I’m pleased to announce that this blog has been nominated for an award. Voting is now open until Monday 29th September 2014, so please, follow the link above, scroll down to Best Writing on a Blog and vote for General Lucifer. Thank you.
Here’s a few words of explanation about me, why I do this and what the awards mean to me.
Blogging means different things to different people.
For some it is like knitting or painting or sculpture, a satisfying hobby where they make something – it’s a creative process, a craft.
For others it is a chance to voice their opinion on a variety of subjects such as food, drink, clothing, or politics.
Some blogs are about the bloggers lives, an online diary about the everyday, those triumphs and defeats that we all go through and can relate to.
But for some people, blogging is opening a vein. It is the release of a torrent, a gushing that can’t be stopped, a force that has to come out.
Often these explosions of words are a reaction to something and that something isn’t always pleasant. It might be a loss, depression, a break up, an accident.
For me it was my job.
I hate my job.
Reprographics is a pointless task in a pointless industry, the junk mail industry. I’ve been grinding away at it now for twenty five years, a whole quarter of a century, and now I’m at breaking point.
I’m not going to bore you with the details, but there came a point at work where my boss, Soulless Boss, decided he wanted me to quit, so he sat me at a desk in front of a computer for seven and a half hours a day with no work to do in the hope I would crack.
This went on for three years.
I didn’t crack. I couldn’t crack because I had to feed and clothe my young family, pay a large mortgage, and with no qualifications to speak of a change of job would mean a dramatic cut in pay.
So I started to write.
First I wrote a novel. It is one hundred and forty three thousand words long and it isn’t very good. It’s still sitting on my hard drive somewhere, unread.
This novel taught me a lot about writing, though. It taught me that no matter how good or bad a book is, the chances are that it probably won’t get read.
Next, I went onto the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed forum (LFGSS), dedicated to one of my interests, (cycling) and I talked to people and they talked to me and I wrote a few stories about my work and these stories got read.
People liked them. People read them.
I found that once I started writing the stories I really couldn’t stop.
Where my great lump of a novel has never been read, my stories about work were getting hundreds of readers a day.
My bike had the words ‘General Lucifer’ on the downtube, a homage to an old French bicycle manufacturer called Genial Lucifer, and as such my user name on the forum is General Lucifer.
I’m not some mad satanist, I just like bikes.
The people of the LFGSS forum really encouraged me, gave me great feedback and urged me to start my own blog, which I did. This became the Repro Man blog, the one you’re reading now.
Well, this taught me another thing about writing. It taught me that there are a fuck of a lot of people writing on the internet these days. My voice joined the howls, gibbers and shrieks of a billion others, every one of them with something to say, and I howled, gibbered and shrieked right alongside them.
Every now and then someone would reach out to me from the darkness and say, ‘Lucifer, I like your howling!’ and this would keep me going, keep me hitting the keys.
This went on for five years.
In that time I lost my house, moved to various rented addresses, my boss had a nervous breakdown and resigned only to be replaced by an even more vindictive cunt of a boss who is also Soulless, my hair turned grey with alarming speed and I developed asthma.
The two constants in this time were my wonderful family and my writing.
My family didn’t give up on me and I didn’t give up on writing.
Then, last week, something happened.
Kate Feld tweeted me to say my blog had been nominated for the Blog North Awards under the category of Best Writing on a Blog.
To say I was stunned is something of an understatement.
The awards take place on the 8th October in Manchester and I will be there, reading out some smut to an audience and I just hope they like it.
In the meantime, the polls are open to vote for who will win.
I really couldn’t say if this will lead to something bigger but I do know that the award means a fuck of a lot to me. Being nominated is incredible, but to win would be indescribable.
So please, do me a favour. Click on the link to the Blog North Awards website, scroll down to the Best Writing on a Blog section and vote for me, General Lucifer. I’ll owe you a pint.