go.

06 February, 2006 17:49  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Don't go!

I love your blog - it makes me laugh (usually) and the sad bits would probably have made me cry as well (if I was the sort of person who ever cried).

Come back soon...

06 February, 2006 18:07  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

Don't you dare stop blogging or I will personally come over there and kick your surly butt.

Ok, you may take a week off but that's it.
And stop worrying about being a creative writer fer christ's sake....see, I'm working up to come over there already. You don't want to make me mad sg. You just don't.

06 February, 2006 18:29  
Blogger Sherbert chimed in with...

Surly, the point about blogs is that there are no rules - there's certainly no rules about them having to be majorly creative writing. Surely the reason people check your blog is to effectively hear you 'talk', be that pearls of creative writing wisdom (which you do so well and very often) or just a bit of banal chat, much like chewing the fat with a mate. I say ... Carry on. It's fine.

06 February, 2006 18:40  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

It's good to take a break from blogging every now and then to recharge the batteries/avoid possible insanity. It's meant to be enjoyable (I think ... or is it meant to be about connecting with people or projecting yourself or delving into the very depths of your soul or unburdening yourself? Help!)

Ahem. Enjoy the week off.

06 February, 2006 19:08  
Anonymous The girl behind the partition chimed in with...

I had no idea this was in your mind?? But if I don't have your blog to check I'll have to do work each day!And we wouldn't want that now would we?? Have a recharge Surly Girl but come back soon.
It's your blog so you ramble as much as you like. It's not Sky you know - none of us have paid a subscription, so you don't have to try and make a nil nil draw sound exciting like they do on Sky Sports because we've all paid umpteen pounds to listen to you! You know you have loads to talk about really - it's just a shame it's all libellous!!

Failing that talk about my leek and potato soup when I bring it to you on Friday!

06 February, 2006 20:27  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

What they all said +

Don't you fucking dare ...!

Best blog in my list of 20 or so I monitor a lot. Whihc measn bets one I've found so far. And anyway, twiddling with the template is a pain and I'd have to take your link off if you gave up.

You're doing just fine and very dandy.

Mind you, if you're going to bang on about the Levellers again....

06 February, 2006 22:09  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

Yeah! So there...

I like your blog. I like the rambling and the creative stuff.

Don't shit off, fuckbox!

06 February, 2006 23:23  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

I'm gorgeous in real life.

Just wanted that on record.

06 February, 2006 23:26  
Blogger mig bardsley chimed in with...

Like I said when I started this thing about four (?... time flies doesn't it)
months ago, there are so many clever funny people out there. You're one of the best.
I always enjoy your blog. Hope you come back soon, refreshed and ready to take on the world :)

You really hate apples?

07 February, 2006 02:15  
Blogger MinCat chimed in with...

what lee said. plus *wistful* come bac fastly, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

07 February, 2006 06:31  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

Ah yeah, that whole self-awareness thing is a bugger, isn't it? Especially for people who have a tendency to overthink things. Not a post of mine goes up without me desperately wanting to take it down again five minutes later. At times like these it's best to move away from the keyboard and think about something else until the feeling goes away.

Also, you are a brilliant, lucid writer, *and* funny, *and* interesting, and that's why everyone keeps coming back. So you really don't need to "improve" in any way. And I very much hope you'll be back very soon!

07 February, 2006 08:20  
Blogger Darren chimed in with...

I don't comment too much but do read avidly, hope the introspection results in the return. You will/would be missed. And what is so wrong with apples? ;-)

07 February, 2006 09:16  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

This is the blogger version of writer's block, which struck me after my book was published. I became uncomfortably aware that I had READERS out there. I realised I couldn't hide away and scribble any more. You have to develop writer's callous, then you don't give a toss. Let them read cack. Amd write for yourself alone.

owwvwxms -- these things are getting ridiculously convoluted.

07 February, 2006 10:23  
Blogger Wyndham chimed in with...

There's a lot of this about at the moment. I, too, am finding it harder and harder to find anything to possibly say. It may have something to do with January and February. I don't know - I'll know in March. Or it could be a January/February/March thing - in which case I'll find out in April. Whatever. Heed your own words, luv: Carry on.

07 February, 2006 10:47  
Blogger Perry Neeham chimed in with...

Dubee dubee, dubeee dubeee, thats weird. I've been thinking along the same lines (as you've probably noticed).

I'm not sure what I want my blog to be about either. I like writing it and the whole thing is fun, not to say addictive, but I think it should be about more than just, er, well, you know what it's been about so far.

Sounds like we need to sit down together with a crate of wine. Or should that be whine?

07 February, 2006 13:15  
Blogger Meegan chimed in with...


I am jealous that you are able to write about any topic under the sun in such an entertaining and witty way. You don't need to change anything.

My word verification is amslut. Are you trying to tell me something about your, er...morning routine?

07 February, 2006 14:39  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

pppbbbbhttbbpt*bronx cheer*
Hey! No! You do not have my permission! If you had any idea how many of these things I had to read before I found five that were lucid-yours among them-no. Just no.
Heres an idea...turn off your COMMENTS for a week.

07 February, 2006 14:50  
Blogger Brian chimed in with...

Blog what and when you feel like it. Don't suffer because of it. And don't sell yourself short, either. Lots of people love your blog, and I think most of us understand and respect the effort needed to keep it up. If you are feeling inspired and brilliant, then lucky for us. If not, you're still a smart, funny, and interesting person, and only the most shallow and fickle will forget that and not come back becasue they weren't utterly smitten with every single post. Write for yourself!

07 February, 2006 15:18  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

I think what you are suffering from is hunger through all that dieting. Spend a quiet week ending pies, then come back and join the blogging community of imaginary friends, we need you! You give me a good giggle every day.

07 February, 2006 15:42  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

I don't care for it.

But am learning I cannot control others.


Please do carry on after your break. But again, up to you.

07 February, 2006 17:46  
Blogger garfer chimed in with...

Blogging is addictive, but it beats smack.

Enjoy your sabbatical.

If you don't come back we'll burn your house down.

07 February, 2006 20:14  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy chimed in with...

Oh that's it, up and leave us devoid of anyone to laugh at and take the piss out of for a whole fucking week, why don't you?

*senses impending withdrawal symptoms mid-comment*

We (well I - lazy cunt Tazzy never writes bugger all) know exactly how you feel. I experience it all the time.

Now you just make sure you get back here in a weeks time, young lady.

*trots out, unable to believe he just called Surly a lady*

OH MY ALLAH! You'll never believe this, but my word verification is 'eieio' !!!!!!

07 February, 2006 20:18  
Blogger JonnyB chimed in with...

Been there, am there, whaddever.

08 February, 2006 00:03  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

In your head, can I be slimmer and have better hair? Thank you.

08 February, 2006 08:06  
Blogger I, like the view chimed in with...

it's a journey really isn't it?

maybe you just need to pull over for a coffee break. . . maybe you need to change vehicles. . .
maybe you are on the wrong road (although given the above, that might not be true). . .

maybe I really enjoy reading your blog and selfishly just want more more more

it'll be OK in the end - so if it's not OK, it's not the end is it?

08 February, 2006 09:50  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

don't go
don't go
don't go
come back

08 February, 2006 21:06  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...

frangelita has a very good point. dieting is not good for the mind.

09 February, 2006 12:36  
Blogger Merkin chimed in with...

Can I use "carry on" then please. It's my verbal tic anyway.... I was gutted that I couldn't use it when blogging because you do. Well, "gutted" is a bit strong, maybe ... "miffed".

09 February, 2006 13:59  
Blogger james henry chimed in with...

It's the New Year Slump, we're all doing it.

09 February, 2006 19:50  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

hey! come over to my place

we're getting hot under the collar talking about cadences


09 February, 2006 21:45  
Blogger bedshaped chimed in with...

Dear Ms surlygirl,
Not wanting to sound arsey or anything, but I would like to remind you that I paid for a full 12 months subscription.
Whilst I can understand the whole 'motivation on vacation' clause, I would like to remind you that should this continue, I will be not only expecting a part refund back, but also writing to my MP.

09 February, 2006 22:18  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with... (refers to post hell, youll get it)

DAMMIT, GET BACK HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

09 February, 2006 23:18  
Blogger FUNKYBROWNCHICK chimed in with...

Maybe a break is good.

When you know that you actually have "readers" it can be a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it's nice to know that somewhere out there, every so often, a small group of people in the world stop whatever they were doing just so that they can read whatever random thing you've posted for the day. Curse because it's easy to feel like you have to post just for the sake of posting otherwise people will forget about you and stop reading your blog. At least, that's how I feel about my blog.

Sure, I kind of freak out if no one comments on a post and/or if my stats are low for a long time. But, in the end, I've decided that it's my blog and I'll post when, how often, and about what I want. It's a form of therapy for me. If it ever stops serving its purpose, I'll stop blogging.

Take whatever time you need and I, like everyone else, hope you come back when you're ready. :)

10 February, 2006 17:24  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Harumph. Wish I'd said that (stolie). Very clear, and concise and, er, spot on.

11 February, 2006 08:09  
Blogger ScroobiousScrivener chimed in with...

Gosh, bit late to the party (as always) but darling, this post just took the words right out of my mouth. Not about your blog, obviously, I'm not even a regular reader so I can't comment on that - as if I'd dare - but that's exactly what's been bothering me about my own blog. I was looking back at some of my early posts, when maybe one person was reading, and they were actually worth reading. Nowadays it's all chitchat. You'd think that readers would encourage better writing, but apparently not. Anyway. Don't give up though - baby, bathwater and so on - but I just had to say: I feel ya. I hope you and your blog can work it out.

11 February, 2006 10:33  
Blogger Geoff chimed in with...

I've been watching your clock for the past three days - it still hasn't told me when you'll be back.

11 February, 2006 11:38  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

When blogger Tim Blair took a spot of leave, he invited readers to conduct conversations on a variety of topics till he returned. Cue the world's greatest trollfest.

11 February, 2006 12:22  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

Not that I'm counting the days or anything, but your break is just about over isn't it?

12 February, 2006 02:08  

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