29 November 2016

Writing, the drug that no-one warns you about

What never happens in all of the '10 tips to start a blog' posts is a warning about how expressing yourself via the medium of word-arranging is dangerous. Your bank account, personal safety (think photographing at the edge of cliffs) and emotional well-being are all affected in ways that no-one really talks about.


It's that saying "ignorance is bliss". Well, I used to be content with my ignorance. I blissed out over lots of TV, traipsed to and from the concrete jungle without much thought and fitted in a holiday or two when I could. Now, now every action has a tale somewhere narrated in my head, every moment can be framed in the golden section and rule of thirds (with bonus points for a square setting) and enough sometimes simply isn’t enough.

If you smoke cigarettes in New Zealand these days (and plenty of other countries) the packets feature awful images of debilitating illnesses that could befall your internal organs. They aren't pretty by any stretch of the imagination and only seem to have demurred a few of my friends from their terrible, life-shortening habit. But at least they can't say they weren’t warned (or lacked having double negatives thrown their way.)


I can’t stop thinking about the next post, the next place we fancy trying, the next trip outside or around the city and heaven forbid we eat meals warm. I can’t sleep some nights for the words bouncing around my head eating into the time that metaphysical sheep should be bounding over my snoozing frame and have to leap out from under the covers to dash down the errant scraps of words.

If only we could invent a pensieve for the modern day, some kind of device that stored the images and memories that are coloured by language and how well my camera is playing ball that day.

But I still love blogging. This is the strange and wonderful thing about the whole process. I thought I’d be sick of the hassle within 3 weeks of starting, but I only seem to have the bug worse with each passing month.


It may just be that blogging is bad for us. We spend endless hours planning mischief, take photos incessantly, tactically employ hashtags on the road, flick through the 2,753 blurry photos to select out the best 500, sit reliving every memory of the trip through verbose paragraphs of expression and then fret over social media.

Could this exciting, demanding hobby be bad for our health? Could it be raising untold expectations of perfection in our own minds? I also worry on dark evenings that my addiction could conjure a need for something even harder, more intense.


Before we know it, we could be lured into a #NANOWRIMO, drafting intense short stories and learning how to create novel length story arcs.

And we all thought blogging was so innocent.

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