I created this blog a year ago with the hope that I would start writing again. Here I am a year later, all nine posts deleted and needing to start again. I say needing in the most literal sense because if I don’t start writing soon I won’t get the degree result that I need to go on to try and have a career in Law. So no, I’m not writing in spite of myself. This writing is a conscious decision and effort to improve, not the writing of some ‘divine inspiration’. You will find no Muse here; I’m just a student, taking steps to improve her own brain.
The title “writing in spite of myself” was a dream and something that I still aspire to, but it’s not my reality yet. Some people dream of writing whole novels, and not just average books but, like Marcus Zuzak, of writing “somebody’s favourite book”. For me, it would be enough to be able to sit down at my laptop with anticipation and confidence about what I’m going to type on the page. I have been putting off opening up this blog for days now. Even now I’m not exactly filled with joy at the idea of having to force myself to write throughout the whole Summer. This is just so different from the image books like I Capture the Castle placed in my idealistic teenage brain. I dreamed of being so comfortable with words that I could “write this sitting in the kitchen sink”. Just imagine being that in love with writing. Feeling the temptation to pick up a pen in any place and at any moment, and let the words flow from you with ease, each sentence perfectly formed and beautiful. That was the dream of my teens.
I am now twenty, finally coming to accept the idea that writing is not something that comes naturally to me. Instead of writing this sitting in the kitchen sink, I’m writing this trying not to be distracted by the fact that all seasons of Hustle have now been put on Netflix. And that is about as poetic as my writing gets. Writing in spite of myself has become more writing to spite myself. It’s something that I have almost come to loathe, and that is really quite problematic for an English degree student. Not only do I have to write on a regular basis, but I am constantly judged on my ability. It’s a problem.
However, that’s not where this ends. I am now twenty, and if I know anything by now, it’s that difficulty is not the end point. Every problem has a solution – has many solutions. A solution here is to write no matter how difficult I find it. The plan is to do some writing five days a week, even if what I write is utterly horrific. The one rule? Each post must have an argument that can be followed through the whole. You, reading this, must be clear about what I’m saying, and therefore able to engage with my writing.
I hate to admit that a lot of my past blogging experience has been not just guided by, but entirely stemming from the level of interaction my blog gets. If I was to write a post that got no views, or worse, was viewed but not liked or commented on, the likelihood of another post following decreased massively. Like that vain thrill you get when a flurry of people like your new Facebook picture, it was a reason to keep coming back. The new aim is to just write. If you are reading this and choose to engage, then that’s really great. It will mean that my writing is improving and achieving its purpose of raising questions and putting forward a well articulated and supported argument, that is easy and interesting enough to engage with. But that’s no longer the only aim.
Though I can’t promise that my writing will always be good, one thing I can promise is that I’m going to give it my all and I’m going to hold nothing back. Wish me luck!