I am a frustrated writer. I am frustrated by how little I write.
The first sentence is the hardest, as an old lag might say. There are so many competing demands on one’s attention, from social media to existential dread (or, to give it its more common name, social media).
And then there’s depression, anxiety, undiagnosed ADHD. The occasional need to eat. Messages from loved ones. Obligations. Online board games. The cricket (another source of existential dread).
As the year shudders towards its end and we’re told to hunker down yet again, I find my mental reserves are running extremely low. I suspect I’m not the only one.
The concept of another lockdown terrifies me, but even without it, my world has become so small. The biggest impact of this pandemic, at least from a personal perspective, is the lockdown it has enforced on the mind.
I’ve lost touch with a lot of people since March 2020. Of course, most of them still exist – in the debilitating rectangle of my phone. Technically a message away.
But friendship and relationships don’t work like that, no matter how much we store them on digital devices.
They are things of contact, communication and intimacy, and the past couple of years have been intensely damaging to them.
This blog is like the opposite of Granary Square in King’s Cross: I sometimes forget it isn’t private.
This is your fault. If my readers were more like security guards in cheap uniforms, swanning around making sure I don’t stage some kind of protest, then I wouldn’t end up writing so honestly.
I hope everyone out there is doing alright, and that I may see some of you soon.
Take care, James.
May we once again have the chance to cross paths at the cricket.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to get to Canterbury again at some point, but until then, keep writing for us. Any old silly thoughts will do – even a write-up on your thoughts on the day’s play would be lovely!
All the very best