Nine doesn't sound a terribly large number, so let me recalculate. That's 3287 days, at least 99% of which I've posted something on. There are 4667 posts altogether, some of them piddly and small, others major 1000+ word essays. I'm not sure precisely how many words I've written altogether, but it must be more than two million by now, which is approximately the same length as three Bibles. And you've added 50000 comments, for which I thank you. But there's one thing I haven't counted, and would be embarrassed to estimate, and that's how many hours in total I've spent writing. Because I fear, out of the nine years this blog has been going, writing it has taken at least one. It seems I have a problem...
It's not beer or drugs I can't get enough of, it's blogging. I can't stop. I have a craving, a desire, to which I submit daily. When I wake up in the morning, first thing, straight out of bed, I have to hit "publish" or I can't start the day. If I ever left for work without posting something I'd feel awful, and I'd never be able to concentrate properly throughout the day ahead. I never to blog while I'm in the office, but it's always there niggling at the back of my mind, wondering what I'm going to write about later that evening. Then once I'm home I can't keep away from my computer - I have to write, express, outpour. I've never yet managed to build up a stash of posts in advance, which doesn't help. Tomorrow's blog is a big blank space, and I won't get to sleep until it's filled.
Like any addiction, it all started off innocently enough. I was introduced to blogging via a simple online interface called Blogger. How simple it looked, just a small white rectangle awaiting a sentence or two. I could do that, I thought, what harm could it do? I already knew there were lots of other bloggers out there, and they looked like hip, cool, witty people. Call it social pressure, call it whatever you want, but I wanted to be like them. So I tapped out five sentences, tweaked them a bit and pressed the button at the bottom. What a rush. The words I'd written in my living room had appeared on the internet, visible to all. It was downhill from there.
I guess I was always going to be susceptible to this sort of thing, because I have an addictive personality. I'm a serial completist, always have been, always will be. All the signs were there when I started keeping a diary at the age of 11. A few words scribbled down at the end of the day, then a few more, and before I knew where I was I had an entire volume filled. I couldn't go to bed and leave a blank, there had to be a consecutive record of my life... and I've now gone 35 years without a single day's gap. Lured in by the soft stuff, I was always going to be susceptible to hardcore blogging, and so it's turned out.
And now it's taken over my life. It's gone beyond an activity, beyond a hobby, to an obsession. I can't go out at the weekend without thinking "ooh, I wonder if I can get six paragraphs out of this". Sometimes I've been known to turn down a night out on the town because there's a post I absolutely have to write. No matter that nobody else gives a damn about some obscure corner of London, I still force myself to stay up past midnight to fully document it. And I can't stop at pure text, I'm compelled to add weblinks throughout, and photos, adding unnecessary depth purely because it makes me feel good. I do it for the feedback. I do it for a high. I do it for the crack.
I really ought to learn to give blogging a rest every now and then. Take a week off, even a day off, without fear of failure. I ought to detox, decrease my dependency, rehabilitate my social life. But I've tried to write less, and I can't. Nine years on, and still no sign of stopping.
My name is diamond geezer, and I am an addict. Your continued sympathy is appreciated.