My problem is that my ability to write has a distinctly muscular flavour: not in the sense that such as Hemingway might write in a muscular fashion; but that I have to exercise it, or it wastes away. Do it frequently enough, and writing makes writing itself come more easily: write every day, and you can write twice a day without any problem. But if you write twice a month, then it’s all to easy to slip back to only writing once a month. It just becomes so much of an effort to write the first thing, that the second or third never come about.
No, my problem is that my ability to write is stifled by the expectations of producing something worth reading, combined with the fact that too many of the people I know in real life are doing the reading. Years ago I could write on this blog with impunity, growling and sniping at any passerby who deserved my wrath. I would peer through obscurity at every dickhead I spotted in the wild. Now, my world is too interconnected. I am, in a tiny, pathetic way, bizarrely too well-known. Someone who reads this will always know the someone I want to bellow about; and is more than likely to tip them the wink.
No, my real problem is that my ability to write is almost completely switched off by working with technology at any level below that of typing my text into a box. When I have to do something with a webserver, or a program at a command line, the writing part of my brain shuts down. The more of my day, and indeed of my evenings, that I spend doing such things, the harder it is to even begin to form sentences, let alone paragraphs. And as I volunteer for more computer work – socially good work, undeniably, that does leave me feeling fulfilled – then not only are those hours themselves no longer ones in which I write, but they also bleed alexia into the precious other hours that I have left.
No, when all’s said and done, my problem is that I can’t, don’t or won’t write – and possibly shouldn’t, if this post is anything to go by.