A Fresh Start
In November 2012 I hit publish on my very first blog post.
It was on a blog called The Very Hungry Londoner, and I was sat in Ginger and White in Belsize Park at the time. I remember my hand shaking as I pressed enter, a fact that was less due to the three flat whites I had just consumed and more due to my extreme nervousness about putting my writing out there. I felt completely exposed, overwhelmed and, quite frankly, paranoid about people judging me.
I had to treat myself to a slice of carrot cake immediately afterwards to calm myself down.
Almost four years of irregular blogging later and as I prepare to hit publish on this post, the first of my new blog and website, I’m feeling, yup you guessed it, exposed, overwhelmed and slightly paranoid.
I guess some things don’t change.
Yet my life could not be more different from then as it is now.
When I started The Very Hungry Londoner I hadn’t written anything really since university, and even then it had only been a script and some poetry as part of my degree, alongside my essays. I was working as an assistant literary agent, helping other people to realise their creativity rather than exploring my own, and tweaking their words rather than typing any myself.
I’d told myself that I wasn’t creative, that I just didn’t have it in me, and that that was fine. I didn’t need to write, or paint, or create in any way. I was fine working with other people’s creations. Yet deep, deep down, in a place that I didn’t dare go to, I knew this wasn’t true. I was desperate to be creative, to express myself in some way, but was terrified into inaction by the thought that I might not be any good at it. I wanted so badly to be a good writer that I was too scared to start writing in case I had to face up to the fact that I just wasn’t. I saw writing as something you were simply either good at or not, rather than what I now know it to be: a skill you have to work on to improve.
Yet somehow, and I’m still not quite sure how, I found the courage to start a blog. I purposefully choose a topic that I knew a lot about, eating in London, but was crucially not too personal. It was scary enough putting my writing out there without putting any more of myself into it than I had to. Yet despite this I still can’t count the number of hours I’ve spent over the last four years editing, and re-editing every single post, trying to force it a little closer to what I wanted to sound like, or the number of posts that are still sat in drafts as I was too afraid to publish them. I was so embarrassed by my blog that I didn’t share it on any of my social media channels for a good year after starting.
The funny thing is I now look back at those early blog posts and laugh at just how bad they are.
I can laugh because I can see them for what they are: the tentative beginning of a very long, and somewhat uncomfortable, journey into being creative again. And while I’m still very much at the beginning of this journey, I’m finally feeling brave enough to write about, and publish, the stuff that actually matters to me: writing, creativity, self exploration and development, and going a little against the grain in life.
Which is what I want this new website and blog to be about.
I’ve got lots of ideas for what’s to come on here, but right now its just about satisfying my craving for a fresh start, and having a space to write and publish again. I’ll be starting a weekly newsletter in a few weeks time called Curiously Creative, which will include what I’ve been working on that week, what I’m curious about, and creative inspiration from across the web. Sign up for it below.