After my last blog, one of my best friends rang me.
‘What’s wrong?’ She said as soon as I picked up the phone. ‘I can tell something’s wrong from your blog.’
That’s what best friends are good at – knowing the subtext.
And then she said something else.
‘You know, when you started writing your blog it felt like you really enjoyed it and now I get the sense that you don’t.’
It was one of those moments when someone says something that turns the light on when you hadn’t even realized you were sitting in the dark.
I thought back on the blog I’d written in haste the night before. You can read it here if you’re interested but I wouldn’t bother. It doesn’t say anything important, unless you’re interested in reading subtext.
Around a week later I had a conversation with another good friend. We first met when we worked together in our twenties – heady days when the next twenty years we’ve now lived through were ahead of us. She had just watched me giving a speech and a reading from my new book at the Progress Educational Trust event at the RCOG on ‘The Real Cost of IVF’. As we walked to a late supper afterwards she said: ‘The funny thing is you never wanted to be a writer back then. But you are one now, what happened?’
Another light went on, as her words made me realize that writing and blogging are not the same thing.
I don’t quite know where my desire to write came from. It seemed to emerge from the darkness of infertility a little after my fortieth birthday. The eponymous book of this blog was published in February 2014. I started writing the blog shortly before that and have posted every other Sunday (almost without fail) figuring that if you want to be read – and most writers do want to be read – that publicity is everything.
But, really, I wish I had the bravery to give up blogging. And Twitter. And Facebook. And to stop berating myself for not being on Instagram (yet). I wish I was strong enough to say (in some low tech, old fashioned way) – you won’t find me on social media but if you’re interested then come and meet me in the pages of my new book…
It’s about swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood.
It’s called 21 Miles
It’s out on the 3rd of May.
I’ll be talking about it at Fertility Fest – the arts festival I’ve founded about fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies which will be at the Bush Theatre from 8th – 13th May.
The book, not the blog, is the most important thing I have to say.