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?