So, this is going to be difficult. I don’t like talking about myself, especially in any kind of public way, but I felt that my lengthy absence from writing warranted some form of explanation – even if just to myself. The truth is that I’ve been having a slight crisis of confidence when it comes to putting my work out there. It’s not even about the quality, but more the insignificance of it all.
Now that my work is mostly writing and promoting blogs, it’s hard to ignore the fact that my voice is one of so many, very few of whom are really contributing anything. How could I possibly provide any kind of new insight or angle when thousands of other people are discussing the same thing? What is my USP? What can I offer anyone who reads this website that has any value, or makes any impression? I’m increasingly unsure of the answer to these questions.
But it isn’t just laziness and self-doubt. I’ve been having problems for some time now with my hands and arms; it’s been difficult to talk about, in part because of my distaste of writing about myself but also because it’s difficult to discuss something without a name. For some time I was misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, a common affliction in writers and computer workers. It seemed likely given the growing pain in my left wrist and fingers, but when the steroid injection failed to work and the pain spread to my other hand, carpal tunnel became much less likely.
After months of hospital visits where physiotherapists well-meaningly manipulated my back to see if anything happened – it didn’t – I was given sleeping splints, working splints, elbow splints and hand paddles, and nothing seemed to be working. Now, nearly a year after the symptoms first began I still don’t know what’s wrong with me and am currently waiting on a consultant’s appointment to have nerve conductive tests.
The point of all of this is that between working a (nearly) full time job at a computer for eight and a half hours a day, I tend to come home with aching from my fingers up to my elbow or even shoulder, which doesn’t make me feel particularly inclined to do more writing.
I don’t want to make any kind of promises about getting writing done on time – it’s worked amazingly for my friend Charlie and his Terror Tuesday blog, who’s done an incredible job of getting an article out every week for over a year now. I just don’t feel that, given how unpredictable the pain in my arms can be, that I can commit to anything other than my job. Which I love, by the way.
I’m going to try though. Not writing a comic review since last October is pretty shameful, and at some point I have grand plans to redo the website but that will probably require an intensive weekend of work. I want to keep writing for myself because as much as I enjoy it, I can’t only be my job. I need something that’s just mine.
Works I’ve written for other websites and zines are still waiting to go out, so there will eventually be some form of update from them, and I’m always looking for some exciting new work to do (hint hint). Until then, I’m going to do what I can, and try not to lose something I love doing – writing meaningless reviews for a handful of readers, expecting nothing but an outlet for my thoughts. To that handful, thank you for making this a worthwhile endeavour.
Post script: Hehe this is my 69th post. I am mature.