Creative writing and blogging don’t necessarily have a lot in common. They occupy different head-spaces and require a completely different set of skills. That’s the excuse I’ve been using for posting so rarely in the last year.
My biggest impediment to blogging is that I have been working on two major projects. One, a novel – The Year It All Ended – proved to be emotionally draining and incredibly complex. It was only when an advance copy arrived in the post the other day and I held it in my hands that I could believe it was finished. It will be in bookshops at the beginning of September.
The other project that foxed my blogging ambitions was c0-editing an anthology of speculative fiction (to which I was also contributing). Whenever I thought of posting a blog, the novel screamed out for attention like the most difficult and fractious child imaginable or the piles of notes connected to the anthology would suddenly catch my eye and I’d abandon the idea of a blogpost completely and get back to the grindstone of ‘real writing’.
Is blogging worth the effort when you can be spending your time on creating new work? Yes and no.
I’m not one of those super-organised people that can structure their day into neat parcels. At various stages when working on a novel, I have to abandon everything and throw myself at the project. If I don’t immerse myself in the writing I can’t seem to hold the whole story in my mind. I’ll spend months living inside the novel, then have a necessary break while I work on something else, then go back to the novel again, hammer and tongs, as soon as I’ve caught my breath. There’s been a lot of satisfaction in finishing the latest novel but it was heavy going. I missed the lightness of blogging.
For a writer, blogging offers its own consolations. All writing is a conversation between writers and readers and there’s a satisfying immediacy about blogging that I used to really enjoy. It’s a way of sharing ideas and small inspirations without the high stakes of threading them into a prolonged and exhausting narrative. Since finishing ‘The Year it All Ended’ I’ve been struggling to put my office and my life in order gain. Not every novel that I’ve written has been as taxing as ‘The Year it All Ended’. The fact that its creation coincided with working on editing an anthology meant blogging became an abandoned pleasure.
Watch this space.