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Silly me

January 24, 2023

It’s amazing how quickly being falsely accused of something can shut you up. Literally. A sucker punch that leaves you feeling physically ill and completely speechless. So, yes, no words for a while. Least said the better for now – other than to offer reassurances that, no, I’m not about to go on trial for murder.

This website was set up a decade ago after I was informed that writers had to have a website (and a Facebook page and a Twitter account). I was impressed when I managed to set it up all by myself.

Originally there were four “categories”: Home, Columns, Past Lives and Writing

Don’t ask me why there are now two Home pages. Not sure what I did there and can’t figure out which to remove without screwing the whole thing up.

The idea was to give readers some idea of who I was. I figured something about my Past Lives (working for Greenpeace, for example, or my time in Nigeria) might be of interest. At the time I was still writing regular opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines, so I decided I might as well include these under Columns so the page wasn’t completely static. And Writing? Well, that was just more information about my novels.

A few years later, for some inexplicable reason, BlogSpot, which I’d been using to write a blog about my constantly frustrated attempts to grow fruit and veg, decided I was not the author and blocked me from my own site, so I reluctantly transferred it here. I didn’t really want a blog on my “official” site, but what was I going to do? Friends wanted to know how my garden was (or was not) growing.

And then, in the autumn of 2016 I decided to add something else to the site. It was a dark time for me, made darker by my inability to tell friends how much I was struggling. And so I wrote about it instead and loaded what I’d written here on my website under a new category: Black Dog Diary. I sent the link to some trusted friends, who, bless them, rallied round. 

Here’s the thing: Unfortunately (I wish I could say surprisingly), neither Unethical Practices nor Rum Do set the world on fire. So, this was the sad little website of an unsuccessful novelist who was suffering from depression which had crippled her ability to write. Instead of novels, I wrote about depression. As far as I was aware, the only people who knew the website existed were my friends. Why would anyone go looking for the website of an unknown author. It seemed like a safe place. 

I was surprised when people I didn’t know began to like and comment on my posts. Perhaps it was using “depression” as a keyword. I was really quite touched by the reaction to a particular post. Oh, well, I thought, if something I am writing resonates with or in some way helps a stranger, that’s fine by me.

Eventually the diary turned into a blog – a way to get myself writing something (anything) in the absence of any seeming ability to get back to any of those novels I’d started. 

It continued to surprise me when complete strangers somehow stumbled across the blog and began to follow it. How could my little life be of interest to anyone who didn’t know me?

Despite this, I continued to think of the blog as something more or less private which was written for friends. Silly me.

Nothing on the internet is private.

I wasn’t a complete mug. Occasionally, when something really was intensely private, I made a post password protected, said password shared with a small circle of friends. But generally I just put things out there. Again, what possible interest could my musings be?

Of course there would be a price to pay for this laxity. Of course something I wrote would eventually bite me on the ass. Which happened last week. 

One of the annoying things about WordPress is the fact that, whilst you can indeed make individual posts password protected, you cannot do the same thing with categories. So, my initial reaction was to just delete the whole blog and keep my fucking gob shut in future. Clearly I haven’t done that. Although I will in the days ahead be spending a lot of time going through posts and adding passwords to many of them.

To the aforementioned inner circle, please don’t contact me directly to ask what all this is about. I really do not want to discuss it.

From → Blog

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