So, there might have been a rash promise about finding time to write a bit more over the summer. Which then got swallowed by I-don't-know-what. Life? Laziness? The pursuit of a better forehand? But if there is one thing the Internet can promise you in spades, it is accountability.
And so I find myself, via the gentle and subtle suggestion of Tess from Driftwood, with a spare half hour and some questions from a why I write blog hop before me...
What am I working on?
Did I already mention my forehand? Oh yes, so I did. Because I have to tell you that my growing tennis obsession is what is largely to blame for my absence here. And in the fields of housework, knitting, sewing, laundry... the list goes on. As I'm sure my family will attest. In fact the only passtime which seems to have escaped being bumped from my to-do list is cooking. Tennis is hungry work.
But the question is with reference to writing. Hmmm, it's not like I have foregone my blog to pen my magnum opus, there really hasn't been much writing going on of late. Believe me, if I was doing it, you'd be reading it here.
Why do I write what I do?
Because in my real life, I have discovered that most people aren't listening to what I have to say.
The children ask me the same question over and over again, because they never actually listen to the answer. Don't even get me started on the in-one-ear-out-the-other tendencies of the husband. And even with friends (making me wonder if they really are friends, or just people I speak to regularly), sometimes I get the feeling that the part of the conversation when I am talking is just the interlude in their own monologue when they think of the next thing they want to tell me about.
I began blogging when I had very small children and not enough adult contact in my every day to stay sane. Knowing there was a place with people offering a friendly ear was a lifeline then. And still is now.
I don't know, is the simple answer. But as I'm forced to consider it, I find myself uncomfortable with the notion of being in a genre. Because it smacks of putting similar blogs together so that they can be compared or ranked or judged in some way. Begone genre! Viva la individual! Space for everyone!
How does my writing process work?
Well, first comes a stimulus. Might be taking a photo, or something noteworthy happening, or finishing making something, or a list of questions. Then it stews in its own juices while I get the opportunity to sit down in front of the big computer.
For some unknown reason I find it almost impossible to write on either the laptop or the iPad. Perhaps it is because photos are on the big computer? It certainly isn't because my big computer sits in an oasis of peace on a clear desk, with carefully curated inspiration board alongside. No, from where I am currently sitting I can see an empty yoghurt pot with crusty spoon, two cricket bats, one set of trainers (which can only mean the other son has entered the house with smelly trainers ON), a pile of Maths workbooks and a tape measure left there after the new school uniform ordering session. I can only write if I steel myself to ignore domestic chaos for a half hour of me-time.
Secondly, comes the spouting forth of drivel. Tippy tappying away, with very little care taken about what is spewing from the keyboard. Chuck it all down there. Then return to the beginning. Look at the first paragraph - if it starts with 'I' then ditch it as boring. My first paragraphs are inevitably rubbish. Maybe that's why no-one listens to me - I begin speaking with the dull stuff - little do they know there might be a gem to come a few verbal paragraphs down the line. Here, I do you the very great favour of deleting it so you don't have to read it. But do please promise me not to go back through my blog focusing on the first paragraphs of each post, stroking your chin and saying "Hmm, see what she means. Weak, very weak, in the opening paragraphs", because sometimes, life is just too short for a thorough edit.
But life is never too short for a read through with spell check. I'm not a fan of errors. Willful mis-spelling or creation of new words is fine.
Damn, the half hour will soon be at an end. Rootle through the archive to find some
illustrative random photographs (cannot post without pictures). Hit the publish button, hope for the best. Or more specifically, hope that whatever appears will resonate with someone, so they might talk to me in the comments, or tell me a funny tale of their own, or even violently disagree. Anything to know I'm not talking to myself.
The flowers are for you - I've been very very lucky with readers. And let's face it, writing without readers is a pretty futile exercise. Possibly a bit like the quest to improve my tennis game.