Writing is hard work. Fortunately, that hard work is only mental now, it wasn’t always so. At one time writing meant chiselling on a piece of rock or dipping a quill into homemade ink and scribbling on a piece of parchment. Each piece was unique. Archaeologists haven’t discovered any ancient photocopy machine yet, so making a copy likely meant sharpening chisels again or finding another piece of parchment and mixing another pot of ink.
[N]o wonder books were precious and needed to be protected by any measure. Today, courtesy of Office Word, all the physical effort has been removed. There still remains the mental process of formulating a piece of prose which for some is easy, but for others, including this author, a degree of effort is necessary.
So why am I boring you with the trials and tribulations in writing for CabbieBlog?
Well since February 2009, and before that using other platforms, twice weekly snippets have been posted for your edification, the first being Make a cuppa and do The Knowledge. In fact since a young and still wet behind the ears CabbieBlog burst upon the Interweb, 676 posts have been uploaded, that and an additional 31 pages of priceless information. Many of you have been good enough to post comments, nearly 500 to date, all of which I have managed to give some kind of response. I realise all this material is ephemeral, it will last for as long as I’m prepared to pay for hosting, and will not go down in the annals of English literature alongside Dickens or even Jeffrey Archer.
And today marks a milestone in CabbieBlog’s slow rise up the Google ranking, my half-millionth reader alighted here this afternoon.
Samuel Johnson famously said:
“Nobody but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money” (Boswell’s Life of Johnson, 5th April 1776).
Boswell adds “Numerous instances to refute this will occur to all those who are versed in the history of literature”, though he doesn’t say whether he made this rejoinder to Johnson’s face.
We may not agree with the cantankerous old sage, but who among us ever thought that it was only young writers who were cyber savvy and who cared about making money from their literary endeavours? This site is mostly written by someone who is well past his prime. As for money? At least it pays its way.
Its intention might be to amuse and inform, massaging the writer’s ego along the way, but it’s a trip worth taking as we meander through the streets of this fascinating city with all its curiosities, minutia and eccentricities.
So for everybody who has taken a detour from the shopping site named after a South American rainforest or FaceBook instead spending time wandering down this little alley full of London curiosities a big thank you, and here’s to another half-a-million.
Photo: Pen and Paper by Phil Gyford (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)