Bored, meandering through the time-sump that is Facebook, I find myself briefly diverted by one of those random little apps. This one, rather than promising revelations about my likely lifespan, an estimate of my ability to solve logic puzzles or a pinpoint precise placement on the sliding scale between Emo and Goth, purported to analyse a sample of my writing and, by comparing it with the presumed plethora of samples within its database, tell me which writer I most resemble.

I bit. I clicked. I fed it “Found Objects”.

“I write like… Margaret Mitchell!” it declaimed.

Gosh. Do I? I must confess, I was secretly hoping for Dorothy Parker.

It couldn’t consume a more recent piece of writing, because there haven’t been any for over a month. And yes, I’ve been feeling guilty about it, in the spare room I keep at the back of my mind with the sign on the door that says “Procrastination”.

I don’t want this to be something I “ought” to do. I don’t want this to become a duty. That’s why I haven’t been pushing myself too hard. Part of the problem is that I’ve been reading poetry more than I used to, and while I do enjoy that, it doesn’t do much for my confidence. I mean, yes, I’m coming along, I’m getting the hang of metre and the point of enjambments and I’ve some grasp of the effect of a well-placed cesura, but compared with some of the writers I’ve discovered, my poems are stick figures next to Picasso.

Or rather, a technically accurate portrait, next to a stick figure by Picasso.

I still try to do too much, because I don’t know enough not to. I put too many bloody words in. Damn it, I like words. I’m getting better at self-editing. The more I do it, the better I’ll get at it. I know this. I know I have to do it, practice it, to improve, to even have a hope of getting anywhere near the level of sophistication and skill I’ve seen elsewhere. I could do it. I could. And there’s the problem, because now it’s something I ought to be doing, and it starts looking suspiciously like… hard work.

Mind you, I quite enjoyed writing this, so maybe there’s hope for me yet. The spark’s still there.

And, after all, tomorrow is another day.