I inadvertently took a month off blogging. Various reasons for this but it was prompted by my return to college last month. Turns out the fact that I finished my first draft shifts me along. I have become someone who might have a book to publish. Suddenly the draft feels like a commodity, something that could actually BE something rather than just a password-protected file on my laptop. I came out of my three day sequential reeling with the enormity of this and the excitement of being back in the academic sphere. I love the academics; turns out I am geek. I just want to read books and talk about books and write books. But then there is this other side of becoming a writer (does one become a writer is one always a writer??) and that is the public brand.
Let’s say I get published (wooahhh!!); I will have to come clean about who I am. I will have to say ‘I wrote this’ and take all those reviews on Amazon from Book Club readers who loved it or…deep breath…felt they couldn’t relate to the characters or that the plot was implausible. Equally in more heady moments I imagine being interviewed on ‘Women’s Hour’ and discussing the themes of my book and my depiction of women and girls, for example. Awesome with a capital A.
Like anything, it’s taking the rough with the smooth and I am well aware I might just be getting ahead of myself here; all I’ve done is written a little old draft. Publishers might run a mile. Or they might not.
And then there is the blog. This old blog has propped me up like a mental crutch year after year. This funny place of friends I’ve never met and words I just have to write and pictures of beautiful things that frankly don’t truly represent real life! The escapism of it! I have always been fiercely protective of this place and of my identity within it. It’s public but not public if you know what I mean.
There is this interesting little trickle of people I met on line who have now shifted across from the blog medium to more intimate mediums and I am friends with them on Facebook or Instagram. Our lives spill over from anonymous to well-known but if I passed them in the street we might not even know it. A modern phenomena. I look back on the blog posts I have written over the years and see they range from the sublime to the ridiculous; I have shared a whole lot of random stuff and have dallied in many a niche; fashion, interiors, motherhood, careers, beauty, writing, you name it…
So with all this in mind I suppose I got stage fright and just stayed away for a while trying to work it all out. Then eventually what happened was that I started to miss the mental download and worried that I owed you a word or two, that there might be someone out in the ether, anon or known, who was wondering: where the hell has Lou gone?!
So I am here.
It’s October, I am succumbing to the sartorial demands of the British winter; jeans, boots, jumpers, scarves. All individuality sapped by the need to stay warm. I wore a silk scarf yesterday tied jauntily round my neck and my son said in all seriousness: ‘why are you wearing a handkerchief round your neck?’ I replied that I had seen it on Pinterest. This was lost on him. I long to break out of the jeans/jumper Muggles uniform. I’ve written about it many time before but it bites the most right now.
This time last year we were living elsewhere and our house was uninhabitable. Now it’s all done and a friend came last week and commented that it seemed ‘lived in’ now. I think this was mostly to do with how my desk in our kitchen is covered in propped up pictures of Floridian sunsets and palm trees, sand dollars and sea glass. I notice that I like to surround myself with such items and images, it helps me weather the weather. I was born to be in the sun.
I cut my hair shorter; dare I say too short? Perilously close to housewife hair. But I am persevering. Pinterest has a lot to answer for.
Life gathers pace, sport fixtures dominate. My husband and I are stealing a few days away next month to go to Marrakesh. I am supremely excited about this having never been. We also snagged Glastonbury tickets for next year so I can report that my midlife crisis is alive and well. Christmas starts to loom on the horizon and I have to face up to the commercial extravaganza that it is, with glimpses of family goodness thrown in.
So back to this blog. I think I am going to have to reinvent it, rename it, remake it and somehow get comfortable with it again. But for now I just wanted to say ‘hi’…
How you doing?