Its official, I’ve even got the t-shirt to prove it thanks to Rachel.
I love reading them, I enjoy writing them even more.
Blogs are brilliant as I get exposed to so many words, ideas, styles, prejudices and plenty of inspiration whenever I want it. Best of all, these words are pinging at me from far and wide, I don’t have to do too much time-consuming searching and I’m not just confined to what’s happening close to my own doorstep.
I write every day – either here, other blogs, as a freelance journalist or in a consultancy role for various clients.
And yet I often feel frustrated at my failure to write for “fun”. Why?
I’m enjoying all this other stuff. The difference is that the “fun” refers to the other stuff that continues to reside in my head and which doesn’t get typed onto the screen of my laptop.
Two years ago, when I went self-employed, I spent a few days sat in the garden with my wife and cat alongside me and actually got a fair few thousand of these words transferred from my head onto the screen.
And two years on, they’re still sat there in the folder I created for them not doing anything. I’ve returned to the folder, often, and at the end of last year when we headed over to North Norfolk for a week of relaxation I even managed to add a few more words and finesse the stuff I’d already written.
But over 6 months on from that week of revisiting the folder, it has reverted back to being the great untouched.
I’ve been wondering whether the reason for my failure to write for fun is knowing that these days I’m the sole bread winner.
Since Rachel was forced to give up work I’ve felt the need to justify everything I do, every word I write needs to have a monetary value attached to it otherwise I’m simply wasting my time – aren’t I?
But that can’t be right as the majority of blogging I do is purely personal and definitely unpaid. Besides, my failure has nothing to do with Rachel or her illness.
So what is holding me back?
Fear of failure, perhaps, or just a lack of self-confidence?
Whatever the reason, I included “writing for fun” on my 40 list purely as a kick up the arse to myself and it is about time I did something about it. I don’t want to force it, but I do need to get restarted and galvanised.
Rachel is (as always) inspiring me – despite her on-going health problems her talent is shining through and earning dosh (not quite enough for me to be a kept man, but every journey starts with a single step). At the rate she is going, she is also likely to have a book published way before I’ve finished drafting what’s in my head.
A friend – already a published author – recently suggested trying a bit of collaboration (I haven’t forgotten Nick) and maybe that will help inspire too.
I have to admit, watching TV over the last few months has also proved inspirational.
Not so much in a “I can do so much better than that” kind of way, but further confirmation that the difference between success and failure tends to come down to the writing.
In this digital age, the written word is still very powerful.
Witness the last stuttering series of Dr Who, where the writing standards seemed to slip badly.
Equally, it is clear to see that the second series of Heroes was completed during the writers’ strike in the USA as it completely lost its way and ended up a horrible mess.
This week we’ve seen two hideous examples from the BBC – I’ve already explained where I stand on Bonekickers, whilst the new comedy series Lab Rats lurched from a few sublime moments (the diminutive assistant from Erdington had all the best lines), to a general air of sixth-form revue and consisted of far too much out-and-out drivel.
My TV screen is full of wasted opportunities. Great ideas ruined by poor writing.
And yet for every Bonekickers there is a Criminal Justice. So there is inspiration of the more positive kind to be found.
But these days, most of my inspiration comes in the blogosphere and the fact so many talented writers (or even really bad writers with interesting opinions) have an outlet.
Words is my life.
Writing is fun.
So get on with it.