We Lack Discipline: 1st Quarter Review

I love finding stock images for these kinds of articles. Where there is literally no specific topic and you can just use weird graphic design! Such fun! (Credit: geralt via Pixabay)

I’m not sure if I’ll make a habit of this, but I’ve struggled to get my brain in order to publish anything actually clever today I figured I’d go a bit meta again. I haven’t done a personal/meta post like this since the immortal day of February 27th 2021.

That’s the day We Lack Discipline finally clicked, for me.

I’ve mentioned before that the idea is actually as old as me, pretty much. I am what some would consider intelligent but I think I’m an idiot. What I am is endlessly curious about things and think anything can be interesting if you delve deep enough into it. I’m also working class and feel a lot of the discussion excludes me in various ways. You’d be surprised how uncomfortable someone can feel at a ticketed museum exhibit or an academic gathering, but when you’re looking at accessibility I would argue auras are very real and the academic world exudes one that is repellent to people like me.

So I want this to be like…That one mate’s party. You know the one! They are friends with everyone and somehow manage to gather everyone, regardless of background, who is on the same page, together to just enjoy that page – nothing else. We’re here for what’s on the page and that’s it. Want to agree or disagree? That’s cool because we’re all on the same page. That’s what I want We Lack Discipline to be and I don’t care if you’re male, female, non-binary, trans, whatever your religion (so long as you accept we argue about religion here!) skin colours, dialects, accents, preferred language is English but so long as when you’re at the party you’re chatting it, I don’t mind if you take a phone call and answer it in German, Arabic or Mandarin.

That One Mate’s Party – You know, where you all turn into shadows and bow before the lens flares of your alien overlords! (Credit: geralt via Pixabay)

I don’t know if I’m succeeding at that. The truth is that is going to be something very hard to achieve until I have built enough of an audience and am making some multimedia content anyway. I do need more readers, more followers. I don’t know if people realise how valuable one retweet of an article link is to someone like me. Even if you’ve only got a few hundred followers on twitter, your retweet can double my engagement for the day!

With regards to multimedia – It’s gonna happen sooner rather than later but I don’t quite know how yet. There’s stuff in the works.

Regardless, I’ve obtained some video-editing software, I have a reasonable quality webcam for some ‘talking head’ stuff, I am looking at getting either a reasonably priced DSLR camera or, failing that, just upgrading my phone to one with a better camera and then do some jiggery fuckery for getting footage on the go – The biggest hurdle is learning the editing! I’ve done audio editing in the past (I’m not great at it but I’m better than when I started so I assume the same of videos!) and it is not too dissimilar, but it is different enough that there’s a blockage.

The level of DSLR I could probably afford (Credit: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay)

I am also in the middle of a unique opportunity that could see me permitted to boost these skills significantly, however that will come at the expense of my commitment to We Lack Discipline. So I will be honest with you and say that if that was to happen articles might go to one or two a week rather than a day, and even that is energy permitting!

The fact is I don’t think that opportunity would have even come up if not for the swagger and confidence I am gaining from doing what I am doing. The confidence I have gained from interacting with so many of you wonderful people out there, interaction with amazing communities all sharing an interest in similar things.

I have to admit, classics twitter has been possibly the biggest shock for me. I thought a hobbyist council-house scumbag like me would be uncomfortabled (I’m verbing it, it’s a verb now) right out of there in a snap. As it is I have regular communications with some of the most incredible, engaging, polite and wonderful people on the internet. They put up with my bullshit, so they can’t be that bad!

I think to an extent it’s the reputation classics has. They’ve certainly been more accepting of me than, say, biology and life sciences twitter. There I have had cursory interactions, I have had some engagement, but for the most part I still feel excluded. I feel pariah, even though I’ve actually got a couple of years of undergrad study and a decade of wider reading in the field under my belt!

I searched ‘Classics’ on Pixabay and found a picture of a Jaguar E-Type, which is definitely a classic but not quite what I was looking for. Still, it’s basically my favourite car ever so I had to put it. (Credit: emkanicepic via Pixabay)

I think there are a lot of lovely, wonderful people in classics who all probably felt like I do now when they first got involved. Worried about would they be welcome, maybe they even experienced some snobbery and snootery. Either way they seem to work incredibly hard to make it a fantastic, welcoming community now and so a huge ‘thank you’ to all my followers from classics! You’re making me regret not studying that at Uni, maybe I wouldn’t be a dropout!

So how are things going? I think this might be the first month in about 6 where the month-on-month growth in viewing numbers doesn’t continue. We really did have an exceptionally good February and March and I am aware I am covering some more unpopular topics right now. My bible stuff is frankly dying like everything in the great flood! It comes with the territory, I swap and change topic so much, I build an audience in one thing and then the next week I’m onto something different. Without a constancy or consistency building an audience is going to be a lot harder.

To an extent I want people to be multi-curious. I want people to read different things! I want them to stay for the style, not the topic, you know?  Again, finding an audience for that unique voice is going to take time but I know we already have people out there reading a bit of everything. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Our twitter army is slowly growing. Again, starting from scratch is not easy and unfortunately personal circumstances meant me and my close friend, colleague and, honestly the most valuable asset We Lack Discipline had, went our separate ways. To have no idea what you’re doing and to try and do it anyway, and build something from nothing but one individual’s enthusiasm? That’s not easy but we’re slowly rolling. I haven’t been a twitterer for a long time now (used to have a sizeable following but left the platform around 5-6 years ago now…) so getting to grips with it all again has been tough, for sure.

My followers when they see me posting on twitter… (Credit: ijmaki via Pixabay)

Besides writing shit about shit I find interesting none of this comes ‘naturally’ to me in any way. So, thank you all for your kind support and patience. It really means a lot to me.

As for the future, like I said, it is up in the air! Some time after the 20th I’ll know whether or not I will have to reduce my commitments for at least 12 months but We Lack Discipline will not be forgotten. The idea, the basis, the fundamentals, will inform everything I do. The twitter account will probably stay as my personal twitter anyway! Unless I find a reason to require named fame on the internet I’d rather shroud myself in mystery! I will continue to write, I just don’t know how much and about what!

In the meantime our Bible series is ongoing and that will stay so.

I intend to do some kind of literature review for Vivienne Tuffnell’s book ‘The Bet’ which, frankly, has taken my brain by storm.

I’ve had a couple of ideas for ‘The Origin of a Species’ but I might do another Top Ten for animals of misunderstood and loathed creatures – inspired by a recent discussion point about seagulls.

Celestial Classics will barrel on. Northern Hemisphere summer is incoming and that generally means clearer skies, so I may even be able to get out there and look at some of the things I am writing about and help you to look for them too. I also have a text on Greek religions to read, so hopefully I can be a bit more confidently informed of some of the myths and their wider worship and social contexts.

Again, searched for ‘summer sky’ and found a silhouette of a person and a cat. I like cats, so it’s in. (Credit: Arijitrex via Pixabay)

After a few months of finding gaming a difficult experience I have recently completed a randomiser run of Dark Souls and am back in the swing. This means I will want to do a lot more in-depth discussions on videogames and their use as an art form. Yes, academic discussion of videogames is going to be a thing on We Lack Discipline. I’ve already got two half-finished articles relating to Bloodborne on the go, I just wanted to play the game again before I published anything.

I feel like the ‘My Life and…’ series is slowing down. I have fewer and fewer specific aspects of psychology and neurology that directly affect me. I am trying to think of a novel way of discussing behaviour in a broader context and ways to bring up particular things. Either way, that’s not stopping! It’s just on hiatus until I can find the right format for it.

So it’s still all-systems go! I’ve written close to 250,000 words so far this year! I don’t know if I can achieve the cool 1,000,000 in a year but it’s definitely possible!

Except today, my brain has been mush! It will be until around the 20th! If you notice any dip in quality or quantity of content in the coming week that’s the reason.

For me, remove these labels, put a big circle around the whole thing and label it ‘MUSH’ (Credit: OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay)

But really, if you’ve been there, if you’ve been reading, if you like my work on Facebook, if you share it, if you like it on Twitter, if you retweet – You are an exceptionally valuable asset and I appreciate you very much. Thank you.

Keep on supporting and I hope I can keep making great stuff for you all, and making it bigger, better and more curious every day.

Peace, love and knowledge Curious Idiots™.

Published by Karl Anthony Mercer

An overly curious lovechild of Grumpy of the Seven Dwarfs and the kitsch pen section of Paperchase. Karl is on a mission to expose the seedy underbelly of academia, and thus making it appealing to wrong 'uns.

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