Hello…? Not sure if there’s anyone out there or not. It’s hard to know if anyone is going to read my ramblings. I mean why would you? And even if you do, how will I know? This is the thing when you write, there’s no immediate response. It’s not like standup where you can say something, pause, and BOOM! Laughter. Well, not always laughter, there have been times where I confess to dishing out comedy gold to silence. Still, when you have skin as thick as mine you can usually put a bad gig down to the lighting, the audience or the compere, unless I’m the compere in which case it’s definitely the audience.
Writing on the other hand means that my audience’s response is delayed and more often than not anonymous. You liked it, you hated it, I won’t know. Not unless you make the effort by posting a comment. Mind you, even then you’re anonymity is protected by some ridiculous pseudonym. My favourite comment on a pointless blog I’d written came from ‘doggydave’ and went something like this, “WHO IS THIS DREADFUL WOMAN? AND HOW DOES SHE GET AWAY WITH WRITING SUCH UTTER DRIVEL? THIS IS SO BAD I HAD TO READ IT 18 TIMES TO ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT!” Yes, he hated it but he read it 18 times, so who’s the loser now Dave? Eh? EH? I do question the intellect of Dave given that the blog was posted on my website. Ok, fine! Dave doesn’t exist but that’s not the point. The point is that without intellectually challenged and aggressive people like Dave, how do I know if what I’ve written is any good?
So, in the absence of imaginary ‘Daves’ it’s important to get a bit of feedback and perspective on a day’s work. After all I’ve put a lot of time and effort into those 400 words. Fortunately, my girlfriend always obliges, probably because we are nearly always sitting opposite each other in our pyjamas at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This is one of the many joys of working from home, that and being able to look in the fridge every 15 minutes for a suitable snack that never presents itself, “Do I really fancy a sandwich made from yoghurt, coconut cream and a couple of pickled gherkins?” Probably not, but that doesn’t stop me debating this question four times an hour.
Meanwhile I’m still waiting for my girlfriend to read what I’ve written, as always she’s taking her time, “Have you read it yet?” “Er…no.” “Are you going to read it today?” “Jen, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m working.” “We’re all WORKING!” “You’re not, you’re just looking in the fridge, making endless cups of tea and going to the toilet.” “I’ll have you know these little rituals are part of the writing process!” I can’t repeat her response because it made far too much sense and I can’t have her undermining my creative integrity in public.
It feels like hours have passed and my girlfriend still hasn’t read my creative offering. What is her problem? If she doesn’t read it soon I may be forced to write something else! I don’t want to have to do MORE WORK! My brain isn’t big enough. Besides I am convinced that this blog is comedy gold, but how can I confirm this assertion unless she reads it and tells me just that! This situation reminds me of the story about the tree that falls in a forest. You know the one I mean? This tree falls, but no one’s there to see it fall, so how do you know if the tree fell? Also what if that tree hit another tree and then another tree and that tree hit a rabbit? Has anyone thought about the rabbit? I DIDN’T THINK SO! Fortunately I’m thinking of the rabbit because I am the kind of person that thinks about rabbits being hit in freak accidents involving spontaneously falling trees. I have time to do this because I’m still waiting for my girlfriend TO READ MY BLOODY BLOG!
Finally, she opens my daily travail on her overpriced laptop, “I’m reading it Ok?” Thank GOD I thought she’d never get round to it! I watch her reading…her face is completely blank. Why isn’t she even smiling? “Where are you up to?” “I’ve just started, give me a minute will you?” “What do you mean you’ve just started? It’s only 400 words for crying out loud!” I’ve never seen anyone read this slowly before in my life. I could have redecorated the living room in the time it’s taking her to get halfway through! “Do you want me to read it to you?” “No!” Fine, I leave her to it and head to the shed to start stirring paint, yes I’m that pedantic. After what feels like several days later, she looks up from her laptop. “Well?” “Yeah, I liked it.” “What did you like about it?” “I liked the beginning.” “Oh, you liked the beginning, what about the middle and the end bit? Are you saying you didn’t like those bits?” “No, I’m just saying that the beginning is very strong….” ‘Fine… you hate it,” “ I don’t hate it!” “I don’t care what you think, I’m uploading it on to my website right now and we’ll see how many comments I get!”
Four months later and I’ve had no comments.