Image of snowy road

Blog as if no one was watching. In this case, really, no one is watching.

I’m about to break my own unconscious blogging rule of the year, which was to not write pointless posts that serve no other purpose than to satisfy my desire to play with words.

Yeah. I kind of had no idea that I had put that rule into place until about five minutes ago while I was snacking on prosciutto crudo out of the packet, a packet that is so absolutely flat that it makes me think that prosciutto crudo must be the easiest thing in the world to ship and if so, why the hell is it so expensive in China?

I was thinking of how blogging used to be for me, easy and enjoyable and necessary in a very fundamental way. It’s true that in those days I only blogged about personal issues because I was very sad, a bit because of things that had happened but also because I am, I think, not a naturally cheerful person. The words came easier then and I am not quite sure why.

I’m not sure why I censor myself now but the way I think of it is this: exposing yourself on a blog when you are young is easy in a way that it’s easier to get onto a roller-coaster when you’re a kid; the danger is still not real to you yet. When you’re an adult however, that’s when you start thinking about things like machines malfunctioning and sending you hurtling through the fairground sky to an untimely and bloody death. Or potential employers and ex-boyfriends and nosy relatives stumbling on your blog and finding out about all your secret sins and deep insecurities and ugly parts of yourself.

Not that I have any secret sins or deep insecurities or ugly parts. In fact, I am quite perfect in every way.

It’s been getting really cold here in Beijing, and the colder it gets the more I seem to want to write, to immerse myself in words and pens and notebooks, to set up various filing systems in Google Docs and Evernote, to make list upon endless list of ‘ideas’, all of which of course serve the purpose of distracting me from the real hard work: the actual writing.

You guys? Writing is hard. Cerebrally, I know that and have always known that because I mean, even as an eleven year old, all my Mallory Towers-style stories fell very flat, even when I accompanied them with my own special hand drawn illustrations. But because I love it, and it has been the only thing that I’ve ever wanted to do since the time I was a kid, I keep at it, always in one form or the other.

But really, every single time I attempt to write something fiction-y, I am reminded of exactly how difficult it is, the sheer grit it takes to not just write, but to write well. And although I have never been one for hero or celebrity worship, I can’t help but look at all the great writers out there spinning their words into books with a certain sense of awe.

And also clawing, green-eyed jealousy. Because I want to be one of them so badly, I would cut off my right hand if I didn’t need it to write.