I’ve been on strike.
Yes, it’s my absolute right to withdraw my labour. In fact, you may not realise this but the perks and benefits of blogging are absolutely lousy. Basically, there aren’t any. You sit at your keyboard, neglecting your friends, family, house and personal hygiene and indeed the social niceties until 800 words of idle chit chat is completed. Then you post it.
And. That’s it.
No cheques pour in. I keep checking my back account but no, there are no spontaneous donations to the Sardonic Bloggers’ Fund. There are disappointingly few offers of deliciously irresistible book deals.
Certainly there’s no pension plan (though if there was, no doubt someone would have plundered it by now to pay for all those destitute bankers who are down to their last Labrador).
I suspect the Christmas bonus is not going to deck the halls with more than a few discarded amusing anecdotes.
On the other hand I am rather looking forward to the Christmas party, because I certainly know how to have a good time on my own.
And not only are there no actual perks for this work, well there’s worse to come. Your work just kind of hangs out there, like a wildly flapping arm sticking out of the window of a moving car. Unprotected, vulnerable to being sliced off by passing traffic and certainly feeling the chilly breeze.
Oh sometimes people say nice things and that’s great, really it is. But then sometimes you catch a little criticism or, worse MUCH WORSE, the brutal blow of a lack of interest (‘Read your blog? Ha ha no, I have better things to do with my time…) and WHAM your outstretched arm’s nothing but a bloody stump.
Perhaps the angsty misery of the blogger could be reduced if I formed a union. Who’s in? We could invest in a water-cooler and have a biscuit fund and then bitch about who eats too many biscuits. Start ill-advised flirtations by email and then ignore the object of your witty banter in the canteen.
Then it’ll seem like real work.
Of course, you’re all thinking, this idea is doomed to failure, because bloggers are of course a bunch of anti-social weirdoes who Don’t Get Out Much. Otherwise we wouldn’t have time to, er, blog right?
And this is true. The real reason I have managed to go for <mmmmumbleee> weeks without a blog is, you know, life. In particular, my life. My life which is, frankly, utterly ridiculous. I have way way too much to do, every single day. It’s not about prioritising. It’s not even about time management. God knows I have given up sleep and most human interaction in order to just get by (you know, sorry, everyone – and I promise we can catch up when I retire…).
But the truth is that it’s time for me to admit that I was wrong to let life, even my laughably ridiculous life, get in the way of the blogging. Because of all the things in my life, all the things that crowd in like angry camels to fill up my time, this is the one single thing that I gives me the purest pleasure.
And, strangely, it seemed to make the nonsensical nature of my life easier when I was doing it. In my life, my ridiculous, typical life, I spend most of my time trying to keep up with things that I have absolutely no hope whatsoever of keeping up with. I spend my days running on a treadmill, afraid to stop even for a moment, even though I’m exhausted and sweaty and frankly knackered – because it won’t end well. I’ll fall off in an undignified heap.
Nothing’s ever finished. The to do list just gets longer, with subcategories and appendices and occasionally RED CIRCLES.
But the blog – the blog’s different. The blog gets finished. The blog can be ticked off. The blog sorts out my thoughts about something, even if it’s just a little thing, and it underlines them, completes them, posts them for the world (or a tiny section of the world anyway), in nice clean text with a wittily appropriate picture.
The blog, it turns out, rocks.
So I’m back in business. I can’t promise every day (at least not until August oh roll on AUGUST). But, my strike ends now.
I’m back in the game.
And yeah, if you hurry I will consider any reasonable offer for a book deal; though we’re probably a bit late for this Christmas.
There’s always 2012.