I have certainly concluded that my religious and political views are based in atheism and anarchy respectively. A Puritan though? Certainly not as defined in the traditional, religious definition of the word; more a New Puritan, as defined by the writing manifesto by Alex Garland et al, published by Fourth Estate, prefacing the All Hail The New Puritans collection of short stories c.2000.
My writing, like my thoughts which my writing conveys, can rarely adhere to all of the articles in the New Puritans’ manifesto because of the very nature of my writing in general. I am capable of writing a piece of fiction which adheres to the New Puritan manifesto in its entirety, have done so and been published as such. More typically though, I need to say everything to everyone at the same time. It avoids too much repetition and that’s why I’m a writer: I have the ability and means to share my thoughts, on this blog. But I need to practice and market more coherent writing.
Thoughts are something I have many of at the moment but the Puritan needs to exclude those thoughts from his mind in order to concentrate; to focus. For now, those thoughts are breeding in my head and in my hand-written notes. Chief among my many thoughts is that if you care about someone but they simply will not or cannot speak to you, you have to stop caring in order to preserve your sanity: minimum words; quite a lot of impact in that sentence. That’s what writing is about: make people think. Show don’t tell. I simply don’t have the time any more to care for anything other than what I am developing and those within my closest inner circle. They know who they are.
So as well as these blog posts becoming less frequent, they will most likely gain a greater brevity. General musings I shall share more with friends, confidantes, the girls and social media, as dictated by circumstance. I need to concentrate on keeping blog posts focused. In time, they may become more frequent, simply because I’m writing in a more focused way and have more time if I’m not rambling with writing and thoughts. I-megaphone and I-earpiece at the same time.
The reason for this narrowing of tunnel vision is paid work finally coming in. A feature I wrote recently for The Guardian newspaper has been accepted for publication and I will receive payment for it. The immediate upshot of this is that I’m in contact with the features editor of said national publication. This means many things, besides my piece being published: I gain exposure; I have a gateway; I have contacts. My editor and I are due to speak further tomorrow, at the start of what really is becoming a working week for me, albeit one which doesn’t observe conventional working hours or practices: just like me then.
The piece which has been accepted for publication will gain me a commission payment. I am not a salaried staff member for The Guardian but I am a freelance writer and I have other projects in the pipeline for this particular employer / customer. Most of all, it’s recognition. I am a professional, published writer: undeniable fact, backed up by proof upon request. I write horror and science fiction for a webzine; my short stories are published in a print periodical magazine; I have published a book: I receive royalties on sales; and now I write for The Guardian and get paid for it.
The Guardian is just so me: independent, not afraid, controversial, inclusive… GMG is not owned by shareholders, nor at the whim of a media mogul with political ideals: it is owned by its readers and writers, of which I am now one. They are the idealised anarchists and atheists of the media world in my mind. Puritans more in the old definition. Being able to write for The Guardian is like being a documentary maker for the other media bastion of public service: Channel 4. I am a writer and I will soon be paid for doing what I love: conveying what’s on my mind with the written word. I’m accountable to an editor but I am largely uncensored; I have freedom of choice and opinion, even though both may sometimes be controversial. I’ll devote as much time as usual to these posts but they’ll be less meandering and more self-contained by subject.
I lost what could have been a dream life, went through a nightmare but gained a dream I wouldn’t previously have imagined: contentment and a personal place of belonging. Back to work tomorrow, doing what I want to do.
What have I chosen to do with my Sunday evening? I’ve chosen to work. I’m writing. The rest I shall keep to myself, including anything to do with teenage girls, which I’ll write about another time. Just one thing: Yazoo strawberry milkshake on breakfast cereal instead of milk is munch.