First things first: yes, I’m late to the blog party.
I’ve been meaning to get around to starting one for about, ooh, seven years now.
Why? Because I love writing. I’m mathematically inept, rubbish at science and terrible at drawing. I wrote my first “book” at the age of eight (‘Journey Into a Volcano’; precociously photocopied into a book, bound with string and yours in 1989 for the modest cover price of 10p). I retreated into my hellish teenage years with a taped copy of ‘Generation Terrorists’ by the Manic Street Preachers, a notepad and a pen, only ever leaving my room to grunt at my parents and steal my dad’s copy of Private Eye.
Writing was a solace. A friend.
Poems I wrote in my overwrought angsty phase were published in a few anthologies, and after a reporter from the local newspaper came out to interview me, I wangled my way into a summer job where I convinced them to give me a music column. I read Julie Burchill avidly, and dreamed of running away to work for a music magazine just like she had. All of a sudden, the dream of getting paid to write didn’t seem so laughable after all.
Nowadays I’m lucky enough to write for a living. I run a PR agency, and thousands of words leave my desk every day. If my 16 year old self met the 32 year old me, she’d high five her and whoop something along the lines of “go girlfriend!” (actually, she’d probably just grunt).
But when you do something day in day out, the joy kind of evaporates, y’know?
I’ve been longing to find an opportunity to write for fun. To put pen to paper (or cursor to screen) because I want to and not because I’m being paid to.
And a blog, of course, is the perfect vehicle for just that. But life has this habit of sneaking up on my goals and strangling them at birth.
I’m a mam, a catmam, a business owner, a girlfriend, a wannabe cook, a news junkie and an award-winning ratcatcher (ok, I may have made that last bit up). All these things take TIME. Some days it’s all I can do to take my make-up off at the end of the day and make sure there’s milk in the fridge.
Until now, I just couldn’t seem to find the time…and thinking about that today is what inspired me to finally get my blog on.
This lovely egg timer from The School of Life arrived in the post today. It measures out 15 minutes, very precisely, in grains of bright yellow sand. I bought it for the office, to use to time our ‘creative thought sessions’ (the 16 year old me would have punched me in the face for that one).
I turned it upside down and realised that a quarter of an hour goes incredibly quickly. I didn’t achieve much in that window of time, to be honest, and I started thinking about how much time I waste every day – whether it’s checking Twitter first thing, or channel surfing late at night.
I wondered how I could turn this dead time into something more rewarding. And then it dawned on me. Fifteen minutes is ample time to scribble down a collection of random thoughts and think up a headline.
So here I am.
It really is about time….