Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Being the perfect guest

It comes as a shock to realise that I’ve been blogging now for five years. Off and on. When the mood takes me.
It began when the editor of The Westmorland Gazette, Mike Glover, asked me to blog about the 2005 general election.
“But I know nothing about politics and hate politicians, “ I wailed. 
“Good,” he said, “you’ll be perfect.”
Since then, the blog has wandered about and covered local affairs (though I don’t have too many of those in case of gossip), world politics, Dr Who, space, the universe, God, Dr Who and the boundless joys afforded by the interweb. My online footling around has also broadened out to include Twitter, where I now have 100 followers - many of whom appear to be perfectly normal.
This has led to some interesting projects. One of the latest is something called Be My Guest (or #bemyguest if you want to find it in the Twitterverse). PR consultants Emily Cagle and Adam Vincenzini came up with the idea of making March mutual blogging month. This is not as rude as it sounds. It simply means you offer to contribute to someone else’s blog and vice versa.
Now, the accepted wisdom about blogging seems to be that you blog about your business, about your core um strength thingies and areas of expert erm … stuff. Clearly I don’t do any of that (although you may expect rather a lot of cartoon-related blogging when my new book comes out in May). So when Emily asked on Twitter for a photographer to contribute to her blog, I pointed out that a cartoonist would be much more stylish and trendy. To my surprise she agreed and gave me an immediate brief: 
“Draw a cartoon and write 100 words about how you thought of it.”
How I think up cartoons can usually be described in one word: “Ping!” 
They just happen. Or not (as is sometimes the case).
So I pondered this for a bit and then came up with an idea, inspired by Emily’s suggestion (which is what she planned all along, of course). It deviates from the initial brief but that’s what being a cartoonist is all about.
You can read my guest blog on Emily’s site.
In return, Emily is guest blogging here.

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