In the space of two weeks, three much-loved bloggers have said they're quitting blogging; Jess, Charles Dawson and Marcelle P. This prompted a review of my blogroll, including the addition of the category Out To Lunch of blogs which have gone very quiet. You'll like the optimism there; nobody has really gone for good, whatever their protestations. They're simply bound to be back.
In other news, for a mere £2, you can now download Shaggy Blog Stories: The Podcast, the profits from which go to Comic Relief. Unfortunately I can't, as my computer currently insists it only has 4MB of memory left. This can't possibly be true, but I think it read that post (and yes, I have explored every possibility and there's no viruses or sneaky software or anything; my computer is just suffering under the weight of all the drafts and notes and nonsense being typed into it on a daily basis and it wants out).
Personally, I like to call it Knocking Over My Web Toys in a Fit of Pique. :) (Babies are on to something, I tell you.) I need to concentrate on my other writing for a while. The trouble with blogging, for me, is that it's far too easy to write a post and then tell myself I've finished working for the day. It just seems best to remove the temptation for the time being, especially considering the way I go off and harangue other writers about submitting their work. (Nudge. Push. Oomph. ;) )
I haven't yet picked up Shaggy Blog Stories. WHY haven't I? What in blue heaven is wrong with me?
I must say there is a constant conflict between the pull of blogging and proper writing, and blogging almost certainly contributes to the slow pace of progress. However, it is also excellent for clearing my head of the general nonsense that threatens to infringe upon my fiction writing, and it has greatly improved my confidence, not least for being harangued by other writers I have the utmost respect for. :-)
Gah. I've been driving myself crazy just now trying to find a link to something I read recently which said something interesting about contemporary nonfiction writing, the jist of it being that so much of the nonfiction we read these days tends not to address the larger questions facing society, but instead authors' personal experience and feelings-- it's become a very self-centred form of writing which doesn't require a writer to become expert upon any subject other than him or herself.
I think blogging certainly fits that description in many cases-- I know that I tended in my posts to whinge and moan mostly about myself, and about the effect of this or that issue upon myself. I'm certainly the foremost authority there is upon the subject of Me, but it can be an empty sort of authority with a limited significance in terms of what it can offer a reader. I'm tired of doing that sort of writing-- I feel like I ought to be using my time to say something more useful than that. Blogging did make me a more productive writer, but I think a much more "inwardly" directed writer, too.
What I like about your blog, on the other hand, is that you do "proper" writing even when you're just clearing your head. Much of it involves you and your experience, certainly, but your authority as a writer extends beyond that-- your writing addresses a very broad range of issues and experience, and demonstrates a very keen analytical sensibility. You've got a wonderful way of pulling together different elements from literature, history, and politics and applying them to your subject-- that's terribly rare, at least in blogland. You're doing things the way every blogger, and every writer, ought to. I wish the whole internet was like this!
So how is that novel of yours coming? Mine's a bloody mess. :)
Jess, you're very kind. :-)
The novel is... also a bloody mess. I had a smell during most of April and the first few weeks of May when my brain wasn't up to much and although that was frustrating, I was more forgiving of my lack of progress. Now my brain is better and I'm going through a phase of struggling to force myself back into it.
However, I do think that perhaps I am about to enter the home run. It might be a long run, but if I'm lucky with my health over the summer, I hope I might get it done by the autumn. :-)
Not kind: merely pointing out a readily apparent truth. ;) Also, I have a degree!
I know the real thing when I see it. :)
It's good to hear that you're seeing your way to the final stretch. That's a good place to be. Also that you're not kicking yourself over your progress-- working slowly is frustrating, but it makes you a more careful writer, too. That's to your advantage-- it'll be a better book for it in the end. You write regularly and well in any case-- even if you don't work steadily on the novel every day, it isn't as though you've achieved nothing at all. Do what you can when you can; give yourself the time to read and think and let ideas stew, too. Meanwhile, there will be plenty of us out here cheering for you. :)
googled "there is a light that never goes out", somehow that took me here, but good taste in music, as evidenced by the blog title! =)
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