The blog has been silent for a number of weeks, which could be taken as an indication that being a blog writer – and, down the line, a newspaper columnist – is not for me.
The most successful and interesting blogs seem to have something posted on them every day, so that their creator’s interests and habits become familiar to the reader and they themselves feel like a friend. Indeed, if you choose to comment on a blog and get a reply from the writer, the relationship isn’t too dissimilar to one you might have on Facebook, particularly if you regularly Facebook-chat with people you only know as friends of friends.
I have my privacy settings fairly high and don’t tend to chat on Facebook with people I don’t know, but I do spend quite a bit of time on the site, possibly more than is healthy. Which begs the question of what I actually do on there for all that time, and the truthful answer is I don’t know.
You’ve got to have something to blog about, of course, something of relevance to the topic you’ve chosen as your theme, and the cleverest bloggers seem to go out of their way to find things they can ‘experience’ just so they can write about them. But I’ve done a number of blog-able things recently which I could have written about and didn’t. No, the problem for me has been that age old one of Time. Or, rather, the lack of it.
My everyday life gets in the way of writing about it for the edification of the wider world, which is the eternal problem of the writer whose main job – or the only job in my case– is the one that pays the mortgage.
So, though my brain is sparked off by a thousand ideas during the course of my working day, I’m not usually at liberty to do anything with them. Leaving a group of children by themselves whilst you scribble something down tends to be frowned upon where I work, unless it’s to highlight achievements on a record sheet or write developmental comments in workbooks in your neatest joined-up writing.
Which is a shame, really, because I get some cracking material handed to me on a plate on practically a daily basis. Here’s a recent one, crying out to be put into a story:
Priya: “I’ve got budgies, miss.”
Me: “Have you?”
Priya: “Yes, blue ones and green ones. But we have to keep them away from the cocktails.”
Priya: “Yes, ‘cos they bite them.”
Me: “Ah, cocktails! Do they look like this? (sketching a bird with plumed head feathers). Priya nods. “They’re called cockatiels, Priya. Cocktails are a drink, like this, see?” (sketching a Martini).
Priya: “Is it alcohol?”
Me: “Yes, they’re usually made with alcohol. James Bond drinks cocktails. Have you watched James Bond?”
Micky: “I had a budgie but it got run over.”
Me: “Run over?”
Priya: “Maybe it had too many cocktails.”