Writing, friendship and blogging – or the need to show up


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I have been an appalling blogger of late.

For a while there I think I was doing okay in the consistency stakes, but not lately. The thing about blogging is although not many people actually comment I do get quite a lot of readers so I apologise if anyone has been desperate to hear about my writer’s angst and I’ve let them down.

I’m a big believer in consistency. It works for writing. It’s so much easier to write every day than to put a project aside and try and find your way back into a story. Ask anyone who does it, it’s excruciating, in a way you feel like you have to get to know the characters all over again. Connection to character is built from contact.

It’s true as well for blogging and it is also true for life. Connection to readers is built through contact and keeping the conversation going even when it feels one sided. It’s about showing up.

I feel the same way about friendship. Ninety percent is showing up.

One of the wonderful things about friends in books is they always seem to have time for each other. The main character is heart-broken and she calls her best friend who drops everything to talk to her and maybe run to her side or take her out for ice-cream or alcohol.

Friendship in life isn’t exactly like that in the 21st century. You have a bad day, you text your friend with a neutral “how are you?” ( a friend who in my case probably has 3 kids, a huge job, a dog, a sick mother-in-law, a looming deadline and PMS – that describes quite a lot of my friends) and she texts you back 3 days later. She tells you how she is and why she couldn’t text you back (read above)and asks how you are. Hopefully it was a hello text you sent and not an I found my husband cheating/I lost my job/I’m having a nervous break-down text you sent, because there was no ice-cream.

One of the problems with that when it happens over long periods of time, is we lose connection because we don’t have time to discuss the small stuff with the important people in our lives and instead we spend hours making small talk with people we barely know.

This is how we lose people from our lives. This is how they drift away from us. It’s the same when writing characters. You forget their favourite colour, their birthday, you don’t know what their favourite song is anymore and you have to fight your way back.

I’m actually pretty good at showing up for my writing and in life. As the world changes I’m starting to feel like the odd man out in real life, but I guess I’ll just have to put that energy into my fictional friends for a while.

This post wandered off track. I’ll try and be a more consistent blogger because even if I am sitting here alone having an ice-cream, or in my case a glass of wine, it still is important to show up, at least to me.

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