Now I’ve started this blog – rapidly growing into more than a bloglet – I don’t want to stop. It’s so easy: you just write whatever comes into your head and hey presto! it’s out there in the blogsphere where all of three people might read it. It feels more like real writing than updating my ‘status’ (why is it called that?) on Facebook but it’s equally trivial. And probably of just as little interest to most of my friends. Would people really want to know that today my neighbour and I took two old doors, a broken Venetian blind and the remains of a wall-mounted TV stand in her horsebox to the recycling dump in Totnes? Or that I bought the tiles for my new kitchen – light grey with tiny sparkly bits – and drove back across Dartmoor past Haytor? (Ah, but that’s beautiful/stunning/awe-inspiring – supply your own adjective.) Or that tomorrow I have to finish marking one dissertation and start on another one? If any of that has a status, it’s probably on a par with the dust that I emptied from my vacuum cleaner yesterday morning.
As for real writing, that crawls on. Write sentence, delete sentence, undo delete, turn sentence round, take out ‘and’ and put in semicolon, take out semicolon and put in ‘and’, find a more interesting word, decide it doesn’t fit, put sentence back the way it was originally. Stop fiddling with sentence and write next one. Repeat. It’s not always like this, I hasten to add, but when I’m in revising mode that’s what tends to happen. It’s amazing how clunky some of your best bits look when you go back to them after a few weeks or months. I should be doing that now instead of this, but real writing requires a lot more brain – and confidence. Perhaps that’s why people blog: nobody expects it to be good.