I’ve just come home from three days away. Mr Bodycrimes is away on business, so I’m here with the neighbour’s cat, who’s wandered in to escape the cold.
There is unpacking to be done and emails to be answered and clothes for the morning to be ironed. But, having just travelled for seven hours straight, I thought it might be nice to have a cup of tea and surf the web for a bit. Catch up on news headlines, see what’s going on in the manosphere, gasp at the latest Daily Mail outrage, that kind of thing.
I also had some vague thoughts about blogging about something that happened yesterday.
I can’t bring myself to do it. Any more than I can bring myself to finish the six (count ‘em) half finished blog posts sitting in my draft folder, some of which are lighthearted, at least two of which are on relatively serious subjects.
I’ve enjoyed the blogging experience, which I started doing late one night when I was stuck in Hong Kong airport. Since then, the blog has been a reliable distraction whenever I’ve been killing time somewhere.
(Oddly enough, every one of my most popular posts was written while in the Lufthansa lounge, one of the most uninspiring places on the planet.)
The blog started out as observations on the insidious intrusion of market values into every corner of our lives. As I’d just finished my cancer treatment, I’d also drop in posts here and there on health matters.
Then I got hooked on writing about various feminist things, mostly to have fun with some of the radical misogyny I’d tripped into online. Strangely enough, I found the more I poked the misogynists with a stick, the bigger my readership got. It turns out there’s a huge appetite for manosphere mocking. When I pretty much stopped talking about it for a while last year, my readership fell off a cliff. I’ve since given in to the temptation to write a couple more posts on the subject.
But it’s not a good temptation to indulge. Mr Bodycrimes hates it, and I think for a good reason – it’s mean spirited, for a start.
Also because it’s affected my writing. Facile blogging like this is, in literary terms, the equivalent of eating fast food all the time. It’s made my writing flabby and dull.
So I’ve decided to leave the Christian Taliban and their fellow travellers in peace. What seems at first to be a hotbed of anti-women activity is basically just a bunch of middle aged men sitting round chatting to one another about stuff.
If they weren’t holding forth on the finer points of misogyny and Titus 2, it would be freemasonry, or Bilderberg conspiracy theories. These men are either single and unhappy about it, or divorced and unhappy about it, so if sitting round praying for civilisation to collapse cheers them up, who am I to mock them?
I have better things to do.
Before I was wasting time blogging, I was using my spare time to write. This morning I realised that I’d begun blogging after my last book was delivered and I was worrying about what to do next, and that the blog was just a cover for a great big hole called Writer’s Block.
Funnily enough, as soon as I realised that, the solution presented itself. In the 15 minutes before my taxi was due to come and whisk me to the airport, I ran into a stationery shop and stocked up on good, old fashioned paper and pens. There’s something deeply exciting about stationery. The shop was having one of those ‘3 for 2′ deals on lined notebooks with stern black bindings, so I carried off as many as my baggage allowance could tolerate. I bought so many, the shop assistant said I’d earned a free lever arch file. When I said I didn’t want it, he ran after me into the street to convince me to take it!
But the notebooks are enough. I’ve mostly always written with a computer, but very occasionally I’ve used pen and paper and been surprised at what comes out. There’s something about picking up a physical pen and applying it to actual blank paper that produces deeper thought than is possible with keyboard and screen.
So that’s it, really. I’m going to unpack, lay my notebooks and pens out, ready for use tomorrow, and then turn on Wolf Hall. I won’t be back to this blog.
Thank you to everyone who has read and commented, which I’ve really enjoyed.
And thanks, of course, to the Christian Taliban, who have not only greatly entertained me, but who have occasionally made me pause for thought.