I read just this morning some advice which suggested a blogger should always make it clear what their blog is about. But this presents me with some difficulty because when it comes down to it, what actually is this blog about?
It’s easy to say ‘it’s a blog about writing’ – and in the main it is; but it’s about so much more than that. The one thing I discovered when I began to blog regularly was that it is impossible to stick to one subject. The mind lists where it will; there are many things I’m interested in and I want to share those interests with readers. I want to connect: I want to philosophise and politicise and talk about anything I damn well please, from bricklaying (yes, I did that once) to road materials testing (also done) to knitting and poetry and short stories and poems about knitting and road materials and bricklaying (I haven’t yet written about the last two but knitting has proved a fertile metaphor for many things.)
I also want to blog about culture: I want to organise my responses to films and TV programmes, I want to write book reviews and share the poetry I love. So in the main, it’s about connection. Only connect would be a good alternative title for the blog if ‘A Writer’s Life’ weren’t clearer and more likely to – ahem – connect with readers.
One of the writing quotes I read recently was: ‘A writer knows a little about everything and is an expert on nothing.’ Now I think that’s exactly true: I am compelled to find out about all manner of things and would be just as engaged in finding out how fork-lift trucks work (indeed I have had that conversation with a friend who works at JCB) as with hearing about how other writers write. I’m fascinated by these processes and not with any conscious intent of ‘doing research’ for writing: they just interest me. As Chaucer said (or at least the Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale) ‘all human life lies within the artist’s scope.’ So there it is; all human life lies within this blog’s scope.
What is this blog about? Everything.
What am I an expert on? Nothing.
Except perhaps on writing…
And just for fun, here’s today’s writing cartoon: