Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Why is my biro broken?

It was a year ago today I started this blog.  But having celebrated the blogs that came since in My 100th Post  today I'm just looking back at why I started and why-oh-why I called it Broken Biro.

I struggle with names for things. It's not that I don't have enough ideas - too many more like! - but I was painfully aware that it would probably develop in ways I didn't expect, so it couldn't be anything too specific.

Originally I thought it would be more about the nuts and bolts of writing, maybe even developing into some sort of writers' resource site, but once I began - and especially when I began to read more blogs and engage with other people online - I realised I wanted to be broader in content.

It took a while to realise a blog's a great place to store things that I'm interested in, even if no-one else read it!  It's a very neat way of grouping thoughts, pictures, quotes and links on a particular subject together.  I bet I use the Google 'search this site' tool in the  top right more than anyone! I wish everyone had it - it's an easy way to find posts you vaguely recall someone writing ages ago!

But because I like writing and scribbling down ideas, I wanted a loosely writing-themed title. Something friendy, slightly comical and human too. I had a list, but I just kept coming back to Broken Biro - you could find one anywhere, use it to write anything. In a way the blog has become like those little notebooks I always carry around - crammed with thoughts, contacts, rhymes, facts, ideas written in with assorted biros.

I'm rambling, aren't I?  

Anyhoo, that's where the name came from and I think it fits (although I am described in certain quarters as: 'Not a biro, not broken'. Bloody pedants!) - even despite my recent reinvention as a library assistant. It's not the best ever title - there are many out there I love and envy - but it's me!

10 Things you can do with a broken biro

  • Not write a novel
  • Not be able to write in the notebook you keep with you at all times
  • Not mind-map ideas for stories and ideas in idle moments
  • Make a big inky mess
  • Shoot peas
  • Drink 'Margaritas'
  • Irreversibly stain trousers
  • Emergency tracheotomies
  • Press a restart button
  • Fiddle

So - lots of things you can do with a broken biro... and that's before we even start on the whole lampshade / cutlery/ insert your own whacky idea here


  1. Not send Christmas cards, with a clear conscience?

  2. 'Bloody pedant' I would change the name of my blog to that immediately, if only I used rude words.

  3. Congratulations! A year and now over a hundred posts, imagine! (It's taken us more than a year, until today, to reach 100 posts, and it took 4 of us to do it, so I am 4x impressed.)

    As for your title: I loved it from the start . . . well, almost, as I first had to seek from my British mate not only what a biro was, but how to pronounce it! Titles can be pesky (take it from . . . er . . . RA), and you have come up with a winner.

    I look forward to what's on offer at Broken Biro in year 2.

  4. Martin - good one! I'm not a major card-sender.

    Ellie - good one - and possibly 'have someone's eye out?

    Dave - Well, you had your chance and chose another name entirely. Is 'bloody' rude? No intention to cause offense... well, not on this occasion anyway!

    Rainy - Thank you kindly, although I'm shocked that you didn't know what biro was - I thought that was universal? Named for Laszlo Biro, the inventor of the ballpoint pen. But now I look at Wikipedia I learn it is a 'British English' thing. Doh - there goes my international breakthrough!

  5. Is swearing rude? I take it that was a rhetorical question. 'Pedants' Revolt' is a title I may go with one day. After 'Gold Moidores' wears off.

  6. There once was a bloggery tyro
    Who cried: "Modernise! On the pyre go
    My pad and my pencil,
    My ruler and stencil!"
    So saying, she busted her biro.

  7. Dave - it depends how you define 'swearing' and 'rude'... and I still don't get where the Gold Moidores came from

    Philip - Ooooh! A limerick all about ME!... let's see...

    But she secretly saved in her knicks
    A cache of emergency Bics
    For thoughts that salute her
    When not at computer
    (plus a notepad, and some pick 'n' mix)

    (Struggling a bit for a last line there)