Archive | May, 2011


27 May

Originally posted at Three Blog Night.

Oh my God, I haven’t seen you in FOREVER! How’ve you been?!


I’ve been pretty great, since you were wondering. You know, I was worried that becoming a prize-winning writer would turn me into a self-obsessed asshole but I don’t think that it has. I think that I’ve handled it beautifully, but I guess I’m just like that, you know? I kind of expected that people might behave differently towards me, and they haven’t, but they’re probably just trying to be respectful of the fact that I’m still the same person, really. I’m still me, you guys! Actually my friends in particular have been great about it, trying to act like nothing’s changed and saying stuff like, “Heather, it’s not even a sunny day and anyway we’re in a cinema, why are you wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses?” and then I’m always like, “That’s cute, you guys, but shhh! You shouldn’t use my real name in public. I just want to be allowed to lead a normal life!” because despite everything I’m still really down-to-earth.

You know what I should be doing right now? I should be writing a blog post. But not this one. A science one. At the end of last term, before I became a prize-winning writer and realised that I’d never have to work again, I saw that my university’s student science magazine was recruiting. I emailed them detailing my expansive, chasmic lack of experience and asking whether there was anything that I might be able to do despite it, and now I am their “blog manager”. My only problem with that is that I don’t really like the term “blog manager”, because I think that claiming that I’m the “manager” of the blog is a bit wanky, so I’m thinking of changing it to something less conceited like “BLOG OVERLORD” or “KING OF BLOG”.

This week is the first week that I’m supposed to be writing a post, and so far I’ve mostly spent my time smashing things against my keyboard and screaming. There are a lot of reasons that I am finding it really difficult. One of them is a problem that I was aware of before I became THE BLOGINATOR, but that I’d kind of hoped would go away if I ignored it for long enough, much like EVERYONE THAT I HAVE EVER LOVED, THANKS TO YOU, INTERNET. When Matt first let me start blogging here, I sort of had this half-baked idea that I might want to practise writing something a bit sciencey. The vague tone of that last sentence is indicative of how confident I was about the idea, and any resolve that I might have had to start with completely evaporated after my third post here, when I gained a regular audience – a relatively small one, but one that consists pretty much entirely of people that are smarter than I am, far better at writing than I am, and that know a shitload more about science than I do. I gave up on the “writing something a bit sciencey” idea because it seemed far less intimidating to just dick around than it did to practise writing properly about subjects that a lot of you probably know more about, and could write more competently about, than me anyway. I don’t really know how I thought that the shit-scared-of-my-audience thing would somehow stop being an issue once I was writing on a blog read almost exclusively by students at the University of Oxford, but at least now I can say for sure that whatever reasoning my subconscious was using at the time was FUCKING APPALLING and that I should never be allowed to make decisions for myself ever again.

I think I assumed that if I managed to become involved in a student publication then I wouldn’t be able to chicken out, because if I did chicken out then I’d be screwing people over, and I hate screwing people over. So I sort of figured that my pathetic fear of disappointing people would force me to write, but it’s turned out to be almost crippling, because at the moment I’m so concerned about screwing up that I’m finding it really difficult to write anything. Logically, I know that my first post isn’t going to be a good post, and that I won’t get better unless I practise, but at least if I write a really bad post here then I just end up looking like a bit of a bell-end. If I write a really bad post on the student science blog then I might make other people look like bits of bell-ends, and I don’t really want to make other people look like bits of bell-ends.

My friends keep telling me that it’s a confidence thing and that I’d be surprised by the number of people that think they’re rubbish at what they do when really they’re not, and then they bitchslap me across the face and tell me to man the hell up because all of my friends are really misogynistic. But then I think, just because a whole heap of people think that they’re rubbish when they’re not doesn’t mean that I’m not actually right about being rubbish. I don’t tell my friends that though because they are better at arguing than me and also have really strong pimp hands. Plus, maybe they are right. Maybe it is a confidence thing, and I’d find it a lot easier to write if I spent less time telling myself how bad at writing I am and more time working at being less bad at writing.


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