Newspaper columnists always fascinated me. In the dim and distant days of the 1970s there was one columnist per Sunday broadsheet – about four all told – and by and large the essays they wrote were interesting and some of them even bore re-publication. Then in the 1980s onwards, print media exploded and every paper had three or four columnists – the political one, the motherhood-is-wonderful-no-no-really-it-is one, the single-female one, and the barking mad one. And now, of course, with 2.0 we are all columnists because the attraction of writing a column, surely, must be the sound of one’s own voice.
I’ll make no bones that what I am doing here is trying my arm at think-pieces to see at what point I run out of subjects which interest me about which I have some degree of coherent thinking. I don’t aspire to daily originality. Daily coherence is hard enough.
Daily blogging has changed how I think about what I think. My attention is no longer drawn to a subject on the radio or in my reading or in daily events so that I can while away time musing aimlessly on it. Now I muse with attention and purpose. Which is in itself quite interesting from this side of my cranial cavity.
However, daily blogging is time consuming, and I am about to enter 10 week period when I must focus on more Serious Real Life efforts. I feel a mixture of relief and guilt at cutting my blogging back to three times a week. I feel like I am sneaking myself off the hook and masking it with falsely superior motives. But I could displace for my country, and blogging is the most entertaining displacement activity I currently have available. It beats doing the ironing hands down. But, since blogging will neither buy the baby a new bonnett nor get the days work done, I have to blog less.
Besides which, if I reduce the quantity, maybe I can improve the quality.