I am going to start blogging again.
These words are, of course, words that the internet – the poor, content-saturated internet, which must find the idea of sharing and reblogging utterly exhausting – has heard before.
But as I was scrolling through Twitter the other day, a conversation between journalists Mary Hamilton and Adam Tinworth about the importance of blogging started to make me feel guilty. The argument, in summary, was that it is undeniably important to keep writing on the web. It is important creatively, for people who work with words for a living; intellectually, for people who have a lot of ideas and opinions, and for whom writing is a way of refining these; and logically, in a digital world where declaring yourself a writer of any kind without easy-to-find evidence is a pretty avoidable mistake to make.
Also, for reasons I will get to in a minute, I am desperate to write about something that isn’t yarn.
So here I am, a year after this blog was founded and six months after any kind of personal post, and I’m putting myself back out there.
So what has changed since then?
For one thing, I am no longer a student at UEA, which also means I am no longer editor of Concrete, UEA’s student newspaper. It is an extremely sad transition to make – at times it was almost unbearably so. That being said, I have to admit that my student life being over wasn’t quite as painful as the nagging feeling I used to get during my final – and best – year that soon it would all end. The helpless anticipation of sadness to come was actually worse than the sadness itself, mostly because I literally didn’t give myself time to be sad.
Which brings me to my next update. Amazingly, and somewhat unexpectedly, I have landed myself a day job as an editorial assistant at a commercial knitting magazine based in Colchester.
It’s not exactly where I expected I would be. I was very into crafts as a kid – I remember making dolls out of old-fashioned pegs with my grandma, houses out of yoghurt pots, painting stones from the garden to turn them into animals – and I even learnt to knit when I was around 13. But after spending the last couple of years on Concrete, doing as close to hard news as a campus in Norwich can do, it’s been a bit of a shift in gear. Knitting is not hard news. In fact, in the month or so I have worked there, I have almost certainly exhausted every synonym for “soft” that there is. No one likes a scratchy cardigan, after all.
(Side note: while leaving a wedding to get McDonalds last month, like the classy dames we are, my friend Hayden uttered the immortal words “no one likes a dry chicken nugget”. We decided that this could easily be one of those strange aphorisms that people say in awkward moments without really knowing what they mean, and I feel like “no one likes a scratchy cardigan” is very much of the same ilk.)
Getting the job has been amazing. I am extremely grateful that, in a world of terrifying youth unemployment, I have been able to convince someone to pay me to help make a magazine. A magazine that you can buy in WH Smiths, no less – the ultimate symbol of legitimacy. As someone who must keep busy in order to keep happy, I was extremely lucky to transition so quickly from university to employment; it is, sadly, not something that everyone can say. Rargh, government, rargh, economy, rargh.
But of course, however I happy I am, life is never perfect – moving to a new town where I knew no one has been – and still is – a little rough. Thankfully I am housesharing with a lovely couple and the cutest puppy you will ever meet.
I am also totally useless when it comes to those everyday life admin things like managing finances, registering with new GPs, and changing contact addresses. Not because I don’t know how to do them – but just because I find such adulthood-infused tasks so overwhelming that I tend to put them off for as long as possible. (After all, what’s really more important? Making sure your bank knows where you live, or watching the entire first season of Hannibal? What is up with the fact that I’m kind of on the side of the man who eats people? It’s a question that needs to be answered.)
But however grateful I am, there is always room for improvement, and starting up the blog again will hopefully be a way to make sure that I keep myself thinking about where I’m going more broadly. Journalism, after all, is at its most innovative when it’s on the internet, and learning more about web production is going to do me no harm – even if I’m just producing the thoughts from my own head.
Disclaimer: not every post will be this personal, rambling and self-indulgent. But cut me a bit of slack – I’m pretty out of practice.