Confessions of Another Common Reader

Renaissance

March6

As you will see if you can bear to scroll backwards, o unwary visitor, my commitment to this site has been fickle at best. Moved around, abandoned, repurposed, generally mixed up and messed around, it’s rather a wonder it has allowed me to log in again… who knows where this could lead.

I need a place to put my reading thoughts, and rather than create a whole new site, thus neatly doubling my commitment headaches, I’m going to try for a fresh start over here. But being an incorrigible hoarder, I can’t bear to throw out the garbage (sorry). Hopefully when I play with all the shiny new stuff WordPress has sprouted since I was last here I’ll find some way of tucking it away neatly so it doesn’t interfere.

I’m only just starting a new book so I may not be back for a while. But I wanted to draw the line now.

And so to bed.

Obligatory meta-post on the nature of blogging, what I think it means, blah blah blah

March22

(originally entitled “Is Anybody Watching?” until I realised what it was actually saying…)

The main reason I haven’t really got into blogging, I think, is that you need to be interested in having an audience. There’s a certain (large) amount of ego required to push your thoughts out on the web and assume that someone will be interested, amused, entertained, annoyed, provoked, enthused, whatever, by what you have to say.

I realised last night that this is probably the major reason that I don’t really write much – I can’t believe that anyone would be interested in what I have to say. This is partly precipitated by joining Facebook – which I love, but which brings back all those old insecurities about my lack of popularity – I have enormously fewer “friends” than everyone else, and lots of unanswered friend requests, which makes me think (once again) that I am basically a not very likable person.

I noticed too that I’m really interested in hearing what all my friends are up to – I am completely addicted to the status message element of Facebook, despite having not really understood it, and am now hoping that Twitter takes off in the same way so I can be bombarded with text messages telling me what my friends are up to.

I’m not really into keeping a diary either, having had that knocked out of me when I went back and read the diary I kept intermittently at university. Ugh. Suddenly I realise I’m not nearly as good a writer as I thought I was, because the person I read in those pages was nothing like the person I remember being.

Then there’s the nature of how I write – I’m quite a planner. I always wrote essay plans at college, and when I’m trying to do anything major I tend to scrawl down headings, key points and so on, and plan my flow of argument. Blogging is meant to be more “natural” and stream-of-consciousness. At least, that’s my perception.

So for all these reasons, blogging doesn’t really come naturally to me. But I think probably, it’s good for me to push against all of those things. To worry less about popularity; to care less about whether I’m writing well or not; to be a bit more spontaneous in how I approach writing; and above all, to just write MORE. People keep telling me I should be a writer. I don’t think I have the drive or the vision, and I don’t want to be a writer if I’m only going to be mediocre – I want to be the best. But I like to write, and I’m not too bad at it, so I guess I should practice more.

Ceci n’est pas une pipe

March16

And this is not a ‘hello world’ post. snarf.

riverrun

April16

It’s not meant to be pretentious. But I wanted some way of saying “here we are again at the beginning”. And the strange scruffy being who sometimes shares my living space (also known as my husband) bought me a first edition of Finnegans Wake as my wedding present so it seemed to fit.
While I hope that my relationship with my blog isn’t as cyclical as FW, I still wanted to start with something a bit different, and also with something that makes a statement about what’s important to me. I read English at university, and since I learned to read, books have been roughly as essential to my general emotional wellbeing as, say, a good woolly jumper is to campers on the Isle of Skye in December.
End of last year sometime, after lurking around the WordPress site for a few months, I finally overcame my natural desire to get everything just right first time (funny – my mum says it was always my brother who found the impulse towards perfection the real obstacle to trying anything new. Good thing we don’t stay 3 years old forever) and had a bash at installation.
Managed it OK after a couple of false starts. Wrote two or three fairly meaningless posts (I seem to recall that the first post rather self-pityingly described how stressful life was being me), tweaked the layout in a halfhearted sort of way, garnered about 20 times as much comment spam as there was actual WRITING, and then did nothing more with it.
Until last night, when by a complete coincidence, (i) I decided I’d like to comment on something in my blog (ii) I discovered that my hosting provider’s CGI server had died, taking with it my WordPress 1.2 installation. Well, that saved me struggling through the slightly scary process of upgrading, didn’t it?
So here I am, 1am, a born-again WordPress virgin. I think that’s quite enough for a “first time”.