When you haven't written for ages you feel like the first one after the drought should be fantastic, something really worth the wait. Like when you've been single for a while the first lover should be absolutely mind-blowing. But this is reality.
So why has it been so long?
Because I don't know who I am.
I got into this whole social media thing at the beginning of last year, wrote a few posts, made some connections with other people, got a few Twitter followers. And then it all stopped. I had a confusion of online personas, connections that didn't feel comfortable and a muddled blog which did not know whether it was a feminist diatribe or a source of information about driving regulations or something that tried to combine the two and much else besides.
So who am I and what do I write?
There is definitely a feminist crusade element to my choice of career which I've written about before. But when I started to read feminist blogs and get involved in the discussions I found myself either feeling like a fraud or simply intimidated.
I do know a phenomenal amount about driving rules and regulations and have written about the rules of the road. But when I set up a separate blog to share all the stuff I know about driving, I bored myself stupid within a couple of weeks.
I know there's a book inside me somewhere and I've been reading lots of non-fiction this summer to try and work out which style would suit me. I wanted to explore how much of me I wanted to put into my writing, how strong and how present the authorial voice should be. I read Simon Garfield's 'Just my type' where the author as a thinking, feeling person is not really present at all. I read Edward Platt's 'Leadville' and liked the way he wove his own story into those of the people he was writing about. I then read Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Eat, Pray, Love' which is a book I had avoided for many years, primarily because I knew it would be one that would really chime with my own mind and I couldn't cope with the envy that she had written it and not me. It annoyed me for that very reason and because I hate to see a version of myself in literature, it makes me feel like a cliche, but equally I loved it and couldn't put it down.
The fact is that the only two occasions where pieces of writing have really flowed in the way that I want writing to flow have been this deeply personal blog post and the eulogy I delivered for my Grandad's funeral. Both have been well received and both came straight from the heart out onto the page. I spent 8 years at university and thought at one time of being an academic but writing from a position of impersonal observation and fitting into the strictures of academic convention feels stultifying to me. I am no longer prepared to play with identities that don't fit or to hide behind factual knowledge. So it looks like this blog is going to get personal.