a point to writing

pen nibs

I was surprised this week to be told by the WordPress robots that I registered this blog six years ago. (If they are right, I must have fudged some dates at the beginning as the first post is dated 23rd April 2007.)

During those six years I’ve written over 750 posts. Some have featured photos and very little text, but some have straggled on well beyond the 500 words that I think is a good maximum length for a blog post. This means there’s probably enough text in this blog for three full-length novels – one written every couple of years – without any great effort on my part.

Often, though, I have known it was time to update the blog and haven’t had any idea what to write about; on those occasions I remember the essay The Pleasure of Writing by A.A. Milne, which begins:

Sometimes when the printer is waiting for an article which really should have been sent to him the day before, I sit at my desk and wonder if there is any possible subject in the whole world upon which I can possibly find anything to say.

After a brief digression, he continues:

But today I do not need to bother about a subject. Today I am without a care. Nothing less has happened than that I have a new nib in my pen.

And later:

[W]hen I have a new nib in my pen, then I can go straight from my breakfast to the blotting paper, and a new sheet of foolscap fills itself magically with a stream of blue-black words.

Today, I have no ideas for the blog. I do, however, have a collection of pen nibs (including the rather fine long nib in the centre, which fits onto a porcupine quill). So it seems a good time to pay homage to Milne who is one of my favourite writers. If you only know him as the author of Winnie the Pooh, I recommend you seek out some of his essays.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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