Introduction – Week 1

I can’t say that I ever expected to find myself posting on this blog again (other than to plug my book), but I had an idea a couple of days ago, and this post is the result of that.

I feel I should begin by apologising to anyone who receives an automatic email because they subscribed to this blog when I was cycling around the world. I am not cycling around the world again, nor am I writing another book. So feel free to unsubscribe if you are no longer interested in what I have to say – I won’t be offended (or surprised).

In September 2015, following my extended bike ride, I started the first of five years at Loughborough University. I finished the final part of those five years a few weeks ago, and I now find myself at somewhat of a loose end. (This loose end is intentional, and hopefully productive and enjoyable – I am not here probing for job offers, I promise. It’s more of a new beginning than a loose end, but that sounds incredibly pretentious to me and I didn’t want to write that.)

I have a few plans, ideas, and goals for the coming year, but none that I am ready to share quite so publicly at this time. As far as the narrative of this blog is concerned, my primary focus during this time is going to be training (for cycling and triathlon). In summary, I am now happily and deliberately unemployed.

Consequently, I have no commitments outside of riding my bike, running, and swimming; unless I set myself something to do. I therefore thought that it could be a good idea to start posting on this blog again. Aside from my dissertation and an irritating number of coursework assignments, since publishing my book, I’ve rarely had the need to write anything extensive or interesting.

Writing is a skill that I improved significantly throughout the process of creating Emu Racing and Record Chasing, and one that I really enjoyed developing at the time. For anyone who has read the book, you’ll notice how obviously casual the tone and language are – that was deliberate, but it’s a factor that might mask the complexity involved in the process. For me, the more crucial and useful aspect of writing is the communication of ideas. An extensive and beautiful vocabulary is pointless if the reader can’t determine the meaning behind the words. I also believe that moving up the scale of literary grandeur does not necessarily make communication any more challenging. Even if I only use it for writing emails, conveying ideas through this medium is a skill that I am keen to continue developing and one that I do not want to fall out of touch with over the next year.

This ‘series’ of blog posts is therefore primarily a way for me to practice writing in some form (and because I often enjoy it). Secondly, this blog represents a commitment to something for which I can be held accountable, outside of my training. To that end, I am not planning to advertise this blog nor tell anyone about it. You can share it, if you want, but my aim is not to reach as many people as possible. In order to achieve the targets above, there only needs to be one reader other than myself. So please continue to tune in over the coming weeks if you think it’s worth it, but do not feel obligated to engage with this if only due to past allegiances.

I’m not setting a goal for the length of these posts. I suppose my target will be to include at least one idea of value, interest, or amusement. Initially I am committing to posting one per week, so, if I fall short of this, feel free to highlight my incompetence, that’s the accountability I need. Otherwise, I am setting the bar pretty low. I just want to get something on the page each week, and I hope for your sake that I am able to tap into the creative part of my brain for that.

The subject matter is likely to vary wildly depending on what pops into my head at any given time. Inevitably, the topic of ‘what I’ve been up to’ may be a regular feature since it’s something I know a lot about and I’m not particularly qualified to be discussing politics and the like. Just a heads up.

To those of you who read the following posts, I hope I can provide something interesting, or at least make you smile. I have no idea what this process will end up looking like, nor what it will lead to; but here’s to something new.

Tom

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