Started using my Twitter account today. Still not sure what it's all about.
When writing my 'tweets' (all of which, may I say, were both insightful and fascinating...) I began to think "what could I put that would make someone read this?" Or "if I put this or that, what will people 'think.'"
Yep, I began to self-sensor. I became my own PR advisor.
We all do it. We present versions of our lives on Facebook, Twitter - whatever - that are either exaggerated to make us look 'fun', 'successful' (etc) or that dial up our misery in the hope that someone will say 'no, you're not fat' or 'you look great!'
It's the same when I write. I have to think about what people want to read (obviously!) and I hope that I can write articles that are both interesting and insightful. And hopefully that usually happens.
But as a freelancer you often find yourself in a situation in which you have to find a group of complete strangers and expect them to hang their dirty washing up in public. That's if you want to get into some publications.
What's more, those 'strangers' are probably exaggerating, or downplaying elements - or being OTT to get attention.
So what's real? Do we shoehorn ourselves and others into categories to make them more/less interesting? Is anything we read in a newspaper 'real'? (Don't answer that!).
And unless you're famous already, who really wants to follow you on Twitter?
It gets to the stage in which you don't actually know what you think, because you are experiencing your own feelings and thoughts through what you think people might think about you? AAARGH!
So what's real? Let's cut the cr*p!
I'm a good writer. It's the one thing I feel confident about. I left it a bit late to start because of health problems and having copious amounts of IVF then hundreds and thousands of babies (OK, exaggerating AGAIN). I have things to say that I feel are interesting. Sometimes. I want to get on with my next novel: some days I believe it will be published; some days I feel like a fool. Like a FOOL I tell you!!!!
But I want success on my own terms (if at all), not because I hunt some weirdos out from the backstreets of Freaky Town to spill the beans on something that only half happened. I'm determined not to be dragged into all that - the writer equivalent of fame for fame's sake. Being controversial for attention rather than because you believe in a cause.
As for other 'truths.' Let's get real. Right now, I'm half watching 'Live at the Apollo'. I'm sitting in my jumper and knickers and socks, as I removed my jeans to do my exercises in the hope I can slim down. My daughter's nappy needs changing, but I'm hoping Ray smells it first... I am trying not to break into the chocolate in the cupboard. I am trying to find reasons to believe that 35 is young rather than old, and that I still have time to achieve what I want before I get too crusty... I have a sneaking suspicion I'm crap at most things. Oh, and I go to bed most nights with a feeling of having failed in some way - probably because I set the bar too high, but sometimes because I'm a bit of a messy cow and haven't cleaned up after myself. I'm a perfectionist living in a world that's out of my control.
I drink too much tea.
I wish I had more money.
I'd like to move back to the UK, but wonder if I ever will.
And I'm knackered, so off to bed...
Or am I????
That's just one of the things you'll have to trust me on... :)