‘The fact that I know that tomorrow a blog is going out makes me a better thinker and a better human today… Why wouldn’t everyone do that? I would definitely write my blog if nobody read it because this chronicaling of ‘what did I notice today?’ helps me see the world for free. I get to feel like I produced something even if I didn’t get paid for it. I’ve never had any of my posts go viral and be a hit and I think that’s great.’
These words are from Seth Godin who has one the longest standing and most read blogs in the world. Seth Godin writes books, gives talks, runs courses – but he says the blog is the cornerstone for everything.
I have pretty much abandoned my blog since I finished my 12 month self-help experiment. After blogging almost every day, I went into hiding to write the book, then I went into hiding on a beach to get over writing the book, then I came out of hiding and travelled the world talking about the book.
Since then I’ve been half in hiding and half waving for attention. I’m like the hokeycokey, I’m in, out, in out…
The plan was, at the start of the year, to blog about the relationship books I was reading for my second book. But I haven’t done that.
Corona started and the critical voice that tells me that everything I write is irrelevant, indulgent, first-world bullshit ramped up mega loud and I silenced myself. Who cares about my quest to figure out why I’m always single with everything that’s happening?
THERE IS A PANDEMIC, THE WORLD IS ENDING – WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THIS NARCISSISTIC DRIVEL? was the kind of chat I was having with myself on a daily basis. In between HOW ARE YOU 42 AND LIVING ALONE IN A RENTED FLAT IN A PANDEMIC?
It was a right laugh.
I lost confidence in the idea that what I write might be interesting or helpful or valid in a world of pandemics, racism, poverty, potential environmental collapse. Who needs another privileged white woman talking about her feelings? Nobody!
Also, after doing lots of interviews to publicise Help Me! I think I lost my nerve for exposing myself.
I tried instead to skip straight to book writing, doing my research and my writing in private, hoping that if I wrote the second book well enough it would still have a place in this new world.
But I have not been enjoying the writing process. It has been a lonely slog.
Turns out I am not that suited to staring a laptop for weeks on my own (while living alone in a pandemic). Hours Netflix and Facebook, maybe. Book writing, no. I need the feeling that when I write I’m having a conversation… which is how the blog felt.
Last weekend I held a writing workshop and one of the participants asked me about blogging and I started telling her that it was the best thing ever and that we should all do it!
I waxed lyrical: bogging made me enjoy every day a little bit more! Paying attention to the small things makes me happier! Sorting out my thoughts on the page made me happier – and sharing what I’d been reading and learning makes me happier! Do it, do it! I told her.
Er, so why aren’t you doing it anymore, she asked.
(She didn’t really say ‘Er’, I just added that for effect.)
So like a girl who cried woolf, I am here to say I am going to start blogging again. I will start writing about the books I’m reading as research for my next book on relationships and a lot of other things.
I started about 20 blog posts that I didn’t post over lockdown… so lucky you!
Huge thanks for the people on last Saturday’s call for this encouragement, thanks to Katie too.
If there is anyone else who would like to start blogging or to blog more then please get in touch and we can make a commitment to each other to keep doing it. Also, if there is any other endeavour you are putting off – podcasts, setting up an online course etc – let me know too? I wonder if there is a way that we can all hold each other accountable. I imagine this has been a time when a lot of us have thought of new things to do and yet the actual doing of them can be scary. Maybe we can help each other.
OK, over and out. You are going to get another blog post TOMORROW. YUP, SORRY. I AM GOING TO DO A LOAD IN A ROW JUST TO MAKE SURE I REALLY GET BACK INTO IT.
PS – The Writing for Fun and Sanity workshops have been a total joy. If you want to join this Saturday (15th August) or next Saturday (22nd August) please check out: https://writingforfun.eventbrite.co.uk
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