Saturday, 17 May 2014

Three years, and counting

17th May, 2014, this day, that is, marks the third anniversary of this blog. Over these three years, a lot of things have happened, both for me personally and for this blog. For starters, when I started, I was still in school and yes, looking back at my initial reviews, that fact would seem more than evident.

This blog started solely because of a grave personal failure of mine, that being, writing my own work of fiction. While, the term ‘writing’ alone might seem misleading considering I’d have written close to 1,000 the seven year life of that ambition, but the misfortune being, the 1,000 pages were accumulated over 30 different plots; with me rejecting each one of them after the very first self-review and ultimately, none of them were completed. Yet another constraint to this ambition of mine was that reading was hardly a hobby of mine, and I had always preferred to create my own rather than read someone else’s. Unfortunately, it took me too long to realise that my writing isn’t good enough – considering how my expectations were so high and I was never able to meet them.

Just then, I had come across a blog of my friend, who wrote anime reviews and that is when, there was a thought that came by, a move by which, I could save my writing habit, and at the same time, come closer to making my ambition of becoming an author closer to a goal than a dream. That is when I decided to take a sabbatical from crafting works of fiction on my own and start reading works of other authors and get an idea on how to go about the job and after reading a book (after all, taking idea from a source is plagiarism, but if the same is done over several sources, it is deemed to be creativity in this world), I’d write a review on the same, thereby retaining my habit of writing something on my own (not as creative, but a reasonable alternative). So, finally my blog, (I beseech you, please don’t ask me for the expansion of vata or the significance of 312) going by the name ‘The Viscount’s Reviews’ (as I said, I was still in school when I opened this up and just before opening this blog, I had read about Horatio Nelson, and the fascination about led me to give myself the self-proclaimed title). The first review up was on Ian Rankin’s Knots &Crosses – the first book in the Inspector John Rebus series.

From then on, then on, fortunately, the blog has only seen a rise. Understandably so, my initial reviews were too rigid and drab and I still guess have a lot of scope to improve, despite being in this for three years. What came as a pleasant surprise to me was in October 2012, nearly one and a half years after I had started off, when I received a direct request from an author for a review. This was pleasant, considering how, when I had started off, I never knew such perks existed on this job. I’d like to thank all the twenty odd authors (whose names I’m not at a liberty to disclose to prevent my otherwise unquestionable objectivity come under scrutiny) who’ve had their faith in me and I wish to have all your continued support. I guess I’d also have to thank them for the patience they’ve had in me, considering that my reading is extremely slow, for a fact that it was never my natural hobby but something that I’m carrying out with a vested interest.

The Road Ahead

Instead of looking things at retrospect, I’d rather introspect into what could be done in with the blog. Fortunately, before too long, I had renamed by blog Astute (inspired by Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes Minister, who continually uses the word in a rather… astute manner) and followed by a quote from an author whom I strongly admire and deeply respect.

My primary concern, at the moment is the design of the blog which I believe could be presented in a much better manner, which could immediately grab the attention of the reader. The list of reviews for instance, is an extremely user unfriendly list for the reader to manoeuvre through for the review that they wish to read. Anybody who can help me on this, please contact me and I promise, I shall repay you with loads of gratitude (*winks*).

I also plan to expand the base of books in order to turn it into a genuine book reviewing blog. As of now, although I’ve a considerable readership, most of them seem to be for my non-core Scandinavian drama series (as seen below in the screenshot I’ve attached). The only way I see for this is to improve my quality of reviews, presentation, and perhaps, also get a good spin doctor (*winks again*).

While I certainly feel that this blog has come a long way from my first review, Knots& Crosses till I am Malala, with the difference being more than evident, I still thrive to make my next set of reviews to be of a much higher standard than what I’ve done in the first three years.

Ultimately, I’ve to return to my primary goal sooner than later and I hope I hang on to this tomfoolery for a maximum of another 18 months and get back to writing (I do have a reasonable idea for a historical fiction in place) and let me see how that goes.

Thanks to all the friends (whom I’ve asked on countless occasions to review my reviews), authors and of course the readers and I'd hope for all your continued support.

With this, I end my write-up on the completion of three years, and counting, for a long time to come.

Have a nice day,


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