I've decided to up my game. Who knows how long it'll last for this time? But as a writer, now with an agent, and aspirations of publishing something noteworthy very soon, it's time I engaged with my potential public... take a leaf out of the books of many writers that do this. So here goes.
Like most of my great ideas, including the one's that fail, obviously through no fault of my own, I thought about this in the car on the way to my office... why is blogging so hard to keep up with? Why is it such a slog? I'm not sure I know the answers to these questions. Some people make it look so easy. And don't even get me started on professional bloggers!
So I tried to think about the challenges. Why do I find blogging such a slog?
Hardly anyone will read my blog!
If you've got this far, you're doing well. Most won't. I have about 360 followers on Facebook, and about 580 followers on Twitter. I'll advertise this blog on both. I'll be lucky to get 1% engagement. So that alone is pretty disheartening. But I shouldn't let it stop me, right? So, if you've got this far, you can help. Like, share, follow... do all that stuff that YouTubers talk about that makes me sound like a wannabee 18 year old making you watch me play Call of Duty for an hour. LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW!!!
2. I'm the General of Procrastination
Well, I'm more like a Colonel if we're going to use military terminology. I'm pretty bad. Actually, I'm pretty good. Most of my procrastination is totally useful like answering emails, responding to tweets or posts, meeting for coffees to discuss important research, searching for outlets for my work (journals, etc) and keeping track on the world of writing. Totally useful, right? I also tend to get shit done at times! So I'm not a total master of procrastination, but I am aware that I can make better use of my time. So I'm trying to demote myself. Maybe a Lieutenant of Procrastination would be a good start. I can take it from there.
3. Why would I have anything remotely interesting to say?
Narcissistic me says I'm super-interesting and everyone wants to read my shit! Then I have a reality check and start thinking to myself Who the hell wants to listen to your bullshit? The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. And anyone that knows me, knows I'm a bit of a talker, so I've never let that stop me. And here's the thing. I love talking about writing, and craft, and stories and the world and people. So if anything I write prompts a thought or a discussion, then its got to be worth something... I think. So, I aim much of what I write at my followers, my friends in the writing community and my students who I'm taking with me on that journey of trying to become better writers.
Therefore, I encourage people to debate, engage, agree, disagree and try to use my blogs as a platform to think about things... please. I will try to share more of this stuff with my students. I will try to link it into my profiles at University and through the organizations I work with, and I will try to engage with writers so people can learn more about craft, processes and the whole world of writing in general.
I'm still learning. I am absolutely indebted to some of my writey friends who've helped, advised, challenged and engaged with me over the last couple of years. So more of this... and I hope I can be a part of it.
4. Life gets messy
Its been a tough year. Personally for me, its been tough. Professionally, its also been a slog. But I'm not alone and there are people out there (friends, loved ones, family) who are having it so much worse. The world can look like its burning right now, and that certainly has an effect on output. But I've reached a point where I can't let that stop me. So, I need to be quite British about it and "keep calm and carry on" - even though I hate those sort of motivational phrases.
My mantra is simply: "Today, I'm just going to try to be a bit less shit than yesterday".
5. Life might be good
This is where I get all excited and grateful. Good things have happened this year. I am blessed to have High Spot Literary Agency show their faith in me by offering representation. Its a lovely family of writers that I genuinely feel humbled to be part of. I'm sure I'll appreciate it more when my imposter syndrome subsides. I've also finished my first manuscript, which is with a handful of publishers in the UK. Fingers crossed, they like it. I have also made some really good writey connections over the last year - people who've made me feel part of a wider community. And finally, I'm about half way through a really pointless PhD that's will not cure a disease, save the world, rethink entire economic systems or discover a new sub-atomic particle.
But at least I get to scare the shit out of people.
So there we are... my first blog in ages. Can I keep this shit going? I don't know. But I will try.
Kick me up the arse if you want to read more. And don't forget...
LIKE SHARE FOLLOW
Oh, and please feel free to comment too. Enjoy.