I’ve been coming here often just to be sure that the blog is still up. The silence that confronts me is deafening. No reader comments, no traffic, nothing. If I sit still enough, I think I can hear crickets. Like you normally will late at night when Sleep has been a shy unpredictable creature who must be shown how much it is welcome before it will appear. These little creatures with their incessant nighttime chirping work your last nerve. That’s all I’ve been hearing. Crickets.
I haven’t written since May. Well, I have. I’ve written shopping lists, and bank withdrawal slips. I just haven’t written anything worth reading. If I had made any progress with my writing, it has been erased by a lack of practice.
When I started blogging, I vowed I would post an article every week. “Diligence will be my watchword,” I told myself. “ I will be as disciplined as a monk.” I was fiercely determined to post consistently for as long as I had to until mama approved made a mark in the vast wasteland that is blog sphere. I made that declaration on a post-Biko writing masterclass high.
Here I was, freshly postpartum with not a single decent bra to my name. How was I supposed to master any confidence around this group for days, in an ill-fitting bra?
I remember wanting so badly to attend that class, but when the time came, I had to drag myself there kicking and screaming. In spite of the fact that I’ve been a copywriter most of my adult life, nothing scared me more than the prospect of being in a room full of creatives. I hadn’t been around them for a while, with their swanky jeans and witty comments. Creatives ask big questions, observe everything and watch people. Everything they say is heavily punctuated and has a punchline. Here I was, freshly postpartum with not a single decent bra to my name. How was I supposed to master any confidence around this group for days, in an ill-fitting bra? How was I to know what the popular culture and trends were when I had been spending my days with a little mouth permanently attached to one breast and a breast pump to the other, making hay while the sun still shone?
Anyway, I went and soon realized that behind all that bravado and bold ethnic jewellery, most of us were just scared little boys and girls wondering when our mummies would pick us up from this masterclass where we had come to seek affirmation that we can write.
Until I attempted to write, I never knew I had such talent for self-criticism. I take a moment to praise myself. I am gifted at it. Very. One moment I was greatly inspired, ideas often arising seemingly out of nowhere and the next minute convinced I couldn’t write, that I shouldn’t ever write, that my writing was nothing to write home about. But when I left the master class three days later, I was oozing creativity and optimism. I knew what I had to do. I had to put in a lot of work, to read a lot and write every day, put the negative voice (the criticiser) to sleep and get on with it!
And then life happened.
I know, it’s such a sorry excuse. I convinced myself that I had more important matters to attend. Like work, children and sleep,.I began to write the way some people take showers – they are good for you, but you’re not expected to enjoy them, then I stopped altogether which was quite a shame as I had updated my CV and Linkedin profile to read: Media consultant, blogger.
Then Brian, one of those swanky jean clad creatives I just described dropped me a WhatsApp message that said, “you are slacking… wapi blog?” he is a hard man to please, Brian. That he had time for my blog should have been a huge compliment, but I was having none of it. I received another protest text from Emily saying “ Aiii Madam, how can you introduce us to a good weekly read & then go mum on us?” I had written about her 40th Birthday party here. I thought she was being polite.
So now, I’m back. I want to shut that annoying chirping of the crickets. Plus I must also admit, I’ve missed you.