In resurrecting this blog I’ve managed to get down a few thoughts I’ve been having recently about writing, and about what I want to get out of my writing. And in returning to the blog I found that this site is a very useful means of doing that, and that the function of the blog, to me, has changed somewhat since I first started it a few years ago.
I started it to try to boost my own profile, and also to try and share my own expertise, understanding, and experience about the writing process and business. The single most illuminating thought that this has brought about in me is that I don’t know a great deal. Actually, that’s not strictly true – I still think I know how to write a decent book, and I do have some limited experience that may or may not be valuable to others, but I don’t think that I’m really in a position to dole out pearls of wisdom.
Instead, I’m now using the blog in a more diaristic sense, as a means of organising my thoughts and figuring a few things out. It does help, and I suppose if I were to offer any advice on writing these days, it would simply be to write things down. That sounds rather trite, but I do sense that writers are better at writing down their fictional narratives than the ones they’re living. I’m finding it quite conducive to structuring my thinking, or working through an argument, and also motivating myself more for my fiction writing.
There’s a sense that when starting a blog that you’re going to very quickly receive comments and interactions with large amounts of people, and that’s never been the case for me, probably owing to the sporadic nature of my posts. It seems at this moment in time much more sensible to use a blog for more selfish reasons; to organise my thoughts relating to writing, rather than anything didactic, which is assumptive and possibly a little arrogant. I’m enjoying posting my work here, starting with Resurgam; to be honest I should have started doing it a lot earlier. Most writer friends of mine decided that publishing fiction via a blog just wouldn’t be of any value, but I disagree; just having it out there is of tremendous value.
I still have one submission out there in the wilds, but I have a feeling I know which way it’s going to go. If that feeling is assuaged, then I’m done with the rigid rigmarole of subbing to literary agents for the time being. And I’ll return to the realm of writing simply to write. Just flicking through WordPress the other day brought to my attention a poetry blog, a mad science fiction blog, and a cool lit-fic blog, and I realised that people are getting their work out there in so many ways. It feels like going backwards – no, that’s not quite right – it feels like coming around a small circle, back to the starting point, but having been changed by the process. And that’s pretty cool, because that’s a fairly fundamental mythic narrative in itself.