It’s January, and therefore, New Year’s Resolution time once again. If you or anyone you know has EVER made a resolution and kept it, please let me know. Otherwise I’ll assume that, like mine and those of everyone I know, they seldom last longer than the first few weeks before being quietly forgotten.
My resolution is — or ought to be — about this blog. Some part of me desperately wants to do nothing but write. When people ask me what I do I really want to say, “Oh, I’m a writer.” I want to write blogs, articles, books, comedy scripts, and screenplays. But there’s a problem, and regular readers will by now be sick of hearing about it. I know, and I’m sorry, but given that I have resolved to update the blog every day from now on (it’ll never last) I have to write about what’s on my mind, and what’s on my mind is my seeming inability to write.
Bit of a vicious circle eh?
I love the thought of sitting down at my keyboard and letting wondrous prose tumble from my fingertips, to the adoration of my hordes of fans. But it’s not that easy. I set quite high standards for myself, so while it would be easy for me to post something new every day what stops me is my internal quality control. The feeling that anything I don’t put sufficient concentration towards is going to be, well, crap stops me from doing it at all, unless I am suffiiciently inspired to go the extra mile. And it does feel like The Extra Mile. It feels like to write posts to my own imposed standard requires a clarity of focus and a banishment of all other distractions that I can seldom achieve. There’s always another thought banging into the first, knocking it off course. Or something on the TV, or the irrational need to check my email for the hundredth time that day. Or cooking the dinner, or going to the pool. Or work (nearly forgot that one).
So, I find myself locked in this interminable internal quarrel: To write the best stuff I have to be in a place (mentally) that I can seldom get into — which means the blog hardly ever gets fed and you get fed up of waiting, so to feed the blog regularly and keep my readers happy(?) I have to spew out the first thing that comes into my head, which leaves me feeling that I’ve let you down.
Of course, the text books would say that I’m going about it wrong: that I need to set aside a regular period of each day for writing and shut myself away from all distractions. When I think about I agree that would be absolutely the best thing for me to do. So why aren’t I doing it? I think my self-defeating avoidance tactics are rooted in a lack of confidence, always seeking to find external forces to blame for my lack of output.
If this were all this blog were ever about, would you still come to visit, or would you make polite excuses — like those hurriedly invented to decline the invitations of an old and smelly relative to whom you were never particularly close?