A very belated Merry Christmas/Happy New Year from me to you. Truth be told, I didn’t post before now because ever since January I’ve been victim to the classic January Blues. Until this year, I’d never really experienced them like this. It has genuinely felt miserable. It’s included a few bouts of (sober) public crying, one break-up and 18 daily life-crises. London has felt like a city of zombies, with no-one to pick each other up because we’re all in the same sad boat, rowing towards imminent misery with a huge loss of financial pounds and a huge gain in bodily ones.
“You wanna come round tonight?”
“No, it’s too cold and I’m too sad”
“Oh thank god, I thought you were going to say yes.”
When I was thinking about what to do for my first post of 2016, I thought I’d take it back to why I started this blog in the first place. As well as a place to share amusing stories of my failures for those who wanted to read them, it’s a place where I can put my brain somewhere tangible.
My mum reminded me of a story from when I was two and a half. One of my little galpals asked her “why doesn’t Katie talk?” Apparently I was always quiet and that continued into school years where I preferred to read rather than speak to my peers. Also because one of them used to blow snot onto me. When it came to choosing my blog name, the irony of my final choice was not lost on me when I created it. Basically, I had no friends at primary school apart from one who, although we were friends, used to convince me to throw things at windows and then tell on me. Besides that, she was really great… I do have one fond memory of spending every lunch break with a new friend I made, chipping out this beautiful stone that was set into the playground concrete (and no, I couldn’t possibly tell you why we thought this would be fun). We scraped away at it every day for two weeks, until one afternoon it popped out, flew up in the air and went down a literal drain. Just like our friendship soon after.
Whilst rehearsing a school play, my crush said that I should be the character of the reader because I was really good at reading. I went home that night and planned our wedding, making a book all about him and writing things in it like “Dave* said I was good at reading. Here is a tiny picture of him from a school trip that I zoomed in on, cut out and then glued into this book. I love him.” I won’t even go further into detail about this book that I wrote, because it’s one of my most shameful personal tales. My brother found it one day and told me to throw it away. I was so humiliated, that I did.
At secondary school, my friends and I – yes I finally had some – used to spend our lunch breaks writing on this website called LiveJournal. I can’t remember if this was around MySpace time or before Bebo, but it was basically an online diary. I have no idea what I filled mine with, besides who was annoying me, who had a new bag or how much I hated biology. I tried to log on years later to find them but I think they’ve gone into a digital black hole. Luckily.
I wrote my first story when I was 14. I remember sitting outside and writing the first chapter. It was based on a summer holiday romance, where the protagonist would sit at dinner with her family and give this guy the sideeye from across the room, until she fell off her chair and went really red. I never got past the first chapter as I didn’t quite know how to develop this story into a bestseller. If any of you have any thoughts, do let me know – I’m still hoping to finish it.
During my gap year I was constantly telling everyone that I was going to write a book. I even spent hours Googling ‘how to write a book’. Which brought up nothing to the fore apart from ‘you need a beginning, middle and end. Oh and characters’. Great, let’s go. Although I couldn’t think of the content, I knew I wanted to write something.
This leads me to my current authorial intent. The more time goes on, the more I’m realising things about myself. That I’m a fairly insular person and expressing myself on a page feels very natural to me. That a large part of my relationships – both friendly and romantic – are built on my love of writing and sharing stories.
We all remember the MSN days, where you’d log on and talk to boys for hours before your mum picks up the phone and the Internet dropped out and you thought that unless you got back online within the hour, he could have a new girl’s MSN name in his bio. And now, there’s the current writing climate of dating apps, Whatsapp and instant communication. With my career, I’m not sure where it’s headed but writing is all I’ve ever loved to do. I feel absolutely confident writing things down, whereas although I consider myself (now) a very social person, some social settings can leave me not wanting to say a single thing and sitting there like a freak waiting for it to end.
I hope 2016 is the year that I can put my love of writing to good use. I have a few ideas in the pipeline for this blog, as well as personal writing goals. Although not many people read this yet, I sometimes get messages from those I haven’t physically seen/spoken to in years – and that’s a good enough reason to keep me writing. Thank you for your encouragement and thanks for being marginally interested enough/bored to read this. Unless ‘Dave’ sees this particular post and messages me, then I will have to write under a pseudonym/find a new trade/start a new life elsewhere.
*Name has been changed for his own sake. I’d like to take this opportunity to say I bumped into him at 18 in a club and he tried to get with me. He didn’t recognise that it was me, but still. It was a triumph.