On 8 December 2011, after thinking about it for far too long, I launched this blog with a post called 'What is culture?'. 157 published posts and 20,530 views later, it's time to celebrate my first birthday :D
This isn't my first foray into blogging, but none of my previous projects had survived more than a few months, so I'm very pleased that a year later I'm still keeping it up, although I would love to post more frequently. I always have a stack of unfinished draft posts, and often wish I could just blog full-time. Recently, especially, I've been so busy going to things I want to write about - the King's Arts and Humanities Festival, the Bush Theatre's RADAR2012 new writing festival, and lots of seminars around London - that I've had no time to actually write about all of them.
Nonetheless, this blog has become quite an addiction. I think the secret to me not getting bored with it or running out of things to say was setting it up as broadly as possible. Looking back through the last year of posts, the blog has certainly embraced many different types of post, depending on what my life was like at the time, from academic concerns when I was mid-exams or dissertation writing, to theatre criticism when I was making the most of Cardiff's cultural scene, to 'things I'm doing with the Social Programme this week' when all of my time was spent introducing international students to Britain. The blog therefore serves both as a reminder of all the great things I've seen and done over the past year, a document to look back on and smile, and a way to organise my thoughts when working. As I'm now well under way with my PhD, I hope to take full advantage of my blog in this second way, sharing and getting feedback on ideas for my thesis, but being a culture junkie, I'm sure there'll still be a lot of rambling about great plays, films, art, books and music too. I've also set myself some challenges this year, like watching a film from every EU member state, which I will be following up on.
This time last year, I had no idea what direction this blog would go in or where it would take me. As I direct result of blogging, I've been invited to write a series of guest posts for YourCardiff, spent a few months seeing all the plays and films I wanted for free, and most recently won the chance to blog at RADAR2012. It just goes to prove how useful blogging can be. I can't wait to see where the next year of blogging takes me!