I’m not thinking of the usual reasons. The usual trio of: it’s a waste of time, who cares, it doesn’t sell books.
No, mine is more personal. Mine is–how can I put this delicately–I don’t really want to tell you what is really going on with me. Which in theory is the whole point of a blog, isn’t it? Someone out there in the cloud telling the world how it is to be them?
The idea was that I would write an author’s blog and the people would come. Readers want to know you, said the publicists.
Actually they said, We haven’t a clue but you might give it a shot.
So I did.
And I wrote very bland things. And the couple of times I wrote less bland things, I lost my agent, upset a friend, and well, luckily there wasn’t a third disaster because by that time I’d learned my lesson.
BE CAREFUL. BE VERY CAREFUL.
Authors, if they know what’s good for them, are not going to bare it all in a blog.
I never gave this blog a title because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on: writing, living in London, parenting. There are so many excellent writing blogs out there that I didn’t know where to place myself. Then I thought, I know, I’ll write about being a struggling midlist writer!
All the squirrels outside my window fell from the trees with boredom.
So I’ve hopped around, trying to give a sense of what a novelist might think about. But always inoffensive. Light light. Nicey nicey.
But to get an involved following an author is supposed to offer something of herself. Warts and all. Real opinions. Real feeling.
But sorry, I can’t do that. All the good stuff I have to keep close to my chest. Anything interesting I’m not going to divulge facelessly through the ether. To be read by those I don’t know. Or even worse, by those I do!
This reticence is why I became a novelist in the first place. To divulge the workings of my conflicted soul in the safe anonymity of my characters. Where I can let lose all those uncomfortable, sometimes cruel observations and opinions that lurk inside me. That bubble up in all of us. Which are acceptable in characters but not usually in real people. Which is why we all love fiction so much.
If readers want to know a writer, the best they can do is read his or her novel.
Where we can be conflicted, twisted and snarky to our heart’s delight.
photo by mugley (flickr)