Starting Block

With dinner eaten, washing up carefully filed under “we’ll worry about that tomorrow” and Mrs RB already fast asleep in bed, I sat down, turned on the laptop and logged in to WordPress. After five minutes of staring at a bright white and completely blank screen, I shut down the laptop and went to bed.

It seems that I have run out of things to talk about.

When I started this blog I wanted it to have a focus: its aim was to document my rekindled interest in getting fit. At the same time, I didn’t want it to shy away from one of my main reasons for getting fit: being able to enjoy eating good food and drinking the occasional beer. Those were the two sides to my blog. The fitness ying to the foody yang, if you will.

What I didn’t want this blog to be was, well… me. Not all of me anyway. I have my political views, I like certain films and bands and TV programmes. I am, as are you, a rounded person. This blog is not a place to share all of those things. If it did, I have a horrible fear that:

  1. I would alienate some people. Who hasn’t read an interview with a well liked actor/musician/celebrity and thought “Really? You like acid house/have read 50 Shades of Grey/think George Bush Jr was the best President ever*? (*delete as applicable). That’s so disappointing; you were so good in that film/on that record/at being famous and now I find out that you like things that I don’t like”. It’s superficial, I know, but isn’t it better when we don’t know these things and can just enjoy their work without knowing everything about them?
  2. The blog would become a shambolic mess. We all have chaotic lives that chop and change from one day to the next; there is no overarching narrative that runs through our existence. At least by focussing on a few, distinct elements of my life I can attempt to weave together a story that has a beginning, a lot of middle and, at some point in the future, an end.

The best blogs that I have read have a focus. The posts that these bloggers publish may have different themes, they may vary in style from one post to the next, but they all relate to their blog’s main raison d’etre, whether that be to discuss the food they like to eat, to document progress in their running, to share the excitement of travelling to new places or, in some cases, just to look at the world around them and to point out how amusing it is.

And so that leads me back to my blank page.

I am writing a blog about getting fit and about eating. I have been doing both of those things. It’s just that nothing particularly noteworthy has happened recently. In my previous post I shared with you some of the food that we have been eating, so that’s that side of things covered. Exercise-wise, I have been doing a lot of swimming as part of the 5×50 challenge. The trouble with swimming is that, unlike running, there is very little to talk about afterwards. There are no humerous moments, such as when you misjudge how steep a hill is, no encounters with other runners or run-ins with old people with sweets about which to comment wryly afterwards. It’s just you, in a pool, going up and down with a group of other people quietly getting on with doing the same thing. It’s a blog writing dead end.

Perhaps I could break my rules. Perhaps I could talk about something outside of exercise or eating. Perhaps…

But I won’t, because I’ve had an idea. I think this is my Barton Fink moment; I will write about not having anything to write about. That will get me out of a hole. All I need is something to start me off. How about:

With dinner eaten, washing up carefully filed under “we’ll worry about that tomorrow” and Mrs RB already fast asleep in bed…