Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.


Sunday, 24 May 2009

My domain

Self-belief costs £5.98. I know this, because I just received the invoice. As of this morning, www.thewritegirl.co.uk is mine. 

"Unbelievable," my ego hissed at me last night when I tentatively broached the subject. "Jesus. A bit of publicity and now you're full of it. What have you got to offer, Smale? Eh? Nothing. Exactly. Now go and sit in a corner and think about just how useless you are."
And, for the first time - possibly ever - I bridled.
"No," I shouted back. "I will not go and sit in a corner."
My ego blanched a little bit.
"Why not?" he said in a surprised voice. (He's male: of course he's male.)
"Because I am sick of sitting in the corner," I screamed at him. "Sick of it. I'm sick of data entry, I'm sick of feeling pointless, I'm sick of being dumped, I'm sick of feeling angry with myself and I'm sick of fighting with you all the time."
"Well you don't need to be so bloody stroppy," my ego complained. "Bloody hell. Pipe down."
"You pipe down," I said (I've never been very good at arguments: I tend to just repeat what they've said in an emotional voice). "Every time I try and do something, you try and stop me. Every time. Every chapter, every blog post, every video, every painting, every interview, every date, every time I fall in love: you're there in the background, telling me how stupid I am, and asking me why I'm bothering."
"Nobody likes a show-off," he pointed out. "It'll make people hate you. Do you want to be hated? Do you want to be lonelier?"
There was a long pause while I thought about it.
"I just want to do something I love without hating myself for it. I want to do something good without despising myself a little for even trying."
There was another silence.
"So will you just fuck off for a little bit, please?" I added eventually. "Please? Just for a month or so? Just so I can get on my feet? This is my life, and I want to own it for once."
"Well you don't need to be so rude," my ego said in a sulky voice. "You just had to ask nicely. I need a holiday anyway." 
And then he got up and stalked out of the room.

So I'm going to see what it's like without him there. This morning, I got up to buy the website and I waited for my ego to pop his head up - to ask me what I thought I was doing, and who the hell did I think was going to visit it? - but nothing happened. There were no interruptions. There were no waves of self-doubt, tossing me around like a tiny little boat in a storm. It was just me, and my website, and the excitement of having something to build. Something to create. Something to throw myself into. A place that was mine: that I didn't have to fight against myself for.

And it feels wonderful.

He'll come back, of course: I know he will. He always does; probably with a tan and a straw donkey. But by then, we might have a slightly more healthy relationship. By then, I might need him to help keep my feet on the ground.