I’m sure you can all think of an area of your life that you prefer to keep as hallowed, sacred ground. You don’t want others trampling about and nosing through it, offering advice and worse still- judgement. I’m sure some of these areas are private, guarded and sacrosanct to you.
I’m quite open about most things but there’s one area that I guard quite closely. I have a deep longing to be a professional writer- even saying that makes me cringe- I have said too much already… But, it has to be said-because this year I am determined to step out there and write, out there in the sunshine! Without wanting to sound grandiose, i’ve lurked in the shadows long enough. I’ve peeped at others’ blogs; poured over another’s short stories and rampaged through someone else’s novel. I now feel -in the words of the great Cindy Lauper (if they were her words!?)- that it’s time to show my true colours.
I’m going to go a step further… I am an English teacher. Everyone loves to correct a teacher. I mean can you think of anything more satisfying than knowing better than a teacher at school? Well some people carry this on into adulthood.
“Spell supercalifradgilisticexpialidosious then” a grocer once ordered in a deep, mocking tone over my half-pound of cherries. Ha, in your face – just did ( alright I googled it) Or, “bet you don’t teach grammar like they did when I was a kid”, a scoffing, middle-aged, man accused, over his pint of Hobgoblin at the pub I worked in to fund my social life- I mean-studies.
So, you see, it isn’t easy to just pop a piece in the post to a publisher (especially without an agent-yawn) or post it on amazon for the kindle world to ignore. I am truly setting myself up with this. Indeed, every other category on this blog will feel like a breezy day in Brighton compared to logging on and uploading my own pieces of (sob) soul.
O.k I mock a little. I’m using humour to defend myself. See its started, i’m defensive. Wait ’til the comments section starts pinging up on that stats page thingy and someone called Bill from: ‘blogginginmybath’, says, ‘that’s a bit shit love’.
Well Bill, (trying not to imagine him in the bath) , thank you for taking the time to comment but you see I can’t worry about you, or the grocer, or the punter at the pub, or the publishers or the (catching yawn) ruddy agents, because Bill…I have to write. If I don’t have a go at writing to an actual audience then how will I ever feel I lived this life to its fullest, richest and bravest potential – and Bill I don’t give one if that isn’t grammatically correct. I hated David ‘sodding’ Crystal’s book anyway.
Now, one could argue that you do not need an audience to write, and this is true of course, but to share what you do is a natural progression of the creative. It isn’t fame that most artists and writers seek- it is acceptance. Though for some it is even simpler.
In the words of Sylvia Plath – “I write because there is a voice within me that will not be still.” You see, writing is cathartic. It is an outlet for those dark thoughts and whimsical ideas we all nurse.
I already feel stronger. One page of a blog and I am a little braver than when I started. So, that, my friends is it. From now on I am an open book, and that’s a metaphor Bill – way more interesting than grammar – so up your over-bathed bottom.