At last, a real How to Write book...

Welcome to my blog

Hello, and welcome to This Itch of Writing (and thanks to John Donne for the title).

I wasn't going to start a blog, though so many writers have, because I spend quite enough time on the computer and online as it is. But one of the drawbacks of being a novelist is that your big writing project - however excited you are about it - takes so darned long. For months and years you're immersed in particular voices and places and times and ideas. And it's all very well being up to your neck in such rich and rare substances, but what do you do when you get an itch on your nose?

When his itch of writing needed scratching Donne wrote letters to his friends: fellow lawyers and gentlemen-at-arms, his mistresses and patrons. I'd love to think it wasn't a coincidence that one of his best love poems begins, Mark now this flea... The drawback of writing letters in the early seventeenth century was a postal system which relied on a friend to remember to drop the letter off in the alehouse in the next village but three, and hope it didn't fall behind the bar before someone found it.

Blogging is a bit more reliable. I have a website, here, which is my public face as Emma Darwin, novelist, the author of The Mathematics of Love and other works. This blog is, if not private, then certainly more personal. I spend much of my waking life writing and thinking about writing - my own and others' - and I even dream about it sometimes. So my blogging can't help but reflect that. But I'm feeling my way, really, about what and when I want to write here. Mind you, feeling one's way comes with the writer's territory: how do I know what I think till I see what I say? I'm hoping to see what I say, and what you say, over the next few months...

p.s.: 4th June 2013. I can't believe it, but This Itch of Writing has been going for more than five years, and more than five hundred posts. For a quick dip into some of my favourite posts across all the things that get discussed on the blog, click here.