Monday, July 12, 2010
My father, raised in the London suburbs on postwar rationing and imperial decline, filled my childhood with gloomy British aphorisms. Youth is wasted on the young. Many are called, few are chosen. I'm glad I can't remember most of them, because they're all showing a disturbing tendency to be proven true.
He did give me one piece of practical advice. If you must write, he told me, with a sorrowful shake of his head, go off and do something else first. Otherwise you'll have nothing to write about except writing.
Of course, he was right about that too. At age thirty-seven, I've finally sold my first novel and started a weblog, and I've got so much to write about I hardly know where to start. I'll blog about history, about current events, about motherhood, about publishing, about my upcoming novel, about (pace, Dad) writing. I might even throw in a post about Tiger Woods, in a desperate attempt to gather more hits.
This blog stands for a lot of things. It stands for hearty breakfasts and dark chocolate, for going out running even when the weather sucks, for classic literature and trashy novels, for old-fashioned dinner parties and new House episodes and champagne cocktails and listening to the other side of the story.
And I guess it also stands for following your father's advice. Most of the time.
What do you stand for?