Monday, 10 May 2010

Can you walk a little faster?

So I haven’t done this for a while. I haven’t had anything to say, or at least not that I wanted to write down. No, actually, I don’t think I’ve had anything to say. I had a few of weeks when life seemed as though it was happening in super-realism – just living it was a wonderful, privileged full-time job, the idea of talking about it second-hand on the internet seemed perverse, completely unnecessary and frankly a bit dirty. But my husband asked me about my absence this morning, and his look of distain was anything but understanding, so here I am, talking about nothing again.

My relationship with the whole world of blogging has always been a very inconsistent and amorphous thing. What started as a personal need to express myself to something other than the washing machine turned quickly into an exciting adventure in cross-Atlantic and Euro-union camaraderie. For a while, it was the funnest thing in the world to have soul mates in New York who I’d never share a glass of wine with, and critical advice from Germany from someone I suspected might actually be a teenage boy.

But then the whole exercise settled down into a much more rewarding place. Being read by people I actually know, who’s shared opinions and life-outlooks I really admire. It’s ironic that the more internet forums and writing groups and comment boxes I shared with, the more I just wanted to reach for my phone and arrange a Friday night around the dinner table with real people. The blogging universe is unimaginably huge, and the successful contributors unbelievably dedicated. But more than that is the simple fact that you have to have a lot of faith in the whole thing as a purposeful industry, which is tricky when you spend more than a healthy amount of time wondering what your professional worth is. There are no rules, no deadlines, no commissioning editors and no end to the amount of time you can spend doing something with no job-description style function. It’s the grown-up equivalent of reading the huge pile of magazines under your bed when you’re supposed to be cleaning your room.

Of course these observations are all just nonsense, and the internet is what the internet is: a limitless way of being creative that my whinging desire for boundaries isn’t going to contain. And it’s not even fashionable any more to say ‘I’m too old for it all’. Get with the programme or just get lost frankly.

So, this isn’t the way this post is going to end. This is a blog after all, so here’s the obligatory self-confession bit about ‘what I have noticed of late’. (And hopefully it will tie in nicely with the reason I’ve been absent. No modern technology is going to change my opinion of good old-fashioned essay writing skills.) I have, of late, been feeling horribly pedestrian, in both thought and existence. It’s a term that a very un-pedestrian, but fabulously self-aware, friend of mine coined, and I love it and her for that. For me, at its most basic, it’s when you buy a new pair of jeans, and you know they’re a bit safe: too wide in the leg, too high on the waist, but they fit. It’s not earth shatteringly awful, but that’s the whole point – it’s just pedestrian. So in preparation for a full-time return to a weekly spot in the fabulous sparing arena of blogs, I am going to up my game, chuck out the jeans and try to shun the easy options. I’m not just going to observe the high-definition world going on around me, I’m going to blog about it. God, I feel like standing and saluting. I might even tweet.