Lets Go Deeper is an outlet for the views, opinions and passions of Uche whether it be on relationships, politics, race, education or sport - it is all there on Lets Go Deeper. He started blogging in 2008 and since then has amassed an array of followers. An IT specialist when he is not blogging, Uche is working on various projects that involve writing as well as IT. He took five minutes out to tell me where he writes his blog.
Describe the concept of your blog.
I'm still trying to work that out. I keep shifting it and moulding it in different directions, trying to find the right fit. It started out as my travel blog. I lived in Rio de Janeiro for a while and friends kept asking me to blog my life there but I just kept sending epic emails. When I moved to live in New York, I finally got around to it and that's where it all came from. The reaction back home was very encouraging. After the world economic meltdown in 2008 grounded me in London, I found myself back here needing some way to express myself. This is - it's not about any one specific topic and it has no defined agenda. I know this is a problem because sometimes I look at the homepage and think "what are you about?" But my readers seem to like it because it gets a lot of site visits, has a high re-visit rate and my new visitors average about 60% monthly. I'm ready to open it up to guest bloggers now and will shortly start to look for writers who would like to contribute a regular "column" I know what I want to achieve with it but still unclear as to exactly how to do it. I want it to be a news and opinion blog carrying alternative news, or alternative comment on mainstream news. I want to start posting more irreverent observational pieces like Gawker and deliver a humorous spin on the news agenda. I liked Not The Nine O'clock News, Drop The Dead Donkey and the stuff Charlie Brooker does. I guess that's the spin I want to get to, eventually. Will it work? I can but try.
Where do you scribe?
Mainly in my flat now that it's winter with short days and cold evenings. In the summer I take my laptop everywhere and I am very much a coffee shop groupie, sort of going from here to there. As long as they have free Wi-Fi, great coffee and good apple crumble, it's worth considering. When in my flat, I usually write in my spare room which is set up as my office, but if there's good stuff on the TV I'll go and camp in there with my laptop instead.
Why that place?
I need to work at a desk with an office-like feel. I've always been this way. When I was at school the most important thing in my room was always my desk, I didn't have or want a TV in there. When I moved out of home, the first thing I bought was a desk. Always white, always facing the wall and away from the door. I have no idea what that says about me psychologically, but that's how I work best when at home. But in a work environment, Feng Shui kicks in and I have to be facing the door. If somebody can explain that, I'd be very much obliged. In terms of the coffee shop place, well I love the transient nature of coffee shops and the hum of the machines. Along with the aroma of ground arabica beans and my penchant for people voyeurism, coffee shops give me the best combination of social isolation I need to get work done.
My leather-bound journal which I got as a Christmas present from my girlfriend. That's my favourite possession in the world right now. There's also an electronic recorder and digital camera which I carry around everywhere on the off chance of an interview and picture (I always use them too), a pair of Chinese iron balls I've had for about 15 years. They help me relax. Ever since I saw Laurence Fishburne using them to manage his tension in that scene from Boyz n the Hood when Trey goes out with the boys to avenge on Ricky's murderer I wanted a pair. Mine have been around the world with me. I also have a copy of Arise magazine on my desk. I'm not a magazine person, I lost interest in magazines somewhere in my early twenties. I used to read Touch, Source, Vibe, GQ and then I just stopped. I don't think there is any magazine I can really relate to, and as I'm a technology specialist by trade I have been getting my news through aggregated RSS feeds for over 10 years. Until I discovered Arise on New Years Eve in Shoreditch. Then the day after New Year's day I hunted for it all over South London until I found it. I love this magazine. This is how a magazine should be. Oh, and there's an unread copy of The Observer from about 3 weeks ago. I have no idea why I still occasionally buy Sunday papers when I end up reading all the articles on my smartphone. Force of habit I suppose.
What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I have a noticeboard in front of me which I've had for over five years with photo cuttings, concert tickets and other memorabilia. I change the items rarely but when I do it's usually quite a sweeping change. It contains photos of some of the best memories in my life and some of the most important people in my life. It really should have more, it used to in fact, but I take bits off to use elsewhere and never replace them. So it has more gaps than it should. I'm now inspired to revisit it and work on getting it back to full content. I'll schedule that for May, or something. Yeah.
Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
Usually tidy. I'm a fastidiously tidy person. However, when I'm exceptionally stressed or have just come back from a trip my workspace can suffer and become messy for weeks. I used to be an organised chaotic work space type and my old manager used to try to force me to tidy my desk. She used to invent these "tidy our desks Fridays" which the whole office had to abide by just so I would have to tow the line. I never did, she always ended up tidying it for me. I miss her. But I've improved and now keep a tidy ship. I'm not one for that sinking feeling.
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