Tuesday, 29 June 2010

So...what to write?

Philip was away for the weekend, his annual trip to Stockport to see his very fine friend Ian. He came home yesterday, and in the midst of our 'I'm glad you're back' 'It's nice to be home' 'what have you been up to?' exchange, he mentioned that I hadn't written a new post while he'd been away.
He was right. I haven't actually written anything at all for just over a week. I've thought about it several times, but haven't got as far as setting finger tips to key pad.
Why? I hear ( hope) you ask.
The answer is, quite simply, I got stage fright. This blog thing started out as an exercise in making me write -  it wasn't supposed to matter what the subject was, or how eloquently I expressed it as long as I went through the motions of writing - regularly. One of the appealing aspects was what I, somewhat naively, thought was the anonymity of the blogosphere; the fact that nobody would know who I was, and  I wouldn't need to know who was reading, or what they thought.  Oh how foolish I now seem with the wisdom and hindsight of a few short weeks.
I was thrilled that some people started to read my posts, some even became followers, they started to leave comments. I returned their visits, started mooching around on other people's bloglists, tried the random approach of clicking on the 'next blog' button. After only a short while, I'd built up my own list of blog favourites. I began to enjoy the mix of intelligence and humour, poetry and prose, fiction and opinion . I wondered about the events fellow bloggers were portraying.
Then a couple of things happened that really threw me. One blogger I'd been reading from the beginning, who was one of my very first followers, decided she was 'packing up and moving on' from Blogspot. There was a link to her final post on my reading list, but by the time I'd clicked on it, the blog had already closed down. I've no idea  what her reasons were for stopping. I hope it means there are other good things that she'd rather be doing. I'm sorry I didn't get to leave a final comment.
Charlie, a man I've never met, who lives half way around the world,  got sick and had to go to hospital - I love his blog. I enjoy the mixture of insight and rant, and I'm always glad when he leaves a comment at mine. I've been genuinely worried for him and his family. I want him to get better. Soon.
I'm not quite sure how or when it happened, but it seemed that, in a very short space of time I'd come across a group of people I wanted to know more about.
And that was when I started to care what they thought about me, about my life and my writing. From there it was a very short step to worrying about what I wrote. Suddenly I seemed to be writing for an audience - and it was then that I found I couldn't decide - what to write or how to say it.
I can almost hear Philip, exclaiming as he reads this 'oh pretentious moi', But I hope I'm not giving the impression that I'm caught up with my own ego. I'm not claiming writer's block or anything grandiose. It's only been a few days for goodness sake. I guess I'm just surprised at the impact that joining the blogging world has had on me.
Before I started this whole thing, I used to wonder at the way it had trapped Philip's attention and was using up so much of his time. I think I understand a bit better now.  And I'm beginning to recognise that I won't be able to keep writing unless I do just that - keep writing.

There was a time we’d come upstairs together
a nightly rite, a cup of peppermint tea.
Often now, I go to bed and leave you;
captured by the laptop’s blue-lit screen.

We go our separate ways to end of evening.
Me to sleep in silence - dreamless, blind.
You to worlds of words and shared opinion,
where you re-write, re-site your shifting mind.

Perhaps too many times I failed to hear you,
- no more enough to speak to only me.
Is that why you need to seek endorsement
where others in their thousands might agree?
Reflecting on the life that you portray
Where is the man that, nightly, you betray?


Mr London Street said...

I have a feeling you'll stay in touch with the most important blogger in your life. This post was lovely - I like the hesitancy in it, which sits interestingly with the fact that you are clearly a natural writer.

Liz said...

I'm looking forward to many more posts.

Pat said...

Your post demonstrates that you are a caring blogger and there is always room for such persons in Blogland. Over four years I have found that it is good to be quite relaxed about the whole business and to enjoy the camaraderie and friendship which is mostly quite genuine. Be guided by what you feel you want to do. The time may come when a post starts in your head and it has to come out regardless of what other commitments you have.
We all miss absent friends - sometimes they return and that's great. Keep thinking good thoughts about Charlie and all will be well.

La Belette Rouge said...

Oh, do I hear you. The phases I have gone through with blogging.
1. I am blogging just for myself.
2. I am blogging so I can write again.
3. I have some readers I don't want to lose them.
4. Some readers have gone away, have I lost "it".
5. Blogger burn out.
6.( Where I am now) Writing what I want and realize that means I might lose and/or gain some readers.

Don't let "us" stop you from writing what you want in the way you want!

Molly said...

Precisely why I have to keep reminding myself to 'blog like nobody's reading' - not even my Mum!
Thanks for visiting at mine and I'm so envious of your going to the Grand Prix last weekend!
(and congrats on the grandchild, my kids are still babies but I'm already excited about being a granny one day - I suspect it rocks)