Saturday, 1 January 2011

A Little Bit of Honesty to Start 2011

Okay, so 2011 is the year that I have decided to call myself a writer and am committing to write at least 200 words a day so that by 31-12-11, I will have 73,000 words and something that can be mangled into a book. At the moment, most of the words that are in my head are "and", "but", "the" and "ergo" but the longer ones will come and the story is there. I am not going to tell you the longer ones until they're finished but, Dear Blog Readers and Twitter friends, please nag me because I need every bit of encouragement I can get!

2010 was a hell of a year. It started, as most years do, on 1st January which was momentous as that was the day that I moved with my son to London in order for him to start at his new school. That move nearly split my marriage but the gods of dead controlling mothers-in-law must have been grimacing at me because husband and I still appear to be together! My instincts weren't awry. The school in Bournemouth that I took my son out of is now officially failing and the lovely journos at The Bournemouth Echo pointed out an article about it published on 14th December 2010. On the last day of 2010, they pointed me in the direction of a further article written about a local Bournemouth councilor's views on Bournemouth education. I despair. I offered to write an article for them 14 months ago which perhaps could have benefited Bournemouth kids in achieving the education that ALL kids deserve but The Echo's editor was "a bit nervous" about it. It's not my place to ask why but, heck, I'd like to edit that newspaper! The journos there deserve a bit of bravery! That article became my blog ... "The Lunatics are Running the Asylum". 14 months is a long time for any kid to have a rotten education and the journos at the Echo must have found their editor's decision NOT to go with my article rather frustrating. Never mind, my son is now happily installed in a most wonderful London school and is thriving. It doesn't stop me from feeling bad about the kids he left behind at the school from which I removed him.

My blogs in the past year have been spasmodic to put it mildly - not least because I've been busy getting son settled into his new environment, buying a house and generally getting used to living back in London. Well, I say London ... we're in Essex. At some stage I will get it out of my head that I'm no longer a NW8 girl or even a SW7 girl and at some point in the near future I will, in order to fit in, have to dye myself orange and start speaking broad Essex. This is never going to happen. I may live in Essex but the accent won't adhere and nor will the colour be tangoed!

Twitter has remained a lifeline for me and I still join in as much as I can ... but I've discovered a few realities about myself. 140 characters are not enough to be anything other than completely honest. The bullshit shows through so very clearly and I've hardened myself to the fact that I have a very long memory and am pathologically incapable of not checking facts. I don't think I am anything other than the person I am in real life when I tweet or blog. I don't pretend and I don't bullshit and in 2011, if my followers do, then they can expect me to pull them up on it. I'm all for "creative writing" but if someone blogs about something as FACT and it isn't, then it sort of makes my skin crawl. Write creatively, by all means, but head it up with "I made this up" so everyone knows where they stand.

Can I manage without Twitter? Of course I can, and in the next year, I will be so doing as writing a couple of hundred words a day is going to restrict my time there but, I'll be around because I would miss my friends too much not to be.

So 2011 is starting on a very honest note. If that honesty upsets anyone then I apologise but honest I am and honest I will be.

I wish you all the 2011 that you wish for yourselves. Mainly I wish for health, happiness and peace for us all. (Oh & I also wish for people whose careers are writing schtick to stick to that and give themselves a quick kick in the shins if they start writing about politics about which they know nothing ... but that's a story for another day!).