This is a draft blog post I just found in the ol’ archives. The title was ‘Truth’, I don’t know what the point of it was, and it’s unfinished, but I thought I’d publish it anyway.
Maggie tapped her hand on the desk and peered over her glasses at me. ‘The thing is Sam,’ she said slowly, ‘Is that you’ve got to be honest.’ She then paused for a while as she had a tendency to, and her eyes stayed fixed on mine before prompting that it was time for me to respond by letting out another sharp ‘hmm?’. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘of course.’ ‘But most importantly,’ she continued straight away, ‘People have got to like you. Not as an author, but you. You as a person’. Again, this was followed by a long pause, and again, another stare, and another short and sharp ‘hmm?’, as if to say, ‘you understand what I’m getting at here?’. ‘Yes,’ I said, though I wasn’t completely sure what I was saying yes to, and definitely didn’t really understand exactly what she was getting at.
30 minutes into my first meeting with an esteemed book agent, I was being told that in order to write a successful book about my experiences, I have to be someone that people like. The long pause after hearing this made the message seem all the more cryptic. Was I being told that I was someone that people like? Or was I like that boy trying his luck in some hollywood film, only to be told that You got alotta heart kiddo, but your never gonna make it. And in this case not only never gonna make it, but probably not ever gonna have any friends either, since this is all resulting from the fact that I’m not the kind of person that people like. Or perhaps even was I supposed to reply to this ‘hmm?’ with an argument for why I am the kind of person people would like, as if I were an idiot on the apprentice, who’d begin adamantly counting off his unique qualities on his fingers, starting to stammer and repeat himself by the time he got to the second hand. Uncertain of my role in this conversation, I decided it would be wisest perhaps to say nothing, and so I just sat there, I think almost half-expecting that at any moment she was going to finish sizing me up and present me with a 100% certification that people will like me. But this didn’t come, instead Maggie and I just maintained eye contact for a while, and hmm’ed at each other reciprocally.
I remember sitting in that room very well. Perhaps this is because Maggie had such a strong presence, while I was also eager to soak as much information as possible from my meeting with someone so knowledgable about the book industry. Maybe the brain recognises when a period of time could be important, and makes sure to preserve it’s memory in a cerebral safety box, leaving one able to return when the need arises.
…And I’m afraid that’s where the post ends, I’d continue it if I could remember what I wanted to say afterwards. It seems though while I still remember that meeting so vividly, conversely the intention of this blog post was clearly not acknowledged by my brain as such an important event.
Why I posted this
Ever since the anniversary of this blog I’ve been revisiting a lot of this website, it’s funny just watching my head change for a year, it’s like watching yourself grow up in fast forward.
I think one of the things that stood out the most to me is the attitude with which I treat this blog. The posts at the beginning – when I started – always had to be stories, they were filled with dreams and ideas of grandeur, they were about epic quests, they took me hours to write; each post I treated like a page of a novel. This draft was from those early days, and it took me a long time. I think that’s why I posted it now; it reflects a desire to write that I fear has slowly and unknowingly faded, lost out to the blogger mentality where I use lazy devices such as Why I Posted This (above) to provide quick shortcuts around difficult challenges such as linking paragraphs together.
I think that draft is some good writing. I describe people and set a scene and stuff. I don’t use the word stuff. I suppose I must’ve hoped that maintaining a blog would somehow transform me into a better writer (if better than all this is even possible) over time, and until now I had believed that it was, however upon revisiting my past I fear that it’s only making me a lazier one.
Though this blog has only become more important to me. There is more care for it than ever before, for reasons that I don’t even know. I think I tried to fight the idea of being a blogger at first, I was a writer, or something. Posts had to mean something. It was stressful actually, feeling some pressure to live up to with everything I wrote. In fact it was a pressure that even injected into everything I did, it was as if I needed to be doing incredible things all the time so that I could be writing about them. I was martyring myself sleeping on the various benches and streets of South Italian towns and villages, perhaps all for the cause of having something to talk about, or having created a worthy experience that fulfilled some strange fantasies I had before I set off out the country.
But since I arrived in Japan I’ve mellowed out a lot (/It’s too cold to sleep on benches). I’ve found other interests, other purposes, I think I’ve got more to terms with what travelling is, and also something happened that I noticed in February and was thinking about writing about then; I came to terms with being a blogger.
I AM A BLOGGER.
I KEEP A BLOG.
It’s about time I got that off my chest.
When I have thoughts I turn to this blog and I write them. They might just be about a text message, they might be about having a big nose, they might be about making analogies between travelling and fat girlfriends. Though sometimes on the other hand they may be more profound and describe something more emotively, or they may provide an insight into my surroundings with real descriptions of the characters who surround my life, or it might even be a 20 minute documentary that in real time shows the forging of a friendship.
What I’ve come to realise is that I can post what I like here, if it interests me and I want to talk about it, then I put it here, and I can either slave over it like the video, or I can just quickly muster up a post because I wanted to and I thought it’s kind of funny or interesting. Although I may not always so (comparatively) eloquently describe stories and set scenes as I have in the draft I published here, I feel rather than this being hampering to the blog, it actually sets it free. This is not a novel. This is a blog. I tried to fight it’s nature for a long time, and now, with a better understanding of our relationship, I feel like this blog is better than ever. I don’t need to wonder what I’m going to write, I don’t have to run out doing crazy shit to find stories, I just live and naturally attract the crazy shit it seems, and then let the ideas for what I want to write enter my head and put them up, however short/long, slaved over/rustled up they may be. This place gives me a platform to share, and I think I’m now learning how to really do that.
I’ve started to learn that when it comes to what I should write and do on this blog, the only rules are that there are no rules.
And those be the only rules I ever liked.