I've neglected my blog again.
Well, not quite true. I have been visiting it, like a sick Auntie in a hospital, and peering at the stats, and feeling slightly amazed that it is still breathing. People are still coming in and looking at bits of it. So I've been scrolling through the old posts to see what they looked at, and thinking I really should add something new. I have even opened the "new post" tab. And I have stared at the big white space and that blinking little cursor. "Go on!" it blinked, "Type something...I dare you! Type, type, type..." A flickering black line whispering its mockery. And my words dried up. My thoughts disappeared. It's like magic. Really, it is. Stage magicians can make a woman disappear. A blinking cursor and a blank screen can make a brain disappear. But this magic is not real. It's just a trick. A sleight of hand. The brain is still there and it is still full of words. All it needs is for some rogue child to pull back the curtain and reveal all to the audience.
My rogue children currently come in the form of two challengers. They have crept in and twitched back the curtain.
First and most public is Natalie Bowers who started "Last Line First". A weekly flash writing challenge that I am trying to keep up with. I am failing miserably at it, but it's fun! I was fortunate enough to have a last line intriguing enough to be chosen for the challenge in week 4. Hence my lovely badge of honour which you can see on the right (Unless you're on a mobile device, in which case take my word for it, it's lovely!). We're on week eight now and I have just submitted again. (Told you I was failing at it!)
My second challenger is not quite so public, a personal challenge from a friend who pokes me, tuts at me, scolds me and makes me write. He fires random challenges to make me think, make me seek out the words and thoughts and find a way to get them onto the blank page. I don't always do what he tells me, but I do listen. He might not realise that, so hopefully this will serve to let him know his scolding is doing some good!
You can read the fruit of his four word challenge here, if you're so inclined and feel free to leave a comment.
The hardest part is often just daring to put a word - any word - onto the white page. Once a word is on there the page is not so white, not so blank, and not so scary. And if it turns out to be not quite the right word, I can always replace it with another...and another and another...and before I know it I've written something and there's a new post on my blog. Watch this space. The words are flowing again and Auntie Blog is feeling better.