Fear the blank page

"Hey there. It looks like you're failing to write anything of interest!"

An auspicious start to the New Year this is not.

After one blog post, I’ve dried up. Can’t think of anything that interests me – or, to be more specific, would interest my reader (hello mum). The things I consider writing about become, before I’ve even put fingertip to keyboard, dull and tedious. Or, in the words of some second-rate hack from a few years back, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world.

Happy 2010? Bah.

It’s ironic (although I’m sure the type of pedant who likes to pick holes in Alanis Morrissette’s “Ironic”, believing they’re the first person to do it EVER, will point out that it isn’t). Because this year I’ve started keeping a diary – one that doesn’t just say things like “12:45 – Dentist”, “6:30 – The White Horse” or “11:59 – Murder tramp”. No, this time, I’m keeping a record of where I’ve been, what I’ve done and (in exceptional circumstances) how I’ve been feeling. So far this year I’ve been feeling “drunk” and “hungover”.

Funny things, diaries. On the one hand you’re writing purely for yourself; but on the other hand you write because deep, deep down you want your words to be read. It’s the hoary old ‘unhappy relationship’ chestnut. You write about how unhappy you are, but you won’t be happy until the other person betrays your trust and reads about your unhappiness. Because then you’ll be moving towards some kind of resolution.

So you keep your diary secret, stuffed down the back of the sock drawer (sorry dear, I won’t look again). But really you can’t wait for it to be discovered.

Mmm, secret diaries...

There was an interesting documentary about the public/private tension yesterday called Dear Diary presented by Richard E. Grant. (Well, it sounded interesting – actually I missed it. Still, God bless you BBC iPlayer.) Nancy Banks-Smith’s review in The Guardian mentioned a little anecdote that made me smile: “Russell Davies, editing Kenneth Williams’s diaries, was, no doubt, wounded to find himself described as a nasty piece of work.”

If you read that, would you, ahem, edit it out? And how does one edit a diary anyway? Surely the whole point is that a diary is shown in its warts-n-all entirety?

Anyway. I’ve broken my New Year blog duck. By writing about writing. Maybe I should scan the pages of my diary in and post them here. Then it could be a public blog about a secret diary. That’d be the self-referential icing on the postmodern cake.

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3 Responses to “Fear the blank page”

  1. pixielation Says:

    Maybe you should type the diary into here in the first place, and then mark it as private. I promise not to read it.

    Oh wait, you just wanted to use Billie Piper as a tag, and thus get a whole lot of completely inappropriate visitors. It’s going to be lecherous old men you know, not semi naked teenaged girls.

    Unless that’s what you wanted.

  2. pixielation Says:

    by the way, I’m not his mum.

  3. BNM Says:

    I started writing blogs but only got as far as bl.

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