My favourite memories of this blog are from back when it was brand new and nobody read it. Honestly – it was great. I wrote whatever came into my head, just typing merrily whilst listening to bad covers on YouTube and sinking a glass of Baileys. I just free-flowed like I was writing in a shitty diary that I knew no one would bother to read over my shoulder. It was therapeutic, narcissistic and thoroughly enjoyable.
Then, out of nowhere I got nominated for a lifestyle blog award by an iconic women’s magazine and a few people started reading. I couldn’t believe my ranting-bitching-waffling had been nominated as a category, let alone as a ‘lifestyle’. But, yeah cool, I could take that.
Sadly, it went downhill from there. As I grew older and less naive I stopped writing my real thoughts. Mainly because I knew there was a danger with over-sharing on the Internet, especially if you are employed. This then led to having the imaginary concept “writer’s block” – a real problem that mean hours wasted by literally staring at a dirty laptop screen even though I knew deep down I was in a writing mood with lots of silly ideas.
(I always cringe slightly when I say “writers block” because it sounds so douchey. Normally this phrase conjures up images of people taking off their glasses, dabbing their forehead with a flowery hanky, sobbing into their manuscripts, sighly loudly: “Oh! My genius mind is blocked! My poems! My poor poems!”)
To attempt a cure I normally tend to visit a fancy café with an expensive latté in hand but end up getting self-conscious that people are judging me for the one shit sentence I managed to write on my screen.
Why am I blocked? It’s quite simple: I now worry about what I am writing.
a) will it offend someone? b) what will [insert so-called important person here] think? c) will people disagree with it? d) will anyone get my sarcasm or ironic tone? e) will anyone understand my point of view? f) will people tell me off for bad spelling?
This blogger’s block has come from the fact that now I am consciously writing for someone. This someone (whoever it might be) is the reason for my block. Before I sit down to write I wonder what they mind want to read, what they’ll think, what their opinion might be before I’ve even started – which is definitely not what publishing is about. The audience does not rule your work, but they are allowed to have a look at it.
Everyone blogs. Everyone has a ‘publish’ button. To the point where it actually shocks me when people don’t want to publish anything even though we are living in an impressive era of being able to self-publish whatever you want to, whenever you want to. It’s your right to freedom, to put it out there into the world, for free.
So, what now? I either get braver and start publishing the stuff I know I should, or I back down and let this ‘someone’ stop me. I know what I should probably do.