Really, this is just a courtesy mail to let my remaining readers (both of you) know that the end of the road has been reached. I’m outie.
I started this blog in 2008 so I’ve been writing here for five and a half years. That’s by far the most sustained writing project I’ve ever managed to take on. I started writing Jou Ma Se Blog while pregnant, sitting in an office doing what we thought was, and probably actually was, cutting edge digital publishing stuff for magazine brands heat and FHM.
(As an aside, I will just say that the experience wasn’t all knuckle-dragging boets, as someone recently suggested on Twitter. I mean, I’m as boet as the next man and all, so let’s not question my masculinity here, but if you’re going to throw the sexual objectification book at FHM – as you certainly could – you should also throw it at Cosmo. Disclosure: I have written for both titles. Because they pay me. At least they usually do. Ahem!) That was right after a low point where my little baby, ZOO Weekly, the cutest and funniest and cleverest adolescent boys’ mag I ever knew, of which I was the editor, was shut down after just a year in print.
I have been involved with “lowbrow” media ever since my first media job. I lacked confidence in my abilities as a young person, so I did not believe that I could ever have written for a newspaper or become a “serious issues” journalist, same as I didn’t believe I could write proper, good fiction.
Felix and Richie, I have no idea why the wide world seemed so frightening at age 20. If I look back now (and having had the opportunity to subedit “real” journalists’ writing from time to time) I promise you I know I could have done it with ease. But it’s 20 years later and life and opportunities have carried me in another direction.
Now I write for a living. I do it every day and in the past six years where it’s been my bread-and-butter career, I’ve got better and faster at it. I guess I’m logging my 10000 hours. (Malcolm Gladwell's excellent book Outliers explores the idea that to obtain mastery over a subject you must log on average 10000 hours of practice.)
And my career choices mean I get to stay home when I need to and more or less dictate my working hours. Plus: did I mention I get to write for a living? That’s still thrilling after all these years.
I love writing and I have loved writing out a lot of the emotional intensity of the early years of children and pregnancy. I have made friends and even some fans, but of course also some, if not exactly “enemies”, then at least conspicuous eye rollers. You can’t please everyone all the time and I’m not very good at accepting that. I’m quite surprised I’ve lasted this long while feeling so watched. I read my OWN back posts and shudder in embarrassment for myself.
The kids are getting older. As other bloggers before me have found, sharing poo stories about a ten month old is fine, about a ten year old you hesitate. So more and more I find I’m not writing the stuff that’s actually going on.
I’ll keep writing for the boys. Every time I ask myself why I still blog (in years gone by it was for connection, to meet like-minded people, to hear supportive things, to learn from others) the only answer I have is that I like to think of it as a present to my boys, something of mine for them to have one day. So if that’s the case, why are my letters public? It makes no sense. Maybe it’s been to force me/guilt me into writing regularly. I think I can do that myself now, after all, who lets a six-year writing project lapse?
I'll keep popping up here if I really have something to say, so you can keep me in your Bloglovin' feed if you want. I will be wanting to vent and rant about something soon enough, I imagine.
It's been amazing. Goodbye.
"So, thanks for your time, and I’ll thank you for mine.
(And after that’s said