I have always been the kind of person who reads instructions. So naturally I thought I’d kick off my blogging career by finding some instructions. I gave up on the 2000 pages of advice on how to use WordPress. I gave up, too, on the blogs about blogging. But wherever I went, I found the repeated instruction that you must remember that other people are going to read your blog (as if), so you need to think carefully about what you say.
Now, here at last I was on familiar territory. This is wrong. It couldn’t be more wrong. Rule one of writing anything for publication is to put firmly out of your mind the notion that anyone else will ever see it. On days when I get that idea into my head, I can barely write my own name. Anything I do manage to put down is immediately re-written, and fenced about with so many conditions, explanations, and apologies-in-advance that it’s unreadable.
You know you’re having a day like that when you typed the sentence ‘It got dark early”, and an hour realise later you’ve ‘clarified’ it by explaining what latitude you were referring to, what time of year it was, whether it was Summer Time or GMT, and exactly what kind of visibility you had in mind as the threshold of darkness.
I’m going to stop now, because writing about this is making me worry that someone will read it. I have a terrible urge to go and explain what I mean by ‘read’.