The Scribbler

30 May 2006

New exercise books

Filed under: words — The Scribbler @ 17:58

You really can’t be any more exasperated than I am with myself at failing to write here more regularly. I know there are no rules, and this is really something that I’m doing for myself, one of those grand gestures that I announce so confidently and then find every excuse possible to avoid.

If I can be allowed to draw a comparison with Elizabeth Bennet for a moment, the truth is that I find myself “unwilling to speak”, or in my case write, “unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb.” 

Miss Elizabeth would no doubt make some scathing observation about the pretentiousness of such a comparison, but it’s very true. It explains why I’m often quiet in large gatherings or with people I don’t know well. And it’s so elegantly expressed that it makes my point precisely.  

In truth, I’ve started a few scribblings, but never finished, edited and refined them. Therefore they remain unpublished. So “finish and publish!” you cry. But my journalist sensibility insists that the moment is gone. No one wants to read old news. And that’s the heart of the problem I think. I’m not writing for myself, but for an invisible, uknown audience. 

In the old days, when my fingers were perpetually ink-stained, I would scribble for hours in craftily acquired exercise books, scratching out words in snatched moments, leaving phrases mid sentence to leap off the bus.

So I’m going to try and do the same. Be bold enough to publish the unfinished and unrefined. Maybe I’ll edit and polish later, maybe I won’t. But at least I’ll have some record of my writing, unlike the exercise books which have long disappeared.


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