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Photograph The Grove by Richard Keeling on 500px

The Grove by Richard Keeling on 500px

It’s been an interesting year for this blog. Originally spawned all the way back in 2006 and hosted on the My Opera website, it was, for many years, my frequently updated blog of choice and one that accumulated a fairly robust readership.

I drifted away from it when I discovered Cowbird, and then Opera decided to drop hosting the My Opera website altogether. For a while, all looked bleak. But, even though I wasn’t posting on much at all, I decided to migrate the blog, at that time called ‘Essentially The Only One’, onto WordPress and here it is, name changed at bit.

The readership vanished, mostly, and I did little with the blog for a while. Then I began to write photography related posts, posts that gathered momentum as I returned to and began to explore film photography once again.

So its character has changed. It’s perhaps a smaller world, but it’s a very nice one.

Actually, I feel more warmly towards this little and little-noticed blog today than I have for ages. Partly because whenever you do accumulate a large number of readers, your sense of expectation ramps up. You begin to feel to you need to write something generally interesting all the time. It’s pressure and unwelcome pressure too.

So, in a strange way, my attitude to writing is drawing closer to my attitude to photography. It’s for me. Not you. Even though I am very happy when you read it.

Why put something out publically when I regard it in such personal terms? I think it all boils down to demonstration. If what I am – and I strive to be true to myself – is interesting to others, that gives me great pleasure. But it’s an added bonus. It’s not part of being me. I’m not seeking strokes of approval or attention, but like them when I get them.

This realisation – a sense of self-discovery really – has been enormously beneficial to freedom of expression. I can just be. For much of my life, I could not. I felt judged and responded to judgement, usually negatively.

So here we are.