Ask not what your blog can do for you..

..but what you can do for your blog.

Its been a year. Over. I got a little cup from WordPress. There was cake. It was good. I ate it all – sorry.  But don’t be too despondent, you can share in my reflections… 😉

I didn’t know what I was doing when I started. Not in the technical sense – still don’t have a clue about that – I just wasn’t sure what the point of it all was. Everyone was insisting – agents, writers, other bloggers.. tho suppose they would, wouldn’t they? We have to have a presence, a platform, stake our pitch in the new market.

I felt a bit stupid. Like the mad woman shouting at the sky and thinking it will answer back. But hey ho..  I gave it a name, waffled a little – I will never run out of waffle – got a few clicks – waffled a bit more. Changed the name, now I am blethering not waffling.. got a few more clicks, blethered a bit more – I will always have plenty to blether about..

I still feel like the mad woman shouting at the sky. Funny thing is the sky shouted back..

Not in the way I might have expected.

Its funny, I don’t know if I have been of any use to anyone else out there but I somehow managed to help myself.. The sky I suppose didn’t so much shout back as it did echo.

I recently returned to previous works in order to edit, a task I avoid far too much to call myself a serious writer. Finally screwing my courage to the taskbar I plunged in and found.. everything I’d been writing about here.

An overabundance of adverbs? Repetition of was’s? Dialogue howling and growling and scowling? Oh the horror..

No. Really, have you read me? Sheesh.

I found a fragile damaged ego splattered all over my work like the remains of Humpty after his great fall. I found sentences trying far too hard to be clever and refusing to just say what needs to be said. I found myself overwriting in a desperate attempt to impress; the stench of  ‘notice me’ prose completely overpowering the story. In my quest to avoid clichés I’d frequently managed to avoid sense.

Mostly though, I found fear. Fear to believe that what I had to say was worth saying. Fear that no one would want to listen, no one would ever find it interesting. And like every writer before me, I thought the answer lay in ever more unusual and complex sentences. It really doesn’t.

I’m not a teacher and I am not published. I never felt remotely qualified to tell people how to write, more than that though, I’ve never been interested in telling people how to write. There seemed to be more than enough already doing that and quite frankly doing it badly to my mind.

If I was trying to do anything, I was trying to encourage people to think – to stop blindly following advice and copying what is already out there. I was speaking up not so much against bad advice, but demanding advisors. Advisors who had appointed themselves the keepers of Correct Writing and were creating a nasty sneering atmosphere wherein any who deviated were made to feel wrong. It seemed like any who tried at all were made to feel wrong.

I have always believed that everyone has a right to speak up. Every opinion is as worthwhile as the next and as such I have often kept quiet. Who I am to shout them down? After a while though, it started to feel that by never speaking up I was in essence devaluing my own opinion.  I was saying their right to speak trumped mine.

And I began to wonder if I wasn’t speaking up, at least in part, because I was afraid. It isn’t about who is right or wrong, it isn’t about plain versus poetic, literary vs genre, its about discourse. Its about everyone having the right to be heard. Its about remembering that we write to be read not to be initiated into the Grammar Gang.

If I was writing with any aim it was to remind others of that. That what you have to say is not the second consideration here. That the correct form is the one that connects with the reader, that you can dangle your participles all you want as long as you have them hanging on your every word.

And I managed it. Just once. With me.

My blog gave me that 🙂 How odd is that? But in doing so it gave me a purpose. I might be only one voice, one very small voice. I might not reach many, but if I reach even one more I figure its worth it.




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