Tuesday, 19 January 2010

'ad astra per alia porci'

"To the stars on the wings of a pig".

All of John Steinbeck's books are printed with this insignia, after a professor told him he would be an author when pigs flew. Inspirational huh? When faced with doubt he used it to make a joke and then went on to be very successful. I am currently suffering some kind of crisis of faith. Or something. I remember when my friend James set up his blog he said it would be good writing practice. We're all English Literature students and no doubt, one day, we'll end up in jobs that utilise the skills we're supposedly honing during our six hours a week (six hours! A £10,000 education and I have six hours of lectures a week!) but I keep wondering what all of this is really achieving? Naturally, given the culture I am being raised and informed in, I assume that somehow I'll gain millions of followers, become some kind of icon and this will segue way into my dream career. And I expect it all to be frighteningly instantaneous. This is my fifth blog post...why am I not famous yet?

Because no one reads this.

And furthermore, why should they? I'm not saying or doing anything that thousands before me haven't. I am not particularly witty, clever or interesting. And I am constantly plagued by this sense that I am waiting for my life to begin, that defining moment where everything I want comes to me. Meanwhile, all the savvier people are working hard, taking as many chances and gaining as many opportunities as possible and making those dreams happen. Basically, I should be more proactive. I thought maybe writing this blog was going to help but it only will as long as I remember that is is for my benefit, it's for me to practice and develop my writing skills and NOT for me to be 'discovered'. Damn.


  1. I guess the same is true of any course - what is anyone really achieving...? (that sounds pretty deep, mann.). Hey, I'm reading. James' writing practice is clearly non-existent; I think we should poke him until he blogs again.

    Re: the last paragraph...yeah, that's pretty much what I'm doing. Since I started writing the blog and decided that maybe I'd like to be a journalist (since going back to uni and designing again, I am torn. Again. Ergh.) I guess I've taken more opportunities. I used to think I was lazy, but I think I might actually be a bit of a workaholic...if I'm not doing uni work, I'm blogging, or writing my article for the uni magazine (we're not fancy and newspaper-y like Newcastle; Northumbria is all about buzzwords and street style pages, apparently.), or trying to set up a zine (it's taking a while. did i add you to the group? if i didn't, i'm currently kicking myself and running off to do it.), or learning new languages which might come in handy later in life. Or making stuff...

    Agh; long comment!

    PS, i enjoy your pink&green theme

  2. Haha, pink and green is largely the theme for my life. Except my bedroom is red and white. And I never wear pink or green. So maybe not. Anyway...

    Northumbria magazine sounds so much cooler, The Courier is as dry as unbuttered toast most of the time. And dull too. I am very much all over the zine group and would love to get involved. Keep trying to think what I want to do first though so I can pitch it to you, all successful and cool, like. But I'm not getting anywhere. obviously if it's a success you should give me a regular column though, hint hint. Ha.

  3. A Latin comment: Ad astra per alia porci = To the stars on the garlic of a pig. Steinbeck's motto was 'Ad astra per ALAS porci.' Someone transcribed it incorrectly on the web and it was repeated so many times people think 'alia' is correct.