I have a confession to make. I love blogging. I don’t have to be read but it’s nice when people do comment. Dave tells me that there will be more people who read than comment. In the trade they (you?) are known as ‘lurkers’. I don’t mind a bit because it’s fun. Who’d have thought it? My young mentor Dave has taught me the tools of the trade, I can even insert images now. You see I’ve always enjoyed writing and now I can write and think better when I type. My hand-writing is illegible and my hand can’t keep pace with my thoughts.
Blogging is better than a diary because with a diary you have an audience of one – yourself. I use mine as self-help therapy. I have kept diaries intermittently for over 30 years. One day I’ll have to decide whether to destroy them or leave them to my daughters. I suspect they may chuck them out. Or if they read them they’ll say ‘Mum always seemed so cheerful… how come we didn’t realise she was a total depressive?’. Because I tend to write about events or misery. And when it’s misery I don’t stint. It’s unremitting grief. I work it out on paper, clear my head and then come to terms with what has happened. It’s always good to read diaries later. I realise what a wimp I am. They also might say ‘Poor Dad, we didn’t realise Mum felt like that’. That’s because I express my anger and petty squabbles in print. In French because he might find it and read it. And that would cause a row and by then I am over whatever happened.
The other thing I find when writing is that I know what I think. I only know this when I have to articulate it. Sometimes I find myself saying things that surprise me. Like there are two or more people inside me who don’t communicate. Of course this works with other people too. How many people do you know with whom you can discuss things that matter? Few I suspect. Unless you are unusually open or clever with friendships. Sometimes the person you live with doesn’t know what you think. You open a conversation on something of extreme importance to you and they start yawning. Change it to ‘Do you fancy a cuppa?’ and tell your diary instead. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a moan. I suspect my thoughts are shared by many a blogger and writer.
Blogging is better than formal writing because it’s fast, you shouldn’t really edit (I don’t believe) and your thoughts and feelings are bubbling on the surface as you write. It’s a really authentic experience.
‘The secret of it all’, wrote Walt Whitman, ‘is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment. To put things down without deliberation or framing. Without worrying about their style, without waiting for a fit time or place. By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.’ Seamus Heaney thought this too although he was talking about poetry. ‘I rejoiced most when the poem seemed direct, an upfront representation of the world it stood for’.
Everyone could blog if they could be bothered, have the time and enjoy writing. If you want a blog contact Dave. He can help with the mechanics and help you choose a style and format that fits your personality. He comes cheap and he’s good. Watch out though, cos you might get addicted too.