On mediocrity

“Is there such a thing as a successful comedian who isn’t also a tortured soul?”

I am reminded of Robin Williams and Spike Milligan but…well it’s not just comedians is it? Anyone with any kind of creative drive is probably in the same boat – the life experiences which mould us, which input directly into our mental health – these affect us as creative, motivated, driven individuals, don’t they?

I remember a time when I was 16 and first got a glimpse of this phenomenon. I was attending a residential holiday camp in Cheltenham run by the British Theatre Association along with my friend Ali who was keen on a career on the stage at that time. To be honest, I wasn’t bothered but I did enjoy stagecraft, theatre, the drama of it all (literally) and if I had understood that nugget of truth about myself in the moment, I probably wouldn’t have been so affected by what I witnessed.

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What I got from Blogfest 2016

scummy-mummies

When I booked my ticket for this year’s Blog Fest I felt like it was a total whim. I didn’t know who else was going and I certainly didn’t have a burning desire to gather tips on photography, vlogging or monetising or any need to feign interest in starting up a relationship with the likes of Unilever, Barclays or Coca Cola. What did intrigue me was the guest list, the entertainment value and the panel discussions.

I went to Blog Fest back in 2014 and I really enjoyed the day – meeting up with people I’d only ever seen in 2D and soaking up the atmosphere, being in a huge space filled with like-minded women (for the most part – once again the attendance of the dad bloggers was entirely minimal – I briefly chatted to Tim (Slouching Towards Thatcham) and another dad blogger called James and I think they said they were two of five dads attending!).

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Blog fraud (the posts that passed me by…)

blog-missing-in-action

Call out the blog police – I’m still calling myself a blogger even though I haven’t posted a thing for weeks – and not only that but I’m off to Mumsnet Blogfest at the weekend which seems doubly fraudulent!

I guess the main reasons for my lack of input are these: life lately has been both mundane and complicated; full disclosure is not an option; it feels like things have changed so much since I began this blog back in July 2013 and despite the fact that I’ve never really stuck to a niche or a formula with regards subject matter, I am still struggling to decide what I want to write about and share.

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The truth about long-term blogging

Happy 2nd Blogiversary

I have been reliably informed by WordPress that today is the second anniversary of me starting up my blog – 12th July 2013 – a momentous date. I believe there’s some statistic floating around out there that 90% of blogs that fail do so within the first 90 days and there are a huge number of blogs failing every day.

So why has blogging been something I’ve stuck with so consistently over the past two years? I generally get bored of most new fads in my life within a few months. I also get interested in things that I see other people pursuing, particularly if they are doing a really great job of it – a little voice goes off in my head “I could do that just as well, if not better” when in actual fact people that do things well just tend to make them look easier than they are. It’s generally when I realise that most things done well take a lot of time and effort that my interest begins to wane.

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Happiness, first world problems and Parenthood

eat-pray-love

Last night I watched the film Eat.Pray.Love. I know, I know I’m a bit late to the table on this one (the film came out in 2010, the book, 2006). As I mentioned in my recent Little Loves post, I was looking for something relatively frivolous which would take me on a vicarious trip to some exotic places (heaven knows it ain’t going to happen in real life any time soon). Essentially I think I Googled something like “films set in exotic locations” and possibly threw in the word “romance” to make sure I didn’t end up mistakenly watching Bridge Over the River Kwai or some other equally non-frivolous cinematic offering.

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The truth about… Inspiration

Inspiration

I have really struggled lately with coming up with blog ideas – even just an idea for this post has not been particularly fruitful. So, I’m resorting to a post format that I’ve read before many times – the ‘banish writer’s block by writing about your writer’s block’ post. Other people might just decide to put their writing on the back burner until a good idea strikes but, as the custodian of a living linky I not only feel the need to publish at least this one new article a week, but I want and need to keep exercising my brain in this way. Columnists who are paid to produce a weekly piece can’t just drop a week or two (although paid columnists probably have a bit more thinking space than I do!).

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The truth about… my girl crush

Caitlin Moran

Just lately I’ve become a little bit enamoured of a certain columnist from The Times. Listen, I don’t buy newspapers – I rarely even watch The News for fear of glimpsing a headline so shocking that it might just prompt me to board up my doors and windows and stick my fingers in my ears until after the apocalypse.

I admit I slipped and my eye caught this “The teenage Good Samaritan beaten so badly his parents could not recognise him”, thank God the Telegraph kindly balanced it out with “Teen accidentally sends a Jamie Oliver Chilli Beef recipe as job application” – just about put the smile back on my face!

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Ice – a piece of flash fiction

This week’s prompt from Sara over at Mum turned Mom is the word “Winter”. I think I have made my feelings on winter pretty clear up to now. I’m not much of a winter person. This time of year in particular is my least favourite. I don’t even really want to talk about it. So instead I have taken up the gauntlet and written another piece of flash fiction. The first piece I wrote was triggered by another of Sara’s prompts: the word ‘Smoke’ so I’ve called this one ‘Ice’. The two stories have some similarities…

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On Blogfest

Blogfest funny

So that’s it – I’ve finally popped the conference cherry thanks to Mumsnet! This was huge for me – I have been avidly stalking following the updates and lowdowns of ‘people like me’ as they have jetted around from Britmums to Blogcamp this year, being fed delicious cakes and valuable techie tips to put them one step ahead of the competition (I know, I know, it’s not a competition!). So I had pretty high expectations of what this day would bring and spent some time obsessing over what I would wear and just how many business cards I would need (extremely amusing in hindsight having returned home with 99 out of my 100 lovingly designed expressions of intention).

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Smoke…

This week’s Prompt over at Mum Turned Mom is the word ‘Smoke’. I don’t smoke. So I thought I’d try my hand at this thing called ‘flash’ fiction – it’s short! I hope you enjoy it!

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The first unnatural thing Penny noticed as she drove up the hill towards home with her little girl was the quality of the light. It wasn’t sundown but there was something of the burnished autumn leaves in the way the clouds presented, hanging ominously above an otherwise unremarkable scene. The second thing was the smoke.

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