The very first
This is my first ever post in my first ever blog. It has conjured up a whole range of emotions and I can’t quite work out which takes prevalence. Excitement or anxiety? Confidence or self doubt?
I am, in general, a person with a colourful spectrum of emotions, and unfortunately my mood can alter drastically in a matter of seconds. I could pretend this makes me fun and interesting to be with…but I fear that my only readership will be those who know the truth – and I can just imagine the collective ‘PAH!’ as they shake their heads wearily. (Hi guys!) To the rest of you…if there is anyone…don’t say I didn’t warn you.
My excitement is caused by the thrill of starting a new project; the anticipation of something in my life other than cooking, cleaning and traipsing after a little one. The brilliant thing about having Sam is that I have made him my whole life. But the worst thing is… I have made him my whole life. It sounds horrendous when I start throwing out words such as ‘unfulfilled’ and ‘unchallenged’ because I know that actually that is not the case. The moments of pure joy you experience when bringing up a child are shadowed by nothing else – I obviously can’t speak for your child (if you have one), but mine is WONDERFUL. If I had more time and energy, I would catalogue every scribble; jot down every new word as it is uttered; capture every smile, every tear. And the suggestion of not being challenged in the year of the terrible twos is quite frankly laughable.
The other cause of my excitement is my love of writing. Sure, I moaned and groaned at school and uni whenever essays were due in, but once I got down to writing, I LOVED it (a fact never admitted to another human being. Hey look – this blog is already opening up a new side to me)! I loved the simplicity of being able to communicate whatever came into my head; and the complexity of maintaining enough control to put the words into a sensible order and ensure they had relevance to the question.
Relevance to the question…now there was a concept I always slightly struggled with. Once I get thinking about something, I come up with so many ideas and arguments in my head that I forget what it was that I was charged with answering. I’m almost certain that every one of my past conversations have included the phrase ‘erm…what was it you asked me…?’
I set up this blog feeling assured that, for once, deviation from the question would not lose me marks. But apparently I was mistaken. The core of the advice from WordPress is ‘ANSWER THE QUESTION’. Well maybe not that exactly, but ensure to write about a specific topic; to target a specific audience. I am set to fail on both counts.
The anxiety and self doubt are linked: I hate doing anything that I’m not good at. I’d like to say I’m a perfectionist but I fear that, to be described as such, you have to strive for perfection even when you have no hope of reaching it. I strive for excellence; absolutely; but only in tasks where I feel I have an outside chance of succeeding. It’s a form of self-preservation. Luckily it doesn’t stop me from trying new things – learning new skills will never fail to delight me. But if that skill happens to be anything to do with singing or instruments, for example, the only music you will get to hear is the ‘THUMP THUMP’ of my feet as I head for the hills. (I wanted to say ‘‘patter’ of my feet’ there, but proven by a recent falling out with the bathroom scales I don’t think I can say that truthfully.)
I have always secretly…or not so secretly perhaps…thought myself OK at writing. However, it’s been a while since this theory has been put to the test and I am dreading uncovering the truth. I have chosen the worst time to investigate if I really do have a flair for it: my creative opportunities these days are limited to writing birthday cards to two year olds and sending 10 page nonsense texts to friends who kindly pretend to find them amusing. Safe to say my writing skills are horrendously rusty. I have, however, been participating in a correspondence with a man on the other side of the world, and I’m hoping, even if nothing else comes of it, the e-mails might at least get me back into former literary shape.