This week sees me pass something of a milestone. Ali over at 12 Book has decided to go off gallivanting and galumphing across Europe; she’ll be gone for about a month. To fill her blog in her absence she asked for guest posts. I wrote one. It goes up on Wednesday 25th of April. In years to come when the world is a blasted ruin and we all live in caves or cardboard houses, when the sky bleeds acid and the very air is a noxious and cloying poison, Ali will look back on this day and say “That. That right there, is where it all began. Where it all started to go horribly wrong. That was the first, big, mistake.” Probably. I suspect that it won’t come to that though. Probably…
I’ve never done a guest post before so it was a bit of a big deal for me. Guest posts are something that real bloggers do, serious internet folk with important things to say. They’re not things done by chronic, sweary, misanthropes who loaf about the house in their jim-jams all the time. Unless they’re proper writers who also just happen to be chronic, sweary, misanthropes who loaf about the house in their jim-jams all the time. Distinctions are important. Perhaps this will go some way to making me feel like less of a fraud.
Writing a post for someone else’s blog was a bit of a weird experience. It’s a strange foreign land where the same rules don’t apply. It’s not yours, it’s someone else’s. I found that it’s a bit like sitting in someone’s front room having a nice cup of tea, only to have your host nip out for a bit. Leaving you all alone, in someone else’s house. You’re being trusted to behave, trusted to resist your urges to go rummaging through their draws and poking about in their cupboards. It’s a big responsibility. It’s an opportunity for promoting yourself too. It is, however, going to be to a subtly different audience. The people who read another blog aren’t necessarily going to be exactly the same as the ones who read yours. Writing a guest post quickly swerves away from the actual content and becomes a delicate balancing act between what you want and what’s expected. You’ve got to sit down and really think about how you’re going to get the square peg of your prose into the round hole of someone else’s little corner of the internet. It’s a tricky little dance, a precise and exact art. Of course you could just do what I did: spend days fretting over what to write and how to write it before finally saying “fuck it.” In the end time was getting tight, so I just slapped something together a bit higgledy-piggledy and emailed it over to Ali. Whether it actually turns out to be a polite, yet faithful advertisement of myself remains to be seen. Currently my only worry is whether everyone will think it’s a steaming pile of effluvium.
Mine is not the only guest post that’s going up of course, there’s a whole host of them. The exact schedule can be found here: “Bookmark This Post“
You should go and read them when they pop up.