Look at this lovely photograph depicting the month of April that I definitely took myself and definitely didn't download from a free stock image website.

April began in an unusual place for me: my childhood bedroom. As I currently dwell a tidy 150 miles away from home and rarely have time to do the four-hour trip up to North Wales, it's not often that I get time to visit my family (read: cats). Fortunately, the beginning of April coincided with Easter, which meant I got a delicious four-day sandwich: a four-day weekend nicely nestled in between two four-day work weeks. Thank you for that one, Sir John Lubbock.

As it happened, the first of April landed on Easter Sunday, which meant I didn't even attempt to eat any of my Easter eggs until midday was dead and gone. Anyone who's ever met me knows I loathe April Fools Day with a passion, so I avoided any interaction with my family until the safety net of the afternoon finally arrived and any potential pranks were kept far away from me for another year. Now, I'd like to say my reason for hating April Fools Day is because it's used by unpleasant people to play mean pranks and to turn serious issues into stupid jokes (people who post fake pregnancy or coming out announcements are the worst offenders).

However, the real reason I hate it is because I'm a gullible dingbat who will fall for anything, especially when I've only just woken up. April Fools is exclusively a morning thing, and I am anything but a morning thing. Within the first few minutes of waking up, I will believe anything. Japan's renaming one of its prefectures after a Pokemon? Fantastic! VHS is making a comeback? Hell yeah! Elon Musk is actually just three kids in a trench coat? Knew it.

Updated: May 8, 2018

Maybe I'd be a better writer if I owned a MacBook Air, liked coffee, and was able to keep plants alive.

Ooh, look at me, all fancy and millennial with my own website. I've actually had this thing sitting around for a couple of months now, but I'm still not entirely sure what to do with it. Personal blog? Weekly reviews of my bus commute to work? A new dating site for singles living in student cities that has a strict ban on actual students? Might be a market for that one, actually.

You might be wondering why I even own this website. Initially, I made it to hone my non-existent web-building abilities (even if most of this 'honing' just involved deleting every element on the original template and thinking, 'Yeah, that'll do it'). With my newfound skills in abusing HTML and Wix templates, I could finally be a bit more useful at work, which happens to be a marketing agency I tricked into hiring me. Now, if anyone approached my boss and inquired as to whether we have a completely inadequate and unqualified Wix specialist on the books, I could put myself forward with unjustified pride. At least, that was the plan until my boss announced our agency would no longer be using Wix as a web-building platform. This announcement, naturally, came about seven seconds after I bought this domain. Figures.

I paid about twenty quid for this website, so I might as well make the most of it. Seeing as I keep telling my relatives I'm a writer, it's probably a good idea for me to have something to show for it, aside from my work portfolio of corporate tweets, Instagram hashtags and the occasional press release with actual substance. Thing is, after studying Creative Writing for three years at university, I sort of lost my zest for writing; studying things to the point of scrutiny has that effect, sadly.

Though my creativity and love for reading have since made a very welcome return to my life, my confidence has not. At any given time, my brain is positively vibrating with ideas for imaginary bestsellers and viral articles, but when it comes to putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard (or, more realistically, eyeliner pencil to back of Tesco receipt), I really start to struggle.

Your writing isn't good enough, my brain likes to tell me. It's what I hear every single time I try to write, and not just with big things like providing copy for a client or entering a writing competition. It's there when I write in my personal, strictly-my-eyes-only journal. It's there when I try leaving a YouTube comment or posting a bad political take on Twitter (which is for the best). It's there right now, and I'm fighting every urge to delete everything I've written thus far - which happens to be exactly what I did three days before my dissertation deadline at university. Rest in peace, first draft of The Othering of Wales: The good, the bad and the English, 2015-2015. You were gone too soon.

Being a professional writer who's scared to write wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I chose my degree, and certainly not what I had in mind when I got my job. It's a bit like spending five years studying to become a doctor, only to walk through the hospital front doors on your first day and realise you've got a debilitating fear of Jeremy Hunt. It's irony at its peak form - at least, I think it is. Alanis Morissette really confused us all on that front.

Luckily, I know exactly how to work through a writer's block, because I once - presumably ironically - got writer's block whilst writing an essay about writer's block. Want to know how I got through it? By bloody writing. It's blunt advice, but no amount of coffee shops, pretty notebooks and open Word documents will produce content - only writing will, which is exactly what I'm forcing myself to do right now. Inspiration may strike you, but motivation is something you must strike yourself, preferably up the arse.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my experiment in writing: The Blunt Fringe. You'll see it's named after the most dominant features of my writing and forehead, respectively. This writing journey (which is my pretentious way of avoiding calling this a blog, which is very blatantly what this is) will follow my endeavours as I attempt to reignite my passion for writing with as much grace and elegance as a drunk baby trying to operate a typewriter in outer space. Please keep your expectations low.

Now, I should tell you to expect weekly or bi-monthly posts about my exciting quest to rediscover my love for writing, right? The key to success is consistency, after all! Unfortunately, I'm as consistent as the British springtime weather and about as interesting as it, too. Who knows what's forecast for this blog? Definitely not me.

For now, however, I can tell you one thing for certain: I'm going to tell you what I did in April. Exciting? No. Interesting? Maybe. A lazy way to pass off a writing exercise as actual content? Ding-ding-ding.

Let's get started.


  • Black Tumblr Icon