Tuesday 27 September 2011

My Blog Mojo

I’ve always said, rather smugly, that I don’t believe in ‘Writer’s Block'. You can always write, just sometimes it’s total rubbish. Real 'Writer’s Block' requires a boxer in between you and your laptop. Yet lately I’ve been squirming as the time lapse between my blog posts grows. Have I lost my blog mojo?

After three years of writing weekly here on Shop Girl Diaries, it’s getting tough. It doesn’t help that we’ve closed our shop where all the stories came from.

I could blame twitter. Being on twitter is like standing in a room full of people shouting out random facts. Some are yelling about human rights violations, mocking politicians, analysing the economic climate and calling on fellow tweeters to stage demonstrations around the world. Others are constantly updating me with publishing news, author events, blogging tips, writing competitions and book reviews. In the middle of it all, someone dull tells me they’ve just had a cup of tea. (I delete them).

Faced with such overwhelming information, I ask myself, is there anything left to say?

Perhaps the problem is that I’m writing more than ever. Offline I’m fully immersed in my new novel. It’s cooking slowly and steadily like stew and I can’t wait to dish it up. But meanwhile a blog can’t sit around getting dusty.

The clock is ticking. I’ve got a week to find my blog mojo.

Friday 16 September 2011

The Olympic Pressure Ride

Picture from Cycle Info

Thanks to the Mayor of London my life is at risk.
Tube fares are due to increase by 8% which means I’ll shortly be forced to ride a bicycle.
My last memory of being on a bike, I was about twelve years old and struggling up a hill behind my brother.
The pedals were clearly cemented in position. I was going so slowly my bike was falling to one side.
‘Leave me here! I can’t go on!’ I sobbed. ‘Just go! Save yourself!’
My teenage brother had to deal with my whimpering for a good hour. It was the longest journey of his life.
In a city of eight million, hills are the least of my concern.
Cars scare me and buses scare me. Even confident cyclists scare me.
But most of all, Elephant & Castle roundabout scares me.
Crossing this roundabout as a pedestrian is a feat in itself as you have to orientate yourself through its underbelly of spooky subways.
I shudder when I think of going around it on wheels.
Today I saw a government poster encouraging the public to get back into cycling.
The poster showed three smiling children and their smiling father, cycling up a tree-lined pathway. I don’t believe there is a tree-lined pathway linking my house to any of the places I need to go on a weekly basis.
The price rise is to fund transport improvements in preparation for the Olympics.
I have never been bah humbug about The Games coming to London, but this crippling increase doesn’t seem fair at all, especially since the majority of Londoners were unable to secure tickets.
Frankly, in the spirit of the Olympics, visitors should have to run everywhere.
London transport is already the most expensive in Europe.
If it goes up any more then we must take a stand. That won’t be hard in rush hour.