If you dont want to blog, just say so, said Ian, helpfully – and kindly – in the comments.
And I know that – but its nice to hear someone say it. And believe me, if I didnt. I would just say so, and then I wouldnt anymore.
But I do. Its difficult to explain though – I am always wary of sounding like Oh, poor ME, my life is so HARD now; I got to move to an exciting new city have a loving partner and two cats and I write for a living oh WOE is ME! – but things have been a bit tough recently. Most markedly in terms of my mood and my confidence, which have been up-and-down and down-down-down, respectively. And frankly, when that happens, ALL I want to do is blog here – because I find it comforting and bolstering to my self-esteem, weirdly.
So I open the computer and I open a write new post page, and I click my cursor into the big white space and then I remember that Ive got three things pending – or at least that I could get started with – for work. And maybe if I start thinking about them now, then Ill end up happier with them than last week, or people will like them more, or something good will happen. So I open up three word documents for those. And then I open lots of tabs in my browser to start reading up for one of them. And then another window, and a bunch of tabs for the next. And then I get distracted by twitter, where its easier just to put a two sentence vignette and have done. And then my email pings, and I remember that there are a bunch of starred emails, and that nice people have emailed, and I havent replied (I know this is the case, and if youre one of those people, Im so sorry, I really am, Ill get to it when youre least expecting me. Like a ninja). Then I remember that I have to get some pictures from my camera and edit them and put them on flickr, because then itll be easier to write a blog post around one of them. And then I remember that theres another couple of blogs Im supposed to contribute to, and so I open edit windows up for those too, just in case I get inspired. And I have my portfolio site open too, just to remind me that its both been so long since I updated it, its going to take a week, and that Im so unsure of what Im doing at the moment that I dont want to put anything on there anyway, but I really should, because I said I would.
And then, THEN – and this is the best bit – I spend the next several hours flicking between ALL of those things and doing NONE of them, because every time I start doing one, I feel bad for not doing one of the others.
Eventually, of course, some of them HAVE to get done: the ones Im currently being paid for. But not without a whole bucket of anxiety, and the feeling I should have been doing something else, could have done them better etc etc. And theres a whole second act to that drama once theyve gone, but thats not the point right now.
So I do that. And then I open a write a new post blank page for that blog post I really, really want to write and the whole thing starts all over again. And somewhere in there I have to remember to go to the gym, eat, sleep (around four solid hours night at the moment, which is also clearly brilliant)
And if thats not an awesome organisational system, I dont know what is.
No, really, I dont know what is. Otherwise I would be doing it. Really. I mean – I want to write posts on my blog more than anything: its the thing that grounds me, and the writing that makes me happiest. And its the one I never bloody get to do.
So yes Ian – if I want to stop, I will just say so.
But its the one thing I want to do: which is – fucktardishly – why I so often end up saying absolutely nothing at all.
And again, Im going to try and start rectifying that, this weekend. Again. Just like i always say.
But please dont doubt my commitment to this blog.
I want to be here.
Im just shockingly bad at time-management and beating myself up about things.
but Im reading a book about it.
(And as you can imagine, that gets put into the loop with everything else: brilliant)
Later: I discover a rich vein of expatriate joy, right where I wasnt expecting to