Look, it’s no secret that I’m pretty crappy at blogging. The internet is already full of great and terrible writing/publishing advice and my life really isn’t interesting enough to document. It’s one of the many reasons I write fiction. It gives me something to talk about other than the dog I’m currently looking after and the boysenberry I just planted and subsequently had to rescue from said dog.
So I’ve enlisted the help of a content generator! And the peculiar algorithms of portent.com have given me this gem:
So here we go! Six Surprising Ways Writing is More Refreshing than New Socks.
Google’s definition thingy defines the word refreshing as ‘serving to refresh or reinvigorate someone.’ Now, you could make the argument that socks, new or otherwise, have never actually refreshed anyone in the history of the earth (unless it was summer and the socks had spent the night in the fridge, which is completely legit), and until my birthday this year I’d have been right there with you. But. My dear friend gave me a pair of Daria socks and I can very seriously say they’ve given me a whole new lease on life.
This is my ‘new lease on life’ face.
So let’s operate on the assumption that socks can, in fact, be literally refreshing to human people. In the same way, let’s accept that writing can too.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s address how writing is, in fact, more refreshing than even the most refreshing of new socks. And not just more, but surprisingly so.
1. Writing Doesn’t Have That Slightly Too Tight Band Around The Top.
Writing comes with many side effects. Anxiety, humiliation, abject despair, all that. But what it does not have, is that band around the top of socks that sometimes digs in a bit too tight and leaves a weird imprint on your skin.
You know the one.
And if you try to loosen it you end up snapping something vital. And then that destroys the entire ecosystem of the sock, and it ends up sagging around your ankles, and then the bobbly heel bit ends up somewhere around the arch of your foot, but you’re wearing boots and you’re at work so you can’t fix it, and then somehow your sock just comes completely off inside your shoe and it feels weird and terrible and you can’t do anything but smile weirdly because if you try to tell anyone what’s going on inside your shoe they’re going to think you’re peculiar.
Anyway, writing – surprisingly! – doesn’t have that, and that knowledge in itself is refreshing in a tenuous sort of way.
2. Some Socks Have Palm Trees On Them But Writing Is More Immersive.
When I think of the word ‘refreshing’ I think of palm trees, because I am also thinking of cartoon oasis’ in cartoon deserts. Which is strange, because I grew up in an actual desert with zero palm trees and any natural body of water probably had nature’s greatest death machine chilling in it. But that’s media influence for you.
Where I’m going with this, I think, is that you can see a picture of an oasis on some socks (and then put them on and get clammy feet, which is absolutely not refreshing unless, again, you’re keeping them in the fridge, but after about four minutes that thrill wears off and you’re back to being a normal person in what are probably warmly moist socks which is worse than having warm dry socks so in the end, were those four minutes even worth it?), or you can write about an oasis. The burning white sand, the shuk, shuk, shuk of the very lost tourist’s feet as they trudge over the dunes, legs feeling heavier and heavier until… something glimmers in the distance. A blinding spark of light that hurts to look at and yet promises sweet relief to a mouth turning to stone. On they press, forcing leaden limbs ever onward, finding God to pray that the blinding spot isn’t a just a cruel trick of the mind until, finally, their ragged shoes soak through with water. Blissful, not cold but real, honest to God water. They drop to their knees and scoop painful handfuls past broken lips and drink and drink and drink.
Or you could just have an actual glass of water, but this is a two-option list. You can wear some socks or you can write some stuff and you should defo write some stuff as proven in that pulitzer worthy excerpt there.
3. Uh. Writing is probably new to you! But socks probably aren’t.
That’s refreshing, isn’t it? I mean, you were probably made to write something in high school about what you did on your holidays or some one-page story for English about a theme or something and you probably did it last minute and it was probably all a dream but then you wake up and the events of the dream START HAPPENING as a really great twist ending, and well done you. But you’ve quite possibly never had a solid crack at writing for fun! That’s not based on a statistic, please don’t check. Why would anyone even collect data on that? Is that why the CSIRO keeps getting its funding cut?
If you’re a shoe wearer, and many of us are – no judgement if you’re not, of course, but also, maybe a little, context depending – then you’ve almost definitely worn socks at some point. It’s not a new experience, and now that we’ve all been through the toe-sock fad of the mid-00’s and after you’ve tried out my cool little fridge tip, there’s really no new sock frontiers to explore. I mean you could switch to bamboo socks or something, but don’t. They come in boring colours and they feel kind of weird.
But writing! Writing is always a new frontier. What emotions will it make you feel about yourself today? Tune in, folks. It’s always extreme and occasionally even positive.
Where am I up to? 4?
4. Twilight Exists, But So Do Really Ugly Socks.
I’m using Twilight as a cheap shortcut for ‘poor writing’ here, as I’ve not read any of it, and I have no real opinions on it. Cool? Cool.
Yes, some people write incredibly terrible stuff. But it makes them happy, right? I mean, sometimes it gets published and does incredibly well and it doesn’t make you feel terrible at all because GOOD FOR THEM, RIGHT? I AM VERY HAPPY FOR ALL SUCCESSFUL WRITERS WHO AREN’T ME.
But some people do this:
Calling it. His name is probably Christopher. Not Chris.
And it is objectively worse than anything Ian McEwan* has ever done.
5. What Were We Talking About?
Fact: I’ve listened to Lemonade twice since starting this post.
Fact: It’s difficult to have that many opinions about this topic.
Theory: Poor choice maybe?
Thought: Ooh, I’ve still got some some mint slice in the cupboard.
6. Writing Is Actually Pretty Great And Socks Are Just Sort Of Whatever.
We’ve completely abandoned the refreshing and surprising angle, but let’s be honest, there weren’t that many legs in it to begin with.
Anyway. In conclusion, point number 6, writing is pretty awesome. If you’re inclined to write, you should absolutely have a go. You don’t have to aspire to professionalism. Writing is a great hobby. You can write in a journal, you can write extremely interesting and enlightening blogs, you can write tweets or essays or poems or short stories or novels or sagas or whatever. If any part of you has the urge to write, go ahead and act on that.
Because socks, however fabulous, and actually a pretty great source for compliments because people seem to really love a novelty sock, are just socks. They’re not that involved an activity. A pretty poor choice as a hobby, unless you’re making them yourself, and we are just not going down that road because this is already a really unnecessarily long blog.
But that’s fine. Because socks are socks. And writing is writing. And they’re actually a horrible basis for comparison.
Thanks, content generator!
Look, I tried. Let me have this.
*Or is it?