Monday, 25 August 2008

Crossroads

I’m looking for a good reason not to close this blog. Channel 4 was the end of an era and I think that perhaps now is the right time to move on.

You know me well enough by know to see that I’m as prone to Monday morning blues as the next handsome man in casual slacks but anybody who has witnessed the decline of this blog in the last three months will probably recognise that I’ve been struggling to keep it going. Unlike other bloggers who manage to write a paragraph of interesting facts a day, I’m incapable of brevity. It’s 2000 words or nothing from me. My weekly slog to Manchester is getting me down and I’m not getting any of my longer projects written. I want to exist in book length form and this blog is standing in the way of that. Add to this a growing panic over my life, difficult family issues, and a career meltdown, and writing becomes nearly impossible. I think it’s hardly unreasonable that I’ve lost my sense of fun.

As is usual when I think of quitting, a few days will probably bring me back to my senses. I’m going to begin by having a break from the blog for a few days. I hope to come back with more energy or a decision about how I'm going to change my life for the better.

20 comments:

weechuff said...

Oh no! First we lose you on TV, and now your blog is in danger of going. I do hope you reconsider:0)

Sandie

Barbara said...

I don't read any other blogs but I do belong to a message board community that will post a link to something interesting in someone or others blog sometimes so I have seen a few and I don't think that most of them have new stuff every day. While I would love to see a new witty post daily that is an awful lot of creativity to demand and you may be putting too much pressure on yourself. I would hate to see it become something you dread but I can't see allowing you to quit. Besides who else can you vent about Manchester to, or talk about midgets with, or chronicle your adventures with Fry to?

elberry said...

Tant pis vour moi, i enjoy your blog. i can, however, sympathise with the difficulty of blogging while holding down a crummy soul-destroying job in Manchester, as you know. i note my own blog posts are almost entirely youtube clips or very short and superficial whimsies; i can't muster the energy to write anything thoughtful or involved in the spare time i have left over from work.

Good luck wherever you go.

bertas said...

Richard old chum, just got back from holiday so sorry for not writing sooner.

I do hope you will get past the doom and gloom soon enough :)

Dick Madeley said...

Thanks all. I'm just really tired at the moment and everything is probably looking more bleak than it is...

Weechuff, I'm not saying I'm going but I'm not saying I'm staying. I'm just going through one of those periods when the ideas have dried up and I feel like my best days are behind me...

Barbara, so nice of you to say so. I do put pressure on myself and I've probably cracked. It's been a very very difficult few weeks and my writing is so scattergun that I need to refocus myself.

Elberry, we both know the other side of blogging and it's not something that I can ever really put into words without altering the tone of my blog. You know how miserable it is. How tough it is. And my book is just stuck at 40,000 words and I can't see it going further. It's hard to be a temping nobody when you also have such a glittering career on TV.

Bertas, perhaps I need a holiday. Not had one in so long... Like I say, I'm not definitely giving up but I need to refocus my energies. I need to be clear about how I use what little time I have to write. Much as I love to blog, these last three months have been hell and I don't see things improving.

Lola said...

Take your time and look after yourself and your family, you are the important ones. We're just hangers on, when it comes down to it. I love your blog, and obviously I'd be delighted to see it continue, but I'm not the one that matters here.

See you whenever you feel like coming back.

Author said...

You need to take on board BWO! That is blogging without obligation, more about it here:

http://j9marshall.wordpress.com/blogging-without-obligation/

Basically, it's about blogging when you feel like it, rather than because you feel obligated, because sometimes, less is more.

I hope this is just the Monday blues! Your blog is great!

Percy said...

You are a diamond Dick. With or without blogging...keep on shining matey.

The Twitch said...

...Lola

elberry said...

Interesting that you're stuck at 40,000 words, i suspect that is a crucial point - i wrote a novella that simply crumbled at 40,000 in 2001, and when i wrote my novel, it got up to 40,000 in 2002 then suddenly i dried up. i left it alone and then returned after a summer in Italy in 2003 and picked it up. Perhaps 40,000 words is some kind of psychological mark in a writer's mind? - time to leave it alone and do other things, go back to it when it calls you.

i meant 'tant pis pour moi', by the way...

Lola said...

...Twitch?

Dick Madeley said...

Lola, I will do and thanks for the kind words. News on that front is slightly more positive but it's still making it hard to get back to normal.

Author, I love that concept. It's right that bloggers feel obliged to write each day. My problem is that I need the routine to write but over the last few months, my new job is making it next to impossible to finish any project.

Percy, nice to see you back. And the Twitch too. I’ll try my best. It’s probably just a very grey and dull bank holiday Monday. You both know that I have these periods of moodiness... ;o)

Elberry, I wondered the same. It happened with my last book. I hit 40,000 words and then the energy disappeared. It was only when the book found a publisher that I finished it. A matter of a month or two for another 40,000 words but, since you’re one of the few people to have read it, you know that it’s not that impressive. And that’s the thing. I’m sure the same is true of these other books, only the publisher part of it isn’t going to happen. I need to find it in myself to finish them. I think it’s a matter of confidence. I read through the draft of one book this weekend and it peters out. It’s normal, I suppose. The further into the book I read, the less it is going to be polished. However, it’s like running a marathon without a crowd to encourage you one. It’s so easy to give up. It doesn’t help that it’s probably one of the craziest books ever written.

And, as you know, the loss of my old routine is hurting me. I can’t get into a regular routine. I don’t know how you manage it but the job is killing me as a writer.

elberry said...

i don't manage, it's killing me too. i used to half-manage by blogging at work, on a quiet day i could spend 4 or more hours writing a long post. Since i've stopped work-blogging, i can't do much and am beginning to consider wild and drastic alternatives to office work, anything which would leave me free to write.

As for the 40,000 stage, i remember in Italy before i tackled the 2nd half questioning the novel's worth, wondering if it was just a mistake. Then i'd remember some great scene i'd written and think no, it was Fated to be. i think you have to look at the scenes you've already done and take strength from them to continue.

Selena Dreamy said...

And yet, this is a valuable moment, Richard. A moment of catharsis. And here is why:

SAVING RICHARD

Welsh Girl said...

You have to do what makes you happy. If you blogged because you felt you had to it would take the soul out of it, which sort of nullifies the point.

All I can say is that I know that when life gets hard, sometimes the best thing to do is to simplify it. We'd miss you horribly if you stopped, but if it makes life easier for you, we'd understand (after sobbing a lot, and possible rending our clothes and tearing our hair out!). Do what's right for you and we'll be behind you all the way. :)

Nige said...

Dick - What can I say? If you didn't exist, we'd have to invent you. I can't imagine a world without Madeley, in some blogcarnation or other. I reckon you'll be back in triumph, different but the same...

ladythinker said...

But surely now with no TV show you'll have more time to blog. Please Dick where is your British stiff upper lip and your Dunkirk spirit - pull yourself together man - at least promise a post once or twice a week...

Richard Havers said...

As usual a bit late to the party but as I was just saying to Dreamy. I'm with you. He's talking nonsense..Arise Dick, go forth and multiply....your blog entries naturally.

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