Saturday, 20 April 2013

I'm not me

Okay, so that's not strictly true. I guess, technically speaking, I am me.

But when it comes to putting up these posts, I always feel that I'm a little bit...I wouldn't quite say a fraud, but I wouldn't say it's totally me.

The problem goes back a bit. I've never been one for talking about myself. When I used to read those columns you see in newspapers and  magazines where so-called celebrities blab on about nothing much in particular except themselves, I always thought that I could never do that. To be honest, I thought you'd have to be pretty up-yourself to even manage it.

I thought the same about blogging. Why would I want to have a blog? Why would I want to talk about myself? Who would be interested in reading it anyway?

Then I became a published writer. Of course, being the captain clueless I usually am, I hadn't put any thought into what I might need to do to actually get people to buy my book. So I was in catch-up mode pretty quick. And what was one of the first pieces of advice I saw pretty much everywhere?

You've got to have a blog.

Holy crap! How am I supposed to do that? What am I supposed to say? Am I going to have to become one of those people going on and on about themselves that I had so heartily despised?

I guess the answer is yes and no. Here I am, on my blog, and I suspect I'm rabbiting on about myself as much as any of those so-called celebrity columnists. But I still don't quite feel the same. I kind of feel that the me I'm rabbiting on about isn't quite the real me. It's just a pretend sort of me that I make up on the spot. At least that's what I tell myself. Maybe that's what all those other bloggers and celebrities tell themselves to.

Anyway, that's about it for now. So what are you doing? Can't you find something more useful to do than reading a bunch of blathering about a person who may not even be me? Go outside. Get some sun.

Have a great weekend. 


  1. My solution to this problem was not to talk about me except in passing. I wrote about what I knew about first of all and then, once that’d dried up, I started to research stuff to write about—I’ve just spent a week finding out about poetic energy—but it’s hard to do proper research and write a blog even once a week so that’s where the book reviews were a godsend. They do say, yes, you have to have a blog and that you should blog regularly but most of us follow more blogs than we know what to do with and a new post is almost a burden at times. There are a few people whose lives seem to be inexhaustible—I know of two—who can write about anything (standing in queues, the concert their daughter was in the night before) and keep your interest but they’re few and far between. My problem is that I set rules at the start. I saw too many bloggers drifting off-topic. I follow your blog because you’re a writer and I expect to read something connected to writing when I come to your blog. I don’t mind if you occasionally go off topic, in fact it’s quite interesting when you do (ah! he can talk about something else other than writing) but not all the time. That’s when I start to lose interest and end up dropping you. Every now and then I do a cull of sites and there’s one I can tell you here and now is going because all she’s posted for months are recipes and here I thought she was a writer. Of course the other problem you have if you do decide not to talk about yourself is how to take a topic that people have been blogging about for years and make it your own. Can’t really help you there but if you include enough of yourself in the post things usually work out; that’s where personal anecdotes usually come in handy.

  2. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the tips - I'm thinking the recipes may be the go.

    Have a good weekend.

  3. A little late for the party, but I only just discovered you and your work. Really lovely stuff!

    For my own blog, I do a fun exercise called Flash Friday. The premise is simple; every Friday, post up a piece of flash fiction. It doesn't have to be a work of genius (I myself use it as an exercise, a sandbox to experiment with techniques in) and it also acts as a nice taster of what people can expect from you in terms of style and tone. Right now, I'm formulating an idea for today's piece of flash fiction. It's a lot of fun!

    If you think that might be too much, maybe try doing drabbles -- prose of 100 words EXACTLY. Or if you're feeling daring, maybe even a piece of serial fiction, posting one chapter every 1-2 weeks.

    I for one would be a huge fan of some digestible fiction every week or so. It's a lot of fun to both write and read!

    1. Thanks for the tips - and the nice feedback.