Start a blog, they said

If you are a writer you need a blog, they told me. You need to connect with your audience. Readers want to know how you think. Heck, I don’t even know how I think. And connecting with my audience – isn’t that the point of writing stories? Any time I might spend writing a blog is time I could be writing fiction. By writing a blog I am actually letting down my audience. I am against it. Right now, as I type this, I feel guilty because I am not working on a manuscript. No, blogging is not for me.

But just in case anybody should ever read this, you may want to know some stuff about me. You must have high levels of curiosity if that is the case. Anyway…

I am an only child. I grew up in rural Suffolk, in England, mostly. I liked climbing trees and going for long rides on my bike. I read a fair amount because there wasn’t so much television then, and what there was awful. I decided I wanted to write for a living when I was a teenager but what I actually did was go into “computers”. I started as a computer operator at the University of Surrey and then did a bit of programming and became a lecturer in operating systems at the customer training establishment of the UK’s biggest computer company, ICL. Somewhere in there I had a brief foray into selling insurance and an even briefer stab at recruitment consultancy. I was terrible at both.

I got married, got back into programming and took a job in Dallas, Texas for a while. My eldest child was made there. We returned to the UK and had two more kids. For a bit of adventure, this little family accompanied me to Toronto, Ontario for another assignment. I was involved in a series of software projects all of which ultimately failed and each of which ended with me getting promoted to a new level of incompetence. Eventually I took voluntary redundancy and started a one man web business which specialised in the local health economy. The UK government starved it of money and all my contracts dried up, so I left the world of work entirely. My kids were all adults, or so they told me, so we managed OK on my various pensions.

All the while I never entirely gave up the idea of becoming a writer. I made a start on several novels and even got some short fiction published, although what and where now elude me as I seemed to have lost all the manuscripts. They are perhaps in my attic but I have vowed never to return there.

I started to get involved in local theatre, first as an actor, then a director, then as a writer, and managed to get several of my short plays staged. I started to write longer pieces, and spurred on by lockdown, completed a novel, set in the aftermath of a global pandemic.

Now it seems I am writing a blog, even though blogging is not for me.


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