These are the stunningly obvious things I have learned since starting this pissing into the proverbial wind:
1. Writing a simple blog post isn't simple and can't usually be done in a day. If you give a shit about your writing you can't get away with just spewing words onto a page and hoping it will be good. Apparently you have to work at it and refine your craft until you can actually piece together palatable sentences. It's almost like writing isn't an inmate skill but something that you actually have to do in order to learn. If only I'd had multiple people telling me that for the last 20 years... actually I did. Maybe I'm finally ready to listen...
2. Ideas are weird - the ones in your head that seem really juicy often dry up rapidly when pinioned to the page but the little thoughts that blip and bubble can often explode into something much bigger. I have been writing a post about cartoons for 2 weeks and it's nowhere near finished, in fact it won't be for ages but I think it might be good when it gets there.
3. It's ok to cheat a little bit. This is my blog. I am allowed to dredge up work I have done before and use that to fill a post if I want. It is not ok to use someone else's work to do this.
4. I have really wanted to follow the format of articles in my favourite magazines... I have written endless pieces on my favourite films (none worthy of publishing) in the style of Standard Issue's Rated or Dated only to find someone else has done it first. The Philadelphia Story is my favourite film dammit; how dare Hannah Dunleavy write a charming and witty piece on it without asking my permission.
5. Creating a website is simultaneously much harder and much easier than I thought it would be. It's certainly much simpler than it was in the nineties when I did a computer science module at university. Back then I had enough time to make and drink a terrible cup of coffee whilst the computer logged on and to be honest I basically got my computer scientist mates to do my homework for me. Now it is simple enough to do it myself (thank you squarespace) I'm finding it difficult to balance the amount of time I spend on the design versus the content. Obviously I came here to write so that should be my focus, but the look of the website conveys information about the content so it can't be left uncurated. Luckily there is time to tinker whilst writing, which is nice.
6. I still really miss wine in the evenings
7. I do not have any willpower in the week running up to Christmas.
8. I am allowed to fail and start again.