The day to day tribulations of a writer often have nothing to do with writing. Take this past weekend….
Picture the scene: my partner is (still) a keen amateur cricketer and it was a big day on Sunday when he fielded a team for a friendly match. For those who don’t know, a cricket team is eleven people. I’d been asked, along with the club chairman’s partner, as is the custom, to provide ‘tea’ for both teams plus a couple of umpires and various wives, girlfriends and children. We divided the task between us, she providing the savoury element, me the sweet part. In real terms that’s cake for about forty people. No problem.
All went well until the heavens opened and the match was called off halfway through. Typical English weather. Anyway, the food was duly eaten (in a crowded, drenched and steaming pavilion… only in England) and then it was all back to ours, for an evening of eating, drinking and chat.
Which brings me rather laboriously to my point and the real subject of this post. Why do I blog? Why does anyone blog?
Someone I don’t know terribly well asked me, rather innocently, how my writing was going. We’ve all been here before, right? And you probably know the outcome, too. Even so, more in hope than expectation, I launched into a précis of where I was (it doesn’t do, I’ve found, to protract these conversations – let’s not push our luck), before I recognised the descent of that disappointing glaze of boredom, and my inquisitor started looking over my shoulder for someone more interesting to talk to.
Now I don’t think for one minute that writers are boring people; quite the opposite, but it’s like anyone talking about their passion: if we’re not careful, we frighten people off. They don’t understand. Writing is unfamiliar territory to most people and they don’t know how to respond. Most people don’t have a cache of sensible questions ready to pull out when they find themselves in conversation with a writer, even an amateur one.
I should feel sorry for them, but I don’t. Very occasionally I meet someone who is genuinely interested. They actually want to know about my writing: the process, the storyline, the ending. My heart soars for a moment and I allow myself to bask in the sun. Then a child interrupts and the moment is gone.
So this is why I blog. Because everyone who reads my ramblings is interested in writing. Some are even interested in my writing. It’s balm for my troubled soul. It humbles me and makes me realise that there is a reason for all this. It’s having a conversation with a lot of like-minded people. It’s quite brilliant, really.