I have a blog now. As a 28-year-old, unemployed Londoner, this should not be surprising to anyone.
I have been told a few times I needed to Write. With a capital W. To Write and to have Thoughts.
I’ve never thought of this as something I can do. I have never considered myself to have any abilities beyond what could be given a percentage score on a pre-approved mark scheme.
This isn’t to say I didn’t (or don’t) respect those who do. On the contrary, to be comfortable doing something so immeasurably creative was mind-blowing for me. Imagine being so confident in your own thoughts, opinions or ability that you could just send your work out into the world for criticism. To be read by other people who Get things and Know things and have Thoughts about Literature.
So you will have to bear with me* while I convince myself that capitalised words are something I can (and should) produce anywhere more public than my brain. Let me transform myself from carefully composed facebook status-poster to Mac-using, Starbucks-inhabiting blog stalwart before your very eyes.
I’ve never been one for extra-curriculars. At least, extra-curriculars that wouldn’t be good on a UCAS form. Hobbies? Sorry, I’m busy trying to excel in a way that society has deemed fit to be measured. Passion? Keep it in your pants, friendo.
Having now left my job, the job to which I can only assume my entire childhood and education were leading, I am at something of an impasse. What do I do with my time now I am not breaking it down into chargeable hours?
And then it starts. Well-meaning people saying I should Write. Or worse, “try stand up” – more on that another time perhaps.
To me, these have always been backhanded compliments. They way I interpreted them was akin to the old trope when setting up a friend – “she has a great personality” (I mean, when the fuck did that become a bad thing to say?)
If someone told me I was funny, I used to (often still do) hear “well I want to say something nice, and we both know you’re not conventionally attractive.” It’s only recently that, if told I am smart, I am able to take the compliment. Similarly, if Writing comes up in the context of trying to find myself a creative outlet, the subtext I immediately go to is “look, you sure as shit can’t paint or sing, so just stick to the words please.”
(I appreciate that this is very “woe is me” but if I can’t be self-indulgent to the point of self-abuse, then what is the point of a blog?)
So this is a departure for me. It isn’t comfortable. There are no attainment prizes or gold stars available. I apologise in advance. Except I don’t, because fuck that and you don’t have to read it, do you?
* You don’t HAVE to do anything. You are, of course, free to go about your day without reading my drivel.