Thursday, 5 March 2009

It's Not You, It's Me.

OK, so I know you're all waiting for the latest travel update - I promised, almost two months ago, to tell you all about Mexico, which I visited nearly four months ago - and in some cases (well, Richard's), waiting for my write-up of my stay in your particular corner of the world to see a) just how much I love you and b) if I really did enjoy myself as much as I claimed to have to your face (the answers are a) very much indeed and b) yes I really did). Well, I'm sorry to have to say it ain't gonna happen. Or at least, not yet; see, the thing is I've decided that the blog's not working in the way I want it to and so it's time for a bit of a change.

Writing at length about my travelling has been fun, as has been receiving your comments about it, but try as I might - I started, re-started and finally gave up on my Mexico write-up about fifteen times, for example - I couldn't master doing things succinctly and just felt that rambling on about everything I did, everywhere I went and everyone I met wasn't, well, interesting enough for a blog. If you want to know about my travelling, I would love to tell you - in as much or as little detail as you prefer - but face-to-face; let's do it over drinks or dinner, my treat, in a world city of your choosing. When I started my blog a couple of years ago, it was with the intention of writing about life as it happens, the highs and lows, things that were occurring, activities I was enjoying (or not) and my cultural, culinary and carnal exploits. Travel blogging is fun but I should have done it as I went along; after the event, even a few weeks, it seems cold, retrospective and...OK if I'm honest, too much like hard work. In a nutshell, I just feel I've lost my traveloguing mojo.

That explains why I've let the travel writing slip (I hope?); so what's next? Well, I haven't just been sitting on my arse watching Trisha since my last post, although that has taken up an hour most weekday mornings (yeah yeah, mea maxima culpa). I've been writing all sorts of stuff for pleasure - reviews, comment pieces, rants and random musings - but not posted it because it felt inconsistent with the travel theme that I'd established. Some of it - in fact probably most of it - is total crap, but some of it might, I think, be of interest to others. Additionally, buoyed in no small part by the very favourable comments I've received on some of my past posts, I've decided that as well as returning to some form of paid employment when my 'Grown-Up Gap Year' comes to an end in May, I'd also like to try making a go of it as a writer in some professional capacity. And this, my loves, is where you and this blog come in.

From now on, TS&F is going to be a 'showcase' for everything I write, from one-line musings on any given day's TV viewing, via restaurant, theatre and cinema reviews, to essays and potential articles. Not all of it will be for submission, but all of it will be for your comments. If I'm going to achieve anything through my writing - other than entertaining a loyal few around the world, to whom I am forever grateful - I need to know first if what I'm doing is good, or accurate, or interesting...or not. I also need exposure; a post on here that might just be good enough to get published in a magazine is going to be so much more saleable if I can say that it excited chatter on my blog.

So what can you do to help? Three things spring to mind. Firstly, you can comment on and critique what I write, either directly to me or preferably on the blog so that others can see them; I promise not to be offended by anyone's views and in fact would value any comments be they positive, negative or ambivalent. Secondly, you can spread the word about the blog to any friends you think might be even slightly interested; the more exposure my waffling gets, the more comments and criticism I can hope to receive and accordingly learn from. And thirdly - and this is the cheekiest one - you can help by being my international ideas people, letting me know if there's anything going on in your neck of the woods (wherever that may be in the world) which you think I could do justice to and let me know of any publications you think I could potentially pitch it to, whether that's the Sydney Star Observer or the Walthamstow Guardian. Firing off unsolicited articles to magazines might not get me anywhere fast, but it'll be a start.

I really want to make something of my writing. Your support of my blogging to date has been so valuable and I appreciate it so, so much; now I hope you can help me to take it to the next level. Oh and as for Mexico? It was amazing; let me tell you about it over a burrito some time - I'll treat us with my first pay-cheque from Vogue...

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