Picture the title of this entry as being said in conjunction with deep bows and a face-splitting smile, for cultural completeness. It's a hint to where I am right now1, and it means Thank you very much, and indeed, I have much reason to be grateful: To Michelle and the Recruitment Office team for running the Welcome Week blogging competition and awarding my blog; to all who commented on my efforts, in writing or in person, for providing criticism and encouragement; and of course to all of you, the readers, for your lending me your attention and showing interest in my writing, even if the only trace you left was a click.
I entered the competition on little more than a whim – a volunteer urged me to do so when I cycled across campus with all my belongings on the day I moved in. It seemed like a welcome opportunity to exercise my writing muscle and an easy way to let my friends and folks beyond the Channel know what's going on without writing essentially the same letter a dozen times or resorting to bite-size facebook status updates. Winning the competition seemed a distant possibility, a pleasant side-effect in the unlikely event that it did happen.
As the week progressed, however, several things happened. For one, I appeared to be the only student going for the prize, and the outcome became rather clear – so much so that some of my friends jokingly threatened to stage a protest if I didn't win. But more importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of writing, of having an audience, and of hearing people's reactions to the blog. The entries were read by far more people than I had anticipated and I received a fair amount of feedback, most of which was overwhelmingly positive. Both of these factors bolstered my confidence and encouraged me to continue, to keep the momentum going and gather more experience.
I've had a bit of a knack for writing for a long time, but rarely finished anything besides overly long emails to friends and family. Previous attempts at journal-writing and blogging quickly failed for lack of a meaningful audience, those at story-writing for lack of persistence. Having a blog with an already established readership, however, fundamentally changed my perspective. You have given me some of your valuable time, many hundred times all told, a gift by which I am deeply honoured. Suddenly, I consider it a moral obligation to repay you, to keep you happy and make it worth your while to stick around. And as it happens, a moral obligation is a sure-fire way to get me off among my lazy bum – so as long as it holds, I'll try my best to meet such expectations as I might have, were I a reader of this blog.
I will, of course, widen the spectrum to not only talk of my personal experiences, but also of my interests, of which there are plenty. I hope to offer you a well-rounded cognitive meal with dishes of humour, thought and inspiration, seasoned here and there with dashes of innocent exhibitionism, profound insight or even the odd call to action. I will try to put something together every week, but I'm not promising anything quite yet – just check back from time to time, subscribe to the RSS or Atom feed, or find me on facebook where I usually announce new entries.
Either way, I hope you'll be back next time; until then,
1) I promised to tell you about that in this post, but it's getting really late, and somehow, this entry deserves to stand on its (short) own. Fortunately, I have a few more days before I get back to Brighton, and in the worst case, a long daytime flight with time to type up a justification for my term-time travel.
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