Hiatus and Hindrance

Hiatus and HindranceAfter a little creative hiatus, this is my fourth attempt at resuming blogging. This is by no means a proper post – as I’ve just said, it’s my fourth attempt. The thing is that I feel obliged to provide some kind of explanation after such an extended period of silence.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had a post brewing away in the darker corners of my grey matter. To get started, though, I have to overcome my resentment towards firing up the old laptop. The immediacy of a tablet has spoilt me. Waiting for Internet connections, anti-virus software and the usual range of technological events to get into motion turns me into a character reminiscent of John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers fame. After much eye-rolling and arm flapping (comical to some onlookers, but not to me… at the time), I am eventually seated in front of the empty blog page. The space bar flashes impatiently as I grapple with putting the words into writing.

Then inspiration strikes and, as I am about to tap the first key, my son cuddles up against me and says the words I never thought I would hear on a school – or any – afternoon, “Mommy, please can you give me more words to practise?”. How can I refuse the request of this one in Kindergarten who could do with a bit more work on his phonics and overall eagerness to show a bit of interest in learning…

With a long-suffering sigh, I lower the laptop screen and devote my attention to the gap-toothed grin of my suddenly eager-to-learn munchkin. All I can do is hope that tomorrow will be the day when I finally tap out a decent blog post. Unless his sister gets to me with her zest and zeal to master her newly acquired knitting needles and transform a ball of wool into a fluffy pink scarf, of course.

Wordy Cara Enters the Blogosphere

GravatarI love words. I love the way letters merge together to form the shape of words, the way fonts set the tone – fun and playful informality or rigid seriousness – and the way these letters create a rhythm unique to the language. So, it might be surprising to you when I admit that everyone who knows me will agree that I am, somewhat ashamedly, a terrible letter writer.

This could pose a slight problem since most of my family and many friends reside in the opposite hemisphere, but thanks to social media I have managed to keep them updated, while earning new friends along the way. The trick, though, is to keep things short and concise, not to flood people with posts and not to impose my random thoughts and ideas upon them.

Of course, I battle to restrain myself and after much soul-searching decided that the answer was simple – to create my own blog. This way, people can choose to follow me and I can tap at the keyboard to my heart’s content, when I please, about whatever I please (trying to keep it clean).

I decided that the best way to go about it was the proper way, which really is against my instincts when it comes to these things. I usually prefer to approach technology like a child who learns by doing. The results are often disastrous, no matter how user-friendly the buttons are. Sometimes there is no ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ option before your hard work disappears into a space beyond any safe cloud. So, I thought that research was going to be the first step.

I didn’t like it. To have a good blog, apparently, you need to identify a ‘niche’ target – a group of readers that your writing will appeal to. Well, to begin with, I have a rather delightful motley crew of friends. Male, female, single, married, divorced, ambitious career climbers, laid-back beach devotees, those with or without children, with or without pets, grown-up punks, goths, metal-heads and pop, disco and classical-lovers, those who love wine and those who never touch the stuff… The point is, where would I even begin to choose? Secondly, and probably most importantly, I am doing this for me – to create an outlet for my thoughts, feelings and opinions, and to flex that writing muscle, taking a leap of faith into the public domain. I am not a corporation, targeting my brand to any particular group.

I write the things I want to write, expressing my point of view and welcoming comments. If something resonates with just one reader, then I will be content.

Ah, that word ‘content’. Now, the next piece of advice I read was about choosing what ‘type’ of ‘content’ I will be writing about. Will it be about food, health and beauty, motherhood, business, careers, housekeeping (bwahahaha!), music, relationships, travel and adventure or about writing itself? Well, while I don’t dabble much in the world of astrology, it could be rather apt that I fall under the 12th sign of the Zodiac – Pisces – a mixture of everything. So, how could I ever be satisfied writing on one tangent, when I favour so many?

I stopped reading the advice and decided to give the blogging thing a go. Choose a theme, write a page and then see what happens. It’s a subtle warning then that you and I can prepare ourselves for some learning curves along the way. Pages that don’t open, links that don’t work or dealing with the impact of whatever I was supposed to have done, but didn’t. Since hindsight is perfect vision, I reckon that one day I’ll be able to look up at the screen and realise that the masterpiece I always wanted… Well, that’s the other part of me – my rather overactive imagination.

Deal with it, you chose to follow the blog. I’ll do my best and hopefully keep you entertained along the way!