Thursday, 2 August 2012

"The bravery of idiots..."

An interesting thing has happened in the brief history of this blog. Two people who’ve read it – one who I know very well, the other I’ve never actually met – have described my decision to blog about my writing as “brave”.

Now, on the face of it, this is a ridiculous comment. Blogging is not a brave thing to do, unless you’re fighting for freedom of speech in an oppressive society, or something along those lines. (Which I, obviously, am not doing!). Bravery is running into a burning building or leaping into a raging river to rescue somebody when you could easily stay outside or on the bank.

I am not a brave person, and have never done anything brave.

However, I suspect that’s not what they meant. I rather think they were using “brave” in the same sense that they use “courageous” in Yes, Minister. “A courageous decision, Minister...”

And I can see what they mean, in that respect. Imagine if an agent or publisher who’s received a submission from me Googles my name, finds this blog, and reads all about what a complete failure my writing career has been so far. I can imagine how that might not look good.

But on the other hand, I think this blog is a good advert for my writing career – certainly good enough to outweigh any drawbacks. I think it shows my passion for what I do, my commitment to it, and that I haven’t just decided overnight to scribble a lazy submission for some novel I am never going to come near finishing.

So I’ll carry on blogging. Because I enjoy it, and even if nobody’s reading it’s good fun to put together these little reflections and missives. I don’t think there’s any danger in it. No confidences are being betrayed, and no secrets revealed. A lot of writing failure talked about, yes, but I think failure is something the vast majority of writers experience for a long time before they finally succeed, so this blog doesn’t reveal anything stunningly unusual.

I’d prefer to have a successful novel to tell you all about some day though, of course!

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