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Monday, November 23, 2009

It's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.


For the past few months, I've had nothing good to say.

So best not to fake it. Just don't say a bloody word. Not one

Without sounding deliriously depressing (uh, too late there, pal), I've just had sod all that I wanted to write about. The politics has been "relaxed", the sports mediocre and while there have been umpteen issues of great note, relevance and import, none have struck me as been worthy of sitting down to compose a piece.

When I started the Home Office, I wasn't in the mood for a confessional that have made bloggers such as Girl With a One Track Mind a sensation. I didn't want to be a kind of news aggregation and comment site such as Kiwiblog.

I wanted to write because I like it. It feels good and I wanted to feel good then. At the time, every little bit helped. I wanted to actually try to craft a piece of writing in a way that, like music or a great movie, it connects with other people. To get an emotional reaction from a reader. Reaction is measured in novelizations by book sales. Blogs are measured by page visits and readers comments. And a few people did come, read and comment. It is fantastic gratification and ego stoking.

I rang my old English teacher and asked him to look at it early on. He is an amazing wrangler of good, old fashioned, "Anglo Saxon" words. People even buy his books. I was sure that the qualities that he possesses would be found here. I went looking for praise and got a critique back that could have come straight from a 5th form homework assignment - full of red lines, notes and admonitions on my bludgeoning of the language and grammar. That wasn't gratifying. It was honest but it didn't stoke my fires. It was a blow. One that I knew would come. I asked for it when I emailed him. So why be discouraged when it happens? Re-reading the article he commented on, it's no bloody wonder because it is appalling.

He also gave me advice. For example:

"Writing is a good thing to do. But if you want people to read what you write, you need to work on the craft, the trade. It's a trade like plumbing. You need to know how the bits work. It takes a long time to learn".

Bugger that, I thought. I don't want to take the time. So I started reading successful authors liner notes. I went to their webpages and read their notes and FAQ's where they told the secret to great writing. And this is what they pretty much all said.

Discipline.

Something I have none of. Nada. Zilch. Keiner. Nulle. None.

I'm an empty 44 gallon drum. An amount of air contained by a thin skin. To the outside world, I look purposeful, solid and capable but inside is empty. I could try and be nice and say "I don't have the patience" or "I can never find the time" but that would be a lie. The truth is that I am undisciplined. I am a lazy sod.

Bugger.

So, in an effort to change this, I'm going to be more purposeful in my writing. After all anything will be better than my productivity over the last few months. I will write often but I probably won't always write well. But it's not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game, eh? Perhaps an old dog can change his spots. Maybe I could start filling the drum too.

And by the way, anyone who points out that I didn't start this blog as a literary hand wringing exercise then served up this tripe, you are quite right. But it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to. So up yours.

P.S If you read this then think that I'm vain and shallow - you're right again. I am. Isn't life a bitch sometimes?

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