My capacity for self-censorship knows no limits. Every time I think of something I could potentially write here, I am immediately paralysed by the notion that it might upset someone, or it might not cover all the possible angles of the subject in question, or it might break a confidence, or it might be misinterpreted, and so on.
This of course raises the question of why all my ideas err on the side of being negative. Why can’t I write a few lines about the wonderful service I received over the phone from the Devolo man the other day, rather than about the hurtful effects of the comments some relative or other made to me when I was 7? Or why not just forge ahead with some brash, one-sided, headline-style assessment of a situation, instead of an attempt to offer a more considered, more nuanced appraisal?
I’m no saint, but I don’t relish the prospect of coming across as cruel, and I suppose the unthinking approach to writing (‘unthinking’ in this case meaning: ‘not worried about the potential consequences or inadequacies of one’s words’) is not a million miles away from nastiness, in my view. Fearlessness can be cruel. But then so can cowardice, I think.
Which leaves us… where? Focussing on positives…
The other day, I received some wonderful customer service over the phone from the Devolo man. He wasn’t able to solve my problem (an Internet nightmare that has doubled the number of grey hairs upon my pate) but at least he identified what the problem was, and he ascertained that it wouldn’t be possible to solve it with my current ‘equipment configuration’.
And in other news: the third draft of the novel approaches completion. Which means I am closer to starting the process of contacting agents and publishers.
I’m reminded of what some women say when they’re about to give birth for the second time. The first experience wasn’t so terrible, because they had no idea what to expect. But the follow-up was agonising, because they knew precisely what was in store for them…