I thought my centenary blog yesterday was a big deal until I realised that, today, I get to write Blog 101!
How exciting is that?
To all my buddies on the other side of the Atlantic 101 means ‘beginner’ (you can skip this bit, if you like, while the Europeans catch up). In American colleges the first class you take in your first (or freshman) year in any subject is generally labelled ‘101’, so Maths 101 or English 101. Sometimes these classes are taken as the beginning of something, but, sometimes older students will take a 101 class later on in their college careers to meet the criteria to qualify.
Locally, in the UK, (so the British can skip this bit while everyone else catches up) we have a TV show called ‘Room 101’, the premise being that a celebrity chooses his or her least favourite things to go into Room 101 to be expunged from the Earth forever. There is a moderator involved, and it’s all terribly amusing.
Then or course, there’s Orwell, and 1984, and the threat of meeting our own personal demons: the things we fear more than anything else, the things that might unhinge us entirely.
I hope I’ve passed ‘Writing 101’ and ‘Blogger 101’; and, if pressed, I’d probably put the misplaced apostrophe, teabags that have to be torn, one from another, along perforated edges and heels finished with metal ends instead of rubber ones into ‘Room 101’.
What of the Orwellian room of terror?
I should probably say that what I fear most is to have my creativity stifled, not to be allowed to write or express myself, never to be allowed to read anything, ever again; I should probably say that what I fear most is madness, whether it be neuroses, hysteria or senility of some sort; I should probably say that what I fear most is to have my work censored in any way, to be vilified for telling the truth.
I suppose, if I were a real writer, and if I were brave enough, I would fight for my work; I know how impressed I have been by stories of writers doing precisely that. There have been those, and there are still those writers who make a difference because they live within regimes that seek to control or define their output. Read their work.
I suppose we all hope that we could be ‘That Person’.
I am fortunate to live in the ‘Free World’. I can write what I please, and, even without being professionally published by ‘The Establishment’ my words could still reach a wider readership. I wonder if that makes us soft. I wonder if it means we choose not to tackle the so-called big issues? I hope not.
When I wrote “Naming Names” I aimed to write the truth about a difficult subject. I don’t think, for a moment, that my novel will be World-changing, but I know that writing it changed me, and I hope that, one day, reading it might make a difference in someone else’s life.
As for Room 101... Take your pick from heights, spiders, flying and any volume of water that cannot be contained by a standard bath.