Over coffee and dwindling Christmas pudding this morning, Amanda to Akil: "Have you looked at my new blog yet?"
Akil to Amanda: "Blog, what blog? The email@example.com thing"?
"No, that's my new email address. Just part of the new me. Take a look at the blog. Go to amandaharding.org".
And so deftly placed at the right distance, glasses too far from the table, Akil takes his iPhone and starts to scroll down.
"Hmmm. You're not yet there are you? Who's it for? What's your créneau?"
And so I try and explain the thinking behind the blog, the desire for a space to take position, to rant and range but also to assemble and exchange, to share, listen and learn. What is clear is that it is only by writing every day that I'll find the focus I'm looking, the style and tone that comes with that and that the very public nature of this space will force me to move from introspection to an openness of spirit and rigor I'm searching for.
Walking in the ferocious wind and driving rain a couple of hours later our discussion moves to the latest dramatic take on musical chairs in Turkey. Akil, naturally up to date on the latest due to nights of insomnia scanning news from the region, gives me his take.
"Now this would be a great blog piece," he declares after a ten minute tight summary and personal analysis of the situation. Akil, a natural blogger - no. But he certainly would know exactly why and for whom his blog is for!
I then realize the fun of being able to invite others as guest bloggers on my very own blog. The opportunity to open up this space and proactively concoct conversations is fantastic. This is now getting really exciting.
Duncan Green, a blogger supremo in the development world, has great advice. Try and write like you talk. I hope I'm still on target.