Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Not the very beginning – but a very good place to start

I’ve been putting off the first post of my blog for some time, even though the blog itself has been set up and waiting for months. It isn’t because I can’t think of anything to write – I’m a writer, never short of a word or plenty – but rather the opposite problem. I have too many things to say and I want to start with something relevant, even something seminal.

I’ve been putting it off too long, even when I’ve had things to say. (Sometimes I’ve said them elsewhere; sometimes I’ve kept my light hidden). I’ve chosen the title of my blog to allow me to share my thoughts on some of the things I love most. I could talk about what I’m writing and why I’m writing it, what I’m reading and whether it’s worth it. I could go on - at great length - about where I’ve been and the effect it’s had on me. (One thing you’ll learn if you spend time on my blog is that a sense of place is, for me, one of the most important things in the writing process.)

So I’ve decided to start now. It’s Christmas Eve. Pre-Christmas is in progress and there’s plenty to be done – the last presents to be wrapped, the sausage rolls to be made, a luscious, melting brie to be chopped and coated in parmesan and breadcrumbs ready for tomorrow. (Thank you, St Delia, for your contribution to our Christmas tradition.) But they can all wait. I’ve put off my blog long enough.

I understand now that, unlike a novel, a blog has no obvious starting point because writing is an ongoing, iterative process. It’s a journey but it’s one that has (to quote the geologist James Hutton, writing on quite another subject) “no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end”. So there’s no point in inviting readers to join me for a trip from A to B. Hop on where you like, hop off where you like. Feel free to join me for a stage of my writing journey or for longer. And enjoy the ride….

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