Well…it’s been a while.
A good, long while, in fact.
This blog has been in limbo for the best part of half a year, and that’s not really on. The truth is, my writing landscape has changed a little over the past few months. I’ve been involved in a couple of exciting new projects for the wonderful Slow Travel Berlin, of which more as and when said projects come to fruition. But I’ve also been venturing outside the world of blog-style writing and into more of what the little boy in me who idolised Roald Dahl always wanted to write: fiction. I’ve no idea where it will go, or what I will do with it, but I’m a big believer in not believing in those kinds of things. I think that to gain satisfaction from writing – or, indeed, any form of art – you need to make it first and foremost for yourself. You are the only person that you know how to write for; if you are aiming your work at any other target group, you will always be trying to second-guess what they want to hear. If you take pride in your work and enjoy it, this in itself will become obvious in the text and, if you’re lucky, attract the interest of others.
With that in mind, it was my new year’s resolution this year to make a regular habit of writing for myself. Inspired by this wonderful blog, I was originally going to try and write 300 stories of 300 words or less in the space of a year. This would have been a good exercise, but I quickly realised that it was incompatible with another of my resolutions: not to put too much pressure on myself. By the second story, I also felt I was going to have regular problems cramming everything I wanted into my tales. Being concise isn’t my strong point.
So I dialed it back a little, and decided to give myself and the stories room to breathe. The 300 Stories exercise is an excellent idea, and would undoubtedly also help me cut back on my verbosity (George Orwell would surely approve), but it doesn’t fit with my current priorities. For now, I just need to start writing; the fine-tuning can come later.
So far, I’m doing pretty well on that front. I’ve sat down and done some writing at least once every week, and there’s some nice material coming together. At least one of the ideas has the potential to become something much bigger, but nothing’s certain at this stage. By this time next week it may have been reduced to a haiku. That is the joy of writing for yourself: there really are no rules.
So what now for this blog? Well, it’s going to stay put, and for the most part will remain a place for my linguistic musings and the occasional book-inspired piece. I may even use it to publish some of my fiction – I’ve not decided yet. But one thing I’m certain of is that I will be keeping it alive. Over the past two years, it’s become a great place for me to put in writing those thoughts that flit through my head on a day-to-day basis, and I’m still going to need that. Obviously, it’s now competing for my attention with several other projects, so I may not get around to adding new articles as often as I’d like, but it will still remain a central hub for all my written work, which means I’ll be using it to inform you all of progress elsewhere, too. So check back in now and then, follow me on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll be sure to see something new sooner or later.
In fact, I’ve got a lovely little politico-linguistic piece brewing as we speak…
Thanks for reading folks. Hope to see you all back here soon.