That’s an awfully big number, so big in fact that if you were to type one word every second, non-stop, it would take over 3 and a half complete days and nights before you’d typed your  302,934th word.

Which is quite extraordinary when i consider that’s how many words i’ve managed to string together over the past year that have been published on the web.

It’s only an estimate – WordPress doesn’t have any features that allow me to quickly tot up my wordcounts over a specified period, so i’ve had to come up with a monthly average and work from there. Also, a sizeable chunk of that is writing that hasn’t appeared in the blog -they account for around 45,000 of those words.

When i look at those figures i’m more than a little surprised – i’ve only had any interest at all in creative writing for around 18 months or so and prior to that, i’d have laughed at even the suggestion of blogging. i realise, of course, that there are people reading this who write professionally, who probably knock out that sort of wordcount in a month or two – i’m still proud of it… i’m not in any sort of competition with anyone and, even now, i’m still not entirely sure what this blog actually is! If you asked me to define it i’d struggle… there are elements of a personal journal or diary, reportage, technical discussion, poetry, storytelling and goodness knows what else to be found here and no real central theme. There is, of course, an underlying commonality – Second Life – it’s the reason that both you and i are here, but even so, it’s not always central to what goes on here. The blog, for me at least, still remains a bit of an enigma! Perhaps it’s just my personal attempt to make some sort of sense of my worlds – both virtual and real.

We’re at that strange time of year when we spend our time reminiscing over the year that has passed, yet also turn our attention to the year ahead. It’s a time of uncertainty and flux, when resolutions are made and plans decided – a time of change, when perhaps the old is packed away and we embark on new ventures, although for many life will go on as normal, too. For many, it will be an emotional time too, when all of those things will come together, along with memories, aspirations and personal feelings that make this time of year a bit of an emotional roller-coaster… perhaps that’s why so many of us feel the need to  impose some sort of order and discipline on the occasion and end up tidying up loose ends, straightening our lives out and setting down resolutions for the future.

Personally, i don’t do resolutions and i rarely plan; i’m not averse to change and i quite enjoy the challenges it brings, however when it comes to planning change, i seldom have any real idea of what exactly will happen next – i’ve made lots of changes to the blog over the past year – most of which were spur of the moment ideas; that’s the way i tend to do things! There will undoubtedly be changes over then next 12 months too – but don’t ask me what those will be… i just don’t know yet!

One thing that you are likely to see in the coming months is the occasional article that departs from my usual blogging style – a look at sl from a more ‘academic’ slant… it’s a style i’ve adopted for writing elsewhere that i no longer have an outlet for and i imagine that i’ll occasionally feel the need to exercise the old grey matter, just to keep my hand in! You have been warned!

Many people feel uncomfortable with change – however it’s both inevitable, and usually, necessary. Personally, i’ve always suggested to people that change should be considered as a term that relates to growth and development – it doesn’t necessarily make the process any easier, but looked at from that point of view, it’s ultimately a good thing. As residents of sl, we are perhaps more acclimatised to change than we would otherwise be, and in the next couple of days i’ll be reviewing some of the changes we’ve seen in sl over the past year and considering the future for our virtual world… i think sl is changing, dramatically in some ways, and the journey ahead of us is going to be an interesting one, indeed.

It’ll be great to have you all as travelling companions!

S. x

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
Nina Simone – Feeling Good 

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