It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’m feeling a bit like Scarlett O’Hara today and no, not because I’m flouncing around in an awesome green dress made of curtains. Rather, because my failure to think things through (specifically, how to keep my personal life personal while chronicling each episode in a very public way) has left me in a bit of a pickle. And while I’d rather just say, “Fiddle-dee-dee!” and carry on with my destructive kiss and tell tendencies, I can’t.
I’m not sure what made me think I ever could. Actually, I take that back. I know exactly what made me think I could. It was a book by travel writer and Lonely Planet goddess Jennifer Cox—a book called “Around the World in Eighty Dates.”
And yes, Miss Cox did exactly what the title would suggest.
I happened upon said volume last summer during a stroll through the charity shops of Putney High Street. And because I was up to my ears in critical commentary on the aesthetics of the African Diaspora and other dissertation-related mumble jumble at the time, I was dying for a lighthearted read. Little did I know that “Around the World in Eighty Dates” would have such an impact on me, although let’s think about this now. A travel writer who dates her was around the world? And writes a book about it? And actually falls in love along the way? Um, hello! Of course this book would have an impact on me. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that Miss Cox is entirely to blame for my current predicament.
But she made it work somehow. Heck, her book’s just been optioned by Reese Witherspoon’s production company!
So long story short, it can be done. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it.
Given that I’m 25 now (and that 25 year olds are supposed to be mature and capable of introspection), I am more than willing to admit the following:
1) My blog has embarrassed several people.
2) My blog has cost me the affections of at least one, if not more, of my dates.
3) My blog has taken over my life and even though I promised myself I would write at least 3,000 words every weekday from now until the end of September (this way I might actually finish my first novel sometime this millennia), I have not. Nor, for that matter, have I finished revising the manuscript that I pitched at the Philadelphia’s Writers Conference two months ago and this is not good.
Sure I’m building my “platform” but what’s the point of a platform if there’s no product? My readership may be way up but my productivity is way down and I fear that my sanity is headed in that very same direction.
And really, who thought that posting the details of my love life online was a good idea? It’s as though I’ve gone from being one of those touchy-feely liberal arts colleges like Goucher (where students and professors communicate on a first name basis and grade reports are kept private), to becoming a huge, soulless university (where students trade their names for a number and the risk of public humiliation, via the departmental ranking system, if they fail).
A friend from Cambridge University once told me that students have been petitioning the powers that be to retire the tradition of posting exam results in the town square. Evidently, this practice precipitates the already highly-strung student body into a state of suicidal frenzy. And while I wouldn’t want to flatter myself on this account (I’m pretty sure my blog won’t be inspiring anyone to slit their wrists) I’m going to give myself the day off tomorrow to think things through.
But don’t worry— if I feel inspired, I’ll post some sort of entertaining witticism tomorrow and if not, I’ll definitely be back at the start of the work week (because we all need a little something to get us through the Monday Morning Blues).