Blogfest last year was my first ever big blogging event. As I descended the escalator into the hall full of people I half recognised from Twitter I thought:
Shit! I’ve made a terrible mistake.
Fast forward 12 months and there I was gliding down the escalator into a hall full of people I actually knew and this time I thought:
Double shit with sparkles on! I really have made a terrible mistake this time.
Instead of enjoying the day with friends I’d made over the year I had stupidly agreed to sit on stage in front of them all and speak.
The lovely ladies from Mumsnet were very keen to show me to The Green Room, where all the people who belonged on stage were sitting round discussing politics and nibbling canapes off the back of swans.
Outside in the hall people who actually knew my name were stuffing their faces with free pastries and taking bets on who was going to be the first to disgrace themselves.
What the fuck had I got myself into?
During the opening keynote discussion I found I really liked Sarah Vine, maybe I could channel her presence and self confidence while I was on stage?
As I daydreamed about becoming Sarah Vine it dawned on me that I was basically fantasizing about being married to Michael Gove.
Ironing the Chief Whip’s undercrackers is not the sort of thought you need running through your head 10 minutes before stepping out on stage.
Many years ago I tried my hand at stand up – I thought it would be a good test to see if could write funny.
I quickly realised that standing up in a room full of people was not my natural home.
Sitting in my pyjamas feeding a toddler cereal from a bowl on the floor like a dog is my natural home.
Blogging is the perfect fit for me. No one watches you and you can edit everything the way you want it in just 40 easy drafts.
Quite why I had agreed to step on stage again and talk about comedy is beyond me. I think the ladies at Mumsnet may have evil powers.
I hated doing stand up because I was terrified and here I was again shitting myself. Fortunately the witches at Mumsnet sat me next to an expert in incontinence.
If you ever find yourself in a terrifying social situation my advice would be to take a hilariously funny Scottish lady with a strong grasp of bladder control with you.
In the end I actually enjoyed the panel discussion but there were a couple of topics that I’ve been thinking about a lot since.
Mainly to block out the images of me arguing with Michael Gove about him leaving the toilet seat up.
We talked about comedy requiring fearlessness and how you can’t teach funny.
But I’m not sure that’s exactly right.
If comedy required fearlessness Chris Ryan & Ross Kemp would be headlining Live at The Apollo.
What you actually need is a tiny moment of boldness, just a pinch of Arabella Weir’s ‘Fuck ’em‘ attitude.
Saying you can’t learn to be funny also sends a message that the whole comedy lark is too difficult.
Don’t bother trying. You’ll be shit.
I think that if you’ve already stuck your head above the parapet by starting a blog trying to be funny doesn’t require that much more fearlessnessnessness.
And remember sometimes you have to be shit to get good – how’s that for a Think Bomb?
I’m off to worry that maybe I shouldn’t have referred to the lovely ladies at Mumsnet as witches.
On second thoughts.