G’day! I haven’t written a post in so long I’m surprised I still knew where my laptop was. Anyway, it’s in its rightful place now – on my lap – and here we go.
I have had an epiphany. Although I’m not sure it counts as a true lightbulb moment if someone else had the idea and it struck a chord with me. Hmm. I took stuff away from their thoughts, though – perhaps a semi-epiphany. A semiphany.
I’ve been thinking, anyway.
My blog has been lacking content of late. In fact, I haven’t posted for an age. I know this because Facebook likes to tell me things of this nature. Presumably it is supposed to motivate me to action, but all it actually does is highlight my inadequacy (and lead me to start spelling things such as inadequacy, which causes my typing to slow as I make sure it is right first time).
So, Facebook tells me I have not posted in one gazillion years and “my followers would like to hear from me”. I am very secure in the knowledge that not one person is hanging out for me to write something and post it. Nevertheless (such a good word, like notwithstanding – let’s just run words together!), I am in a proactive state of mind at present, and it’s down to one lady: the epiphany enabler.
Now, how did this epiphany/semiphany come about? Stupid Facebook, again, though I hate to give credit where it is scarcely due.
Two of my friends – friends in real life as well as online! - posted about a particular book they recently enjoyed. No, one of them did. The other is a fan of the author, so I’m sure she will have posted as well. Maybe via Twitter. Look, the source isn’t really the issue. I like these two lasses, even if they have some funny ideas sometimes. (I have funny ideas too! I have a breakfast mug – with grapefruit slices on it – and an evening mug – with stars! I don’t like morning tea in the star mug! I’m funny, too. Life is better this way.) So they name-checked this book and it is called Big Magic and the author is Elizabeth Gilbert.
*Mixed feelings alert*
Oh good God, Liz Gilbert. What to say, what to say. I think she’s like that Liz Jones who (used to?) write for the Daily Mail. She was – is? – famously frank about her love and loves and neediness and rejections and I adored her column. It was heartbreakingly honest; by and large, this can annoy or endear.
Liz Gilbert is the same, except that I find myself feeling positive and negative simultaneously, or at least within a sentence or two of each other. She wrote Eat Pray Love, and your reaction at this point will probably decide whether or not you even continue reading this post.
Eat Pray Love. Could a book be more divisive? It divides me. I can’t fall into either camp, as I loved it on first reading, but found it irritating on the second run. Between readings, however, I bought The Signature of All Things, her first fictional novel following Eat Pray Love. Thank goodness I hadn’t experienced my disappointing Eat Pray Love rerun before this book was released; I would never have picked it – or Big Magic - up. It is a behemoth of a novel, and there is a lot more to be put off by, too (the title, the cover, the author!). But I read it and what a read (one of my favourite books now). Not that that has anything to with this, really (sorry, Mr Athousandtimes just came home and it has totally thrown me off. Which reminds me, I have something else to discuss with you, too – a potential name change for the blog!).
Get back on track.
Okay, my new book. Big Magic. It’s about creativity, and living a creative life, in the broadest sense of the word (read: not feeling as though you want to shoot yourself through sheer tedium).
I read it over the course of a few days and there was much of interest to absorb. For me, at least. I have this - self-penned - novel, currently in its second draft (if I recall correctly: not done much with it in a while). I was considering tossing it – because it’s crap, obviously – but this book has caused me to reconsider. Gilbert reckons that “done is better than good”, a sentiment that wouldn’t normally carry much weight with me. I’d rather produce something truly excellent, but – as she points out – that may result in never producing anything at all. Fear of not creating perfection leads to lack of creation. Oh, you also can’t fail if you don’t put anything out there. And nobody can laugh at what a crap novelist you are if they never see your attempt at writing a novel.
Well, but I don’t want to be laughed at! And I don’t want to put out something crappy to be held up as an example of something crappy.
But here’s where Gilbert wins her next brownie point.
No-one actually cares what I produce. Moreover, no-one actually cares what I am doing with my life.
She’s not having a go at me; she’s just pointing out a universal truth: the vast majority of people have a true interest in only one life, and I probably don’t need to spell out whose.
In other words, I could churn out pretty much anything and it’s unlikely to make even the lightest of ripples across even the tiniest of ponds. Hurrah!
I don’t know what it says about me that this thought should be freeing rather than dispiriting. I don’t care what it says! No-one cares! Yippee!
Ditto this blog. I have written several posts that I haven’t published because I don’t think they’re good enough. Good enough for what?! I have also had lots of ideas for posts but not followed them up for the same reason. Which has led to months without a post. And who benefits from that? Not me: I love to write! Not my “followers” (thanks, Facebook): presumably they follow for a reason (to get followed back in some cases, a strategy doomed to fail with me, but they’ll find that out soon enough and unfollow, which is fine too).
This wasn’t even intended to be the crux of this blog post, but we have hit 1000 words and I think that will do for today. Which means there is another blog post ripe for writing and I’ll endeavour to crack on with that before the month’s out, whether or not it’s “good enough”. It will be good enough! I also need to cover my new, improved rocky road recipe, all the books I have read of late and the aforementioned name change. That’s four more blog posts. It’s the third of September today: plenty more September days in which to write and publish four further posts. I shall do it. Big Magic! Yippee! Oh, I need to cover some of the other awesome things from Big Magic, too (and read it again very quickly, like in the next fortnight). There is so much to do – good job I’m going to live for ages!
Much love, pretty readers! Lx