A good friend of mine - who didn't realise that I was predominantly blogging about Jane Austen - recently told me that she thought the title of my blog was profoundly narcissistic. "Jane Obsessed with Jane"? Oh, how I laughed. Before deleting her number from my phone.
But seriously, while the purpose of this blog is mainly to help me coordinate the research I'm doing on Jane Austen before writing my next novel, "According to Miss Austen", it is also to help me to chart my own progress while writing. You know, one has to "grow" as a writer, and that sort of thing. ;)
Anyway, I put a major growth spurt on today. The title of a blog post by @BubbleCow (read all the details on www.bubblecow.co.uk ) made me come over all peculiar. The post was on the subject of blogging every day if you want to really develop your "brand". As such, it is good advice, as is most of the advice from BubbleCow; but for me, it was the final straw.
I have, of late, missed much sleep and been plagued and vexed by a constant feeling that I've forgotten something - the feeling you get when you've left the iron on. It's been exhausting. Finally, today I realised where it was coming from - myself. I have been lapping up every piece of advice on writing I could find; when, where and what to write; when to blog, whether to tweet, how to network. The end result was guilt and inevitable failure and - you've guessed it - that "left the iron on" feeling.
Overnight, I have entered writing adolescence. F*** you, I won't do what you tell me - and all that. I have rebelled. No more will I slavishly attempt to follow every bit of advice out there, like a biddable eight-year-old. No, I have become that most loathsome of creatures, an adolescent writer! Sure, I'll make mistakes, but they'll be MY mistakes, Goddamnit.
Is this a stage every aspiring writer passes through? Oh boy, I hope so. Please don't let me be the only one - all teenagers might want to be rebels, but only if their friends are too...
With any luck this period of obnoxiousness will be brief, and will culminate in me turning into my mother, as it has in real life. Then I will counsel newbie writers with sage advice, and tut to myself when they don't follow it.