If Only I Had a Brain

So, it turns out that staring at a blank computer screen for one hundred and thirty-seven consecutive hours is not the best way to get ideas. Why did nobody tell me? 

I figured this out for myself eventually. Only five and a half days wasted.

Jusmeh recently asked me “Where do you find the inspiration for your blogs?” H’mm, let me see…

LIFE IS THE ANSWER

An unfortunate home hair dying incident when I was seventeen resulted in me adorning hats for the entire summer of 1999. This seemed a fitting tale to include in my post I Really Should Have Thought This Through, which, much to my delight embarrassment was Freshly Pressed in February.

Just to reiterate: I still don’t know whether blondes have more fun, but I can verify that oranges certainly do not. 

A few months ago, I noticed a sweet little girl on the bus, with big brown eyes, short curly auburn hair and a cheeky grin. She turned to her mother and said “When I grow up mummy, I want to be a tomato”. Quite clearly a god ‘dam genius – she inspired my post Think Different.

I have been unable to eat a tomato ever since. 

My brother Oli recently invited me for Sunday lunch. A prospect that would have filled me with joy, if it wasn’t for the fact his latest pancake attempt looked like scrambled eggs and he referred to his colander as coriander. I survived though and had lots of new material for my post “I Just Found a Chicken Bone in My Cheesecake. Is That Bad?

Thank you brother. Your thrice microwaved chicken was delicious. 

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to walk three miles home in four inch heels. Turns out – it wasn’t.

I ended up in agony, with several blisters and one less toe. My post This Season I Shall Mostly Be Wearing Slippers was born. 

If only I had a brain.

12 Things I Learnt from My (Less than Brilliant) Vlogging Debut

For those not yet in the know (where have you been?) I recently announced my intentions to take over the world. Well, the blogging world at least.

So in addition to perfecting my evil dictator laugh, I have begun working on ideas to expand my readership. With this in mind, I foolishly decided to make a video log (or “vlog”).

I hope my debut vlogging experience can be used as a cautionary tale, for anyone else crazy enough to even think about trying.

Here are the top twelve things I learnt:

1. Invest in a tripod. I’m pretty sure professionals have no need to attach their camera to a cardboard box with masking tape. Or place said box on top of another box, precariously balanced on their bed, alongside a broken lamp.

2. Good lighting hides a multitude of sins. Bad lighting makes you look like a big fat spotty toad. Sadly, I fall into the latter category. That is my defence – and I’m sticking with it.

3. Have a plan of action. For reasons of continuity, you will not want to rerecord anything afterwards in your pyjamas.

4. Adlib. Whilst planning is extremely helpful and saves time – my best bits by far were totally impromptu. Yes, I am aware that I have just totally contradicted myself.

5. Record multiple takes of everything. You’d be surprised how many times you can fluff up in only a matter of minutes. Or maybe that’s just me?

6. Employ a glamorous assistant. As an extrovert, I gain most of my energy from other people. As such, I found my true personality didn’t really come out when talking to a camera lense.

Your glamorous assistant can also take ownership of button-pushing, face-fanning and tea/coffee/biscuit duties. So long as you pay them enough.

7. Keep it brief. I managed to cut down about an hour’s footage into five minutes and fourteen seconds. I wish it was shorter.

I can only apologise.

8. Enunciate. Otherwise you’ll sound like a rugged commoner. When I say “write” in the video, you can’t hear the “t”.

I’m now in grave danger of being disowned by my mother.

9. Stick with whatever word you originally planned to say. If you start saying “blogs”, then mid-word change to “posts”, the resulting word will be “blosts”. (I managed this fourteen seconds into my video. Impressive I know).

10. Know your weaknesses. Maths is not my strong point. Check out the percentages’ breakdown roughly three and a half minutes in. I’d love to say this was intentional. It wasn’t. I just can’t add up.

My father’s going to disown me too.

11. Avoid “Um” and “Err”. They are not your friends.

12. Don’t be afraid to fail. It will probably take you a whole day to film and edit your complete pile of excrement. But don’t worry if it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, so long as you learnt something – or maybe twelve things.

I’d like to dedicate my video to all the lovely bloggers who responded to my recent post ‘Friends, Romans, Readers, Lend Me Your Ears’ with such fabulous questions. I’m blaming you.

Cue evil dictator laugh: “M’wah ha ha ha haaaaaaaa!”

Time to Take Over the World: Day One

It turns out this jobless malarkey is highly overrated. There are only so many conversations a girl can have about the state of the economy with her dehydrated house plant. So having given the matter much thought, I have decided not to become a worthless vagabond, but to take over the world instead. It was that, or learn Latin.

Never let it be said that I lack ambition. Like many bloggers, my dream is to become a wildly successful full-time writer, working from home – in the comfort of my favourite SpongeBob SquarePants pyjamas.

In three short months, jessseeker has inexplicably amassed 33,500 hits. Being Freshly Pressed during week seven certainly helped and featuring in WordPress’ Recommended Blogs for humor hasn’t done any harm either. Thank you WordPress Gremlins. I love you!

All I need to do now is work out how to replicate this twenty-nine fold to achieve what I would consider blogging success, namely one million hits. Then I can turn professional.

I’m reliably informed by people in the know that this is nigh on impossible to do. Having spent twenty-nine years ignoring figures of authority though, I have opted to do just that. Why break the habit of a lifetime?

It would seem like an insurmountable task, if it wasn’t for the support, intelligence and techie insight of my big brother Oli, who has promised to help me make jessseeker so successful that I “can retire on a bed of gold-plated chocolate money”. Dark chocolate, naturally.

So having observed some of the greats at work (Julie Powell, Dooce and James Altucher, to name but a few) I have tried to encapsulate their secret. Here goes:

  • Write well.
  • Write often.
  • Be different.
  • Make your blog look pretty.
  • Somehow establish universal appeal.
  • Get the world smiling, one blog at a time.

Do not under any circumstances:

  • Lose integrity.
  • Sell your soul to the devil.
  • Write anything nice whatsoever about Justin Bieber.

Okay, so I might have added the Justin Bieber thing. But it can’t do any harm.

I plan to measure my success by hits, followers, revenue and whether or not Stephen Fry is willing to write the foreword to my first book. Failure is not an option. That bed of gold-plated chocolate money will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

I am fully aware that flying over Buckingham Palace, dressed as Wonder Woman, with an old bath towel for my cape and teddy bear for company would be a more realistic ambition. So please wish me luck and I shall keep you posted on my complete and utter failure resounding success!