A little over a year ago, March 2014 to be exact, I kicked off I’m Talkin’ Here in earnest. I had reserved the WordPress space for a few years on account of my contributions to the now defunct Irish News Review. I had no idea what blogging really was and, stick with me here, I still don’t. Part of my reason for conjuring up this post is to try put some context on what the hell I’m Talkin’ Here actually is and what it is I aim to achieve with it. Basically, I love the sound of my own voice. Let me try make that seem a little less arrogant; I’m an opinionated little s**t. I got out of college in 2011 with a degree in English & Philosophy and not much of a clue what to do with it. Still don’t. Pretty quickly though I found myself contributing pieces to the aforementioned Irish News Review and maybe had sights set on the world of online journalism. This in turn drew me to WordPress and – having nearly blacked out my old Geocities and ProBoards days – I was suddenly back in the online content creation world.
What I had started was a blog except, I had no idea what a blog was. What I saw was an opportunity for me to post all these glorious opinions I possess into the online world. I decided I would write about what I knew – rugby, movies, music, gaming and music. Something I’ve never really clarified though is what I’m hoping to achieve writing in these areas and so let me attempt to do that now. On rugby, I will never profess to be the all knowing authority on the sport, or at least I won’t from this point on. My own personal history with rugby is a little funny now really considering I despised it until I finished secondary school. Having been private schooled and forced to play the sport I was rightly turned off it due to the attitudes and pressure that came with it. By the time I turned 18 though Munster were winning Heineken Cups and Ireland were going into a World Cup as strong favourites. My obsessions grew and culminated with the Grand Slam in 2009 wherein my love for the sport well and truly went into overdrive. My first work for Irish News Review was a piece on the state of Irish Rugby in 2012 and it was enough for the site admin, Glenn Dowd, to take me on board as rugby contributor. I don’t think I was fighting off stiff competition but still, it was enough to encourage me to take it seriously! For the next 3 years I would co-ordinate and contribute rugby coverage on the site, also becoming a co-editor for the site in the process. I’ve tried several approaches to how I write on rugby. The most consistent aspect of what I write, I would like to think, is that I will tend to write on whatever isn’t being covered by the standard outlets already doing a bang up job. You won’t find me doing play by play match write ups, there are plenty around the place already. I do try my best to remain unbiased but I’m a Leinster and Ireland fan. I’d like to think I have a deep knowledge of the laws and workings of the game though and the balance I try to strike is to bring an informed opinion, but one of a fan more than a pundit. I hope I’m succeeding in that respect.
With regard to music and movies, writing on these two subjects seemed like a no-brainer to me. Growing up both music and film played massive roles in my life between regular trips to the cinema, taping films on TV being a massive deal in the house, my father taking myself and my brother to some incredible gigs since I was 12/13 and then I took up guitar around that age too. Whether it fits in with your opinions or not, these are two territories which I feel I’m more than justified in thinking I know what I’m talking about. Similar to the rugby though, I don’t see much point in just treading the same ground that others already do. That’s why I have pursued angles such as Flicks On ‘Flix, the goal of which is to recommend underrated/unheard of films, specifically ones that are on the UK & Ireland Netflix service. In the music side of things I have been happy to review gigs I attend or albums I listen to but segments like Live In Concert and Artist In Focus are more in line with the type of content I prefer to produce in that field. These pieces will keep coming, there’s a whole lot of ticket stubs for me to cover!
Video games and fishing are my two main hobbies. Since starting the blog I’ve found fishing particularly hard to write about because to be honest, I don’t think too many are interested in it. I don’t write to be read, I do it for myself, but it is always in the back of my mind whether or not a piece is coming together in an interesting fashion. If I’m wrong on the fishing end of things let me know, I’ll probably produce a few more pieces on the subject down the line anyway. Video games are a more open ball park, particularly given their popularity today. The unique aspect of my video game reviews is the fact that there’s little or no risk of me reviewing a game anywhere within its release date. In a given year I buy maybe three games on release day, the rest I wait for a reduction in price and an increase in my available time to play them. Even at that, I won’t go near reviewing a game until I have completed the main body of it and that is something that can take anywhere from a week to a month. If anyone were to actually use my reviews as an indicator of what to buy, it’s likely a game you’ll be picking up in a bargain bin or 2nd hand basket somewhere. Hey, I’m saving you money at the end of the day!
In the beginning, with posts like Go Play Your Video Games and More Than Just A Melody I was coming from a very personal perspective, something which I guess was very “bloggy”. It kinda shifted after that though, I slightly blurred the lines between Irish News Review and I’m Talkin’ Here and the pieces got more and more neutral and business-like as I went on. There was even that cringeworthy time where I tried to give the false impression that I’m Talkin’ Here was a somewhat multi-staffed news operation as I pluralised all pronouns for one week only. What I’m trying to say here is that the site is still a work in progress in some ways. Previously I have been attempting to make efforts to have weekly slots but outside of Flicks On ‘Flix I don’t think I’ve succeeded with any really. From this point on I should clarify once and for all – little or no content on I’m Talkin’ Here will be a guaranteed weekly feature and most certainly nothing will be published X time on X day. This isn’t me being moody or lazy, this is me having a full time job outside of the site unfortunately. Previously I have tried to improve my productivity by creating content on the WordPress mobile application but the typos, as a result of mobile keyboards rarely working in one’s favour, are not worth it. I’ll still be endeavouring to produce some things weekly like Flicks On ‘Flix and the rugby coverage, as it is a real-time occurrence, will have to stay weekly too. Everything else will be published as I can so stick with me!
To summarise, what you have read above is what I see I’m Talkin’ Here to be all about. I call it a blog, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I don’t do it for any form of revenue, I genuinely love airing my opinions on things on this platform. Every opinion you read is my own – unless otherwise stated – and I don’t expect everyone or even anyone to agree with me. I’m doing this stuff for myself but if you read it and enjoy it and maybe even discover something new from it, awesome. If you want to disagree with me, contribute a suggestion, debate a point I bring up then please do, I’d happily welcome the conversation that would follow. Above all else, to anyone reading this, thank you for taking the time to do so, I’m more than aware that short and sweet is not my brief.