When I was writing essays for university, I always used to feel that the first couple of sentences were the hardest. I was never good with titles either. But it starts to get easier when you hit your stride.
I finished my PhD a few years ago now, and I've been having a bit of an intellectual rest. But I have now reached the stage where the rest is starting to feel a little bit more like stagnation. I need more of a challenge; an intellectual and creative outlet, or maybe just somewhere I can ramble on like an eccentric mad-woman (this is likely to happen). When I was studying, my job didn't have to be intellectually interesting because it was a means to an end - being able to afford to be a student - and I could engage my brain through my studies. But now I no longer have that chance to express myself and I need a new challenge.
I've been trying out a couple of ideas recently: book reviews on Facebook, and one of my husband's friends very kindly agreed to let me write a couple of reviews on his film and TV website (the excellent Seenit ). But neither quite seemed to fit everything I felt like writing about. Book reviews on Facebook seemed quite limiting. Seenit is wonderful, but I think that Martin and his readers might be rather annoyed and frustrated by some of my tangents.
So I thought that a blog might be a good option. I can be as random and as eclectic as I like (and I probably will be). This will be autobiographical, but not in the strictest sense of the term. It isn't going to be about my work, or my husband, or my family - but it will be about books I am reading, films and TV I have watched, theatre, and just anything odd that happens to enter my brain and get stuck in there for a while.
I feel rather ambivalent about being read. Part of me wants this to be read, part of me thinks that there is no point in writing this if it won't be read by someone - and part of me cringes with embarrassment at the idea. There is an inherent arrogance in thinking that someone will want to read about what you are thinking, but there is also the idea that insinuates itself into your consciousness: that it might be read by people who are interesting, and who share the things that interest you; maybe even noticed by a publisher, editor or agent who thinks you have an original voice. Ok - I know that last bit is a self-aggrandizing fantasy. But fantasy tends to be more fun than reality - which is more a comment on the state of my mind, not the state of my life.
Maybe ultimately the writing is the most important - the chance to express myself a bit more. Let out some of the eccentricity, some of the quirks (I love that word) that most people hide at work to try and seem more normal and fit in.
I feel like it has got a little bit easier already.