I am late to the blogging game. Well, sort of. I have written columns and occasional editor’s blogs – not to mention countless news, interviews, features and other articles – in previous online guises. But I’ve never had the gumption, nor frankly the time, to commit to a regular blog with my name and my name only at the top of it.
So this is a new challenge for me. But I have high hopes, and ones that aren’t entirely unfounded.
In my youth, I was a prolific and dedicated journal writer. And I do mean journals. When my parents presented me with my first bound notebook to fill, they inscribed it on the inside cover with a “Dear Diary” good luck message, which I promptly scribbled out. Forgive me, Samuel Pepys and Alan Clark, but the term “diary” always sounded far too trivial to me. Bitty and girlish.
And I, from a very young age, aspired to being a serious writer. A serious writer who committed her thoughts and inspirations to a serious journal.
From those many journals, which are now crammed onto the top shelf of a groaning bookcase in my study, two novels sprang. And some chapters and characters sprang very directly indeed as I delved back through my journal pages for anecdotes and the general feelings and insecurities of how life and love were experienced as a teen and twenty-something.
Ironically, as I got older, and my journalism career took off, my journal writing became less and less frequent. I had a short-lived resurgence in the late 1990s when I resorted to recording my journal entries in a Word document. My typing by that point was much faster, and more legible, than my handwriting. I found a printout of this journal chunk– all 100+ pages of it – in a box of personal belongings returned to me recently and lost an afternoon reading and ambling down memory lane.
And thank goodness I had the foresight to print it out because, as far as I know, if a digital copy does still exist, it exists only on a defunct and mouldering 3.5 inch floppy disk in some, even more inaccessible box somewhere.
Fast forward to now. The combination of typing skills, a little more time and storage in the wonderfully spacious Cloud, this new 21st-century journal – I mean, blog – should prove a doddle, right?
Actually, you’ll have to allow me referring to it as a journal now and again. Blog is an even worse word than diary.