Exactly what it says on the tin – what in the name of the big JC do I know about blogging? What does anyone care about me being a big fat narcissistic blogger?
I’ve found it tricky to sit down and blog of late mainly because I’d lost sight of the purpose. Am I screaming for attention? Is it all just an Facebooky, Twittery thingamejiggy? Look at me, look at me! Am I killing time, or more accurately, what is the important job I’m avoiding by doing this? And on, and on, and on. The inner critic never fails to be the ultimate sadist. And though I’ve been spending my days working on poetry and procrastinating royally on edits for my novel, I have missed this e-diary/blog/MEGAphone/whatever you’re having yourself.
Of course, like with all writing, the purpose and meaning takes on different elements at different times but, the constant, for me anyhow, is to write for the purpose of writing. C’est tout! The meaning will apportion itself. Your purpose is to write, so write. Let the ‘whys’ work themselves out.
Alors, now that the profound business of blog confession is off my chest, I suppose I’d better stick around and lash out a few words.
First things first, Enya is too calming for non-fiction writing, she’s being swapped for Dr. Dre. Boom!
Secondly, eating a bag of skittles and a bag of protein seed mix after a workout and right before you hit the library to get some work done is a bad idea. You will get a stupendous sugar rush followed by a mini-food coma. Just be sensible – either, or. Not both.
While I’m in the groove of imparting advice (sage that I am), my third point is that sometimes, when you’re head is as figuratively up your arse as it can possibly go, it’s ok to feel all over the shop and equally as fine to write the most highfalutin drivel you’re capable of.
I’m in one of those phases where lots of work is getting started (I actually have a list of new poems as long as my arm), nothing’s getting finished, the novel edits are giving me the middle finger and I’m feeling enormous guilt most days for enjoying writing. That sounds like a paradox of sorts, but while the process or lack of rapid progress or efficiency at procrastinating can get you in a flap, I choose to go back to the desk day after day and to some people, some ex colleagues and family members, that seems like a luxuriant choice, if not plain bordering on fanciful. How can you call writing in a library all day work? Layabout! Yada yada yada. And sometimes, I am fool enough or weak enough or just not enough to stand up to their judgements. There are times when I feel massively guilty over being able to sit and write, even if it does mean quite regularly pulling my hair out and cursing myself and questioning my ability as a writer.
It could be a good decent dose of catholic guilt that fuels this crazy disposition, or maybe it’s down to the fact that nobody drills it into us as kids that the journey of every writer is different and unique and full of their own highs, lows, haikus and prose. We are reared on a diet of ‘do x in school, get y in the exams, attend b course = succeed as an accountant’ and on and on. They don’t teach you the importance of believing in your own intuitive navigation systems. Career guidance teachers don’t encourage you to dream and keep believing until you make your dreams come true. It’s one big Myers Briggs fest, in which your metrics chart the course of your future, or so they like to tell you. Mr. and Mrs. Galileo of your future life, will push you towards a course in a DIT that carries with it the promise you’ll be another fine Quantity Surveyor like all the other Quantity Surveyors the school has turned out. Mr. Galileo will ever admit to anyone that it was always his lifelong dream to become a Quantity Surveyor, but he smiles proudly when he tells you that 17 boys and 5 girls of the past three graduating class have gone on to study Quantity Surveying in Kevin St DIT (along with their 56 classmates who are checked into ITs around the city studying accounting in some godforsaken guise or other). A chap in my class who confessed he wanted to be a Captain on a pleasure boat was referred for psychiatric help. Galileo and Galileo couldn’t get their head around anyone suggesting that a career choice could be beyond the remit of the CAO system. Thankfully, the shrink knew a man who knew a man that had a pleasure boat company and my former classmate happily charted his course onto a pleasure boat via the therapy couch. He is now a Captain. I imagine his life of pleasure boats has been a damn sight more pleasurable that the embarrassment of QS’s and Beanies, scrambling all over the shop to count blocks and bonds on gantt charts and balance sheets.
For now, I’m sticking on course, sailing it to where it needs to take me. I may send smoke signals on this from time to time, just to show I’m still afloat.