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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

No, I don't care about everyone else!

Yes, that exclamation mark is there on purpose - and I almost wrote exclamation point, way too much American tele for me.

It's true - I don't care about you and I certainly don't care that Jordan and Peter Andre broke up. Don't ask me when, I only found out today as the story was featured quite helpfully on' msn today' which pops up when I just want to check if anyone I know is online for a chat. I don't need to know what is happening to celebrities and I never read the news. Recently I have had to make myself visit the BBC website as I realised I was reaching critical self-absortion when my Mum told me about swine flu a couple of weeks ago and I had never heard of it. I just don't see what anything has to do with me. As a writer, I am constantly told to find out things, discover what is happening in the rest of the world as it is important. But that's my point exactly - it's not important to me. Unless I catch swine flu, and lets face it the chances are slim to none, then I don't care.

Saying all that, I do care about individual stories. Not the stories of celebrities or anything earth-shattering. But everyday stories, how everyday people live their everyday lives. Yes, I'll admit it is because I'm nosey but also, that's what I care about. I want to know how someone, other than me, lives - I already know how I live. What someone had for dinner, why they went to see that film, the conversation they had on the phone to their sister - these are the stories that I find fascinating. And that's what I want to write about. I want my stories to reflect reality, showing snippets of lives (even if they are imaginary) as everyone I have ever met has found the idea of living, the actual moment to moment part of it, a bit confusing. Knowing that other people get through it gives us hope that we can get through it too.

Perhaps that is why we have become obsessed with gossip papers, and more recently Twitter - the place that where you can document every little thing you are doing right now. Even in the past we wrote letters and before that, there were the town criers letting the world know the details.

I realise that this post has landed in a rather different place from where it started, and certainly not what the label promised - but how often do we get what we're promised? - That's a topic for a blog another day.

So I'll leave you with the pondering - what has happened to you today that seemed completely ordinary, barely worth a second thought, that someone like me might find real life in?

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