Hooray! This is my 100th post here on Pretty Feet, Pop Toe! I’ll let you take a minute to drink that glorious achievement in and gird yourselves for some loin-felt congratulating. One hundred. ONE. HUNDRED! Now take into consideration that the average length of each post is no less than 1,000 words. Mull on that a while as you marvel on the wonder that is my voracious verbosity and then mull some more on the fact that these have been produced every Wednesday at 17:00 (PFPT Towers, London, UK time) since August 2011 and you can marvel some more. (I said marvel some more, damn it!)
So, now that I’ve reached 100 posts, level 100 on the game of WordPress, do I get a trophy or an extra life? Will a shower of confetti and streamers (not balloons, those are upsetting) fall from the sky as a marching brass band circles my laptop and a pixelated graphic rolls across the screen of my life, flashing “WINNER! GAME OVER!”? No, apparently you get to do it all again. *gritted teeth* Oh joy.
Each and every week for the past 100 posts, I have shed tears of bitter anguish, I have sobbed through doom and failure and I have lamented the inspiration that will not come – such a waste of mascara. Each week I tell myself I can’t think of a single thing to write about and that no-one will read it, and each week I wring my brain until little droplets of grammar and punctuation drip onto my keyboard and a puddle of sentences starts to take shape. It never gets easier or less painful and my heart breaks each Wednesday afternoon as I commit my 1,000 words to press, wishing I had written bigger, brighter, wittier, sharper. Maybe I should have just gone with a fart gag after all.
Each week people tell me that if it’s such a tortuous process, maybe I should take a break, write less frequently or quit altogether. I scoff and retort with a “piffle” and a “poppycock”. You see, if I were to stop writing, like a tuna fish who stops swimming, I would die. That’s not over-dramatic, it’s true. Ok, it may be a tad over-dramatic but I wouldn’t like it very much and that’s pretty much the same thing. I would definitely throw myself dramatically to the ground and clutch a lace handkerchief to my heaving bosom (bosoms always heave in moments of over-dramatic flouncing) and my friends would be made to wear black for a month, maybe even two.
For me there is no greater joy than to write, to play with words and carry out some deliciously loquacious linguistic gymnastics for the entertainment of others and myself. Well, clearly there are a few joys greater; the feeling you get when you finally unleash a wee after holding it in for a really long journey, or the jubilation felt upon seeing a freshly laid dog egg with someone else’s brown foot prints trailing forlornly away from it. Apart from that, writing is pretty much up there with the most joyous of joys, once you get past the anguish and self-loathing, that is.
Every week I fret and fuss over what topic to tackle and conduct some incredibly deep soul searching into the things that have irked and appalled me the most in the past 7 days. My misanthropic outlook and the vile spawn of London’s streets will only get you so far, and the eager egos of acquaintances proffering the rights to their dignity with “you can use that if you like!” after carrying out a particularly dull act of mundanity, will get you no-where. For some reason people are all too worried that “you’re going to put that in your blog, aren’t you? I’m going to see everything I say on your site!” when in fact, they serve as poor conversationalists and an even poorer muse.
Inspiration comes, not so much from the omphaloskepsis or the vanity of friends, but from the diabolical cretins who slither across my path on a daily basis. I am still left in dumbfounded amazement at the person I overheard on a train declaring to his friends, in earnest certainty, that “pigs can see wind”. With people like this (eligible to vote, no less) roaming free, there shall never be a lack of social gaffes or opinion sparking topics to get the brain salivating.
With each and every piece I write comes a terrible fear, like the one you feel when trying to decide if that noise was something falling off the bedside table or an evil clown reaching up to fondle your bits. It is the fear of rejection, of the readers abandoning you, of poor stats and worse, THE TYPO. Nothing causes my sphincter to tighten like a balloon knot faster than someone pointing out a spelling error or word omission. Worse still, and detrimental to my hopes of ever passing solids again, is spotting a typo yourself in a piece weeks after everyone else has read it. Oh the shame! It’s after occasions like this that I hold an offending digit against the electric hob as a harsh but vital lesson. This method of corporal correction has had limited success, I’ll be honest, and has been detrimental to my fingerprints.
No sooner have I got my labour of love, injured fingers and brain dribble out into the ether and received the praise and appreciation I crave (I seriously do you know, I’m like a crack-whore for metaphorical pats on the head from strangers on the internet), and revelled in the sensation of relief at having met my rigorously self-imposed deadline, than it’s time to start the whole process again. Again. You see, the hit I get from the success of one piece of writing fades all too quickly and I’m left craving more, with the same crippling anxiety that I tackled to produce the last and must keep going, with no end in sight, forever, ad infinitum.
So what am I trying to say with my 100th post? Am I making a poignant statement about the mental processes of a writer? Am I hoping for approval and recognition for my milestone achievement? Am I hoping for redemption through prose? I guess I’m just pointing out that I’m basically a crack addicted tuna fish and I should have gone with the fart gag.