Tuesday, 8 July 2008

An Epiphany

It was an epiphany of sorts. I had spent the day away from my computer and reading Saul Bellow’s ‘Herzog’. Here, I thought to myself, is prose of the highest calibre and I should try to use it to improve my blog. If it takes me eight hours a day, I should only present words that have been sifted by the finest critical methods. My blog's readers should only face words that are meaningful. Not a single superfluous word should appear anywhere in my posts.

They were noble ambitions and I suppose these thought processes were only going through my mind because I’d become aware of the anniversary of this blog’s launch on the 21st of this month. To date, I’ve written over 237,000 words for your edification and amusement. It is only natural that when I’m away that I begin to wonder how it’s going and I make all kinds of vague plan to make it even bigger and better.

And then I come back after twenty four hours away and see that my last post, a troubled little piece about my future career, had all of one comment. Lord James Bigglesworth had written to inform me that ‘I take my yoghurt to the loo’.

‘I take my yoghurt to the loo’...

And that’s when I had my epiphany.

Madeley, I thought, you’re wasting your time. There are TV scripts that I could be writing or meetings I could take with high level TV executives to discuss all my great ideas for new shows. I could be crossing deserts or climbing mountains and making cutting edge TV. I could be doing all these things but instead I choose to blog so a peer of the realm can tell me that he takes his yoghurt to the loo.

In the end, I threw ‘Herzog’ to one side. I don’t know how Saul Bellow, Clive James or Stephen Fry do it.

All I know is that, some days, it's just not worth the effort and that writing just sucks.

5 comments:

Princess said...

an epiphany?? I hope you dont mean to stop ur writing Dick it would be a shame for us all if u did...

Lola said...

For what it's worth, I thought Lord James' comment was ill-judged, and made it difficult to formulate a suitable comment to follow. What I would have said was 'nice post' but this is trite and faintly patronising, and doesn't demonstrate the erudition for which I am famed. I feel your pain, but you must face criticism with self-belief. Otherwise we'd all just go sob in the toilet, with or without yogurt.

Dick Madeley said...

Thanks Princess. I just get moody sometimes. You'll notice this if you look back at my previous months and months of posts. I'll probably keep on. I have no other option.

Lola, I not sure it was the comment. It felt, I suppose, like lots of comments which suggest that the person hadn’t read the post but felt obliged to leave a comment. It mentioned something on the first line and didn't respond to the piece. But I suppose we're all guilty of doing that. I often don't have the time to read a long blog post unless it's by a blogger I particularly enjoy. Yet I will still sometimes leave a comment to show that I appreciated their effort or that I passed through.

And I don't think it's criticism, which I don't really get. It's silence. Not just here but in general. This blog is months and months of work and for what? I keep telling myself that I'm blogging for myself, which is fine on the good days when I'm bouncing along in a good mood. But I’m not doing this just for myself. I am trying to attract attention to my other work, which is more polished than these hastily written posts. And after last week, when my novel should have been published, I think I'm finding it hard to find a reason to carry on. I love to write but I'm just making no money from it. I have so much energy but no profitable direction.

Oh, listen to me... I guess I’m just utterly fed up at the moment. I’ll come out of it. I usually do. And I’m just too bloody stubborn to give up.

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