Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Really Good Reasons To Start A Blog

There has to be at least five, right?

That confronting sea of white space isn't any less confronting if it's on an easel or in front of you in a brand new moleskin notebook.

My art lecturer always told me to make the first mark, no matter how daunting it is - to draw big, wildly scrawling patterns and marks that made no sense at all. But it's somehow harder to do with words - you're tempted to go backwards, regurgitate thoughts and ideas you've had in the past, put them down for posterity. A stupid idea and the enemy of creativity.

First resolution, then - to leave old things behind. And the second - to come up with five really good reasons to start a blog.

Are you ready?

One - There are important things that need to be said. They're the things I care about - injustice, especially around very vulnerable people, like people with disability. Left of centre thinking, because the way to build power is through creativity and reasoning. And art, because the day we stop being inspired and excited by the thoughts of others should be the day we die.

Two - Facebook and Twitter are fabulous if you're chasing an instantaneous way to get a bunch of thoughts across to a big network of people. Not so much if they're off having dinner, living a real life or otherwise engaged. Not much opportunity, unless you share a status or retweet, to maintain longevity of expressed thought.

Three - Blogging lets you do this.

Not something easily achieved on facebook, so not suited to any arty blog.

Four - As a person with a degenerative disability (that was the polite description, you may notice the blog title) I have new and interesting insights every day which are probably worth writing down somewhere. They might help another person who is going through the same thing.

Example: My facebook status from yesterday.

Things I'm slightly bemused by. If I enter a conversation, invariably someone will refer to another wheelchair user in the course of the conversation under the universal law of #Iknewsomeoneelsewhowasblackonce. I don't know why, but I think it's to establish some kind of common ground, or prove that you really really do like gay/black/disabled people. If I mention that I am a public servant, or a Scout leader, nobody will ever ever ever say 'I knew someone else who was a public servant once'. I've been curiously testing this theory in a social experiment when I meet new people. Its fascinating. I wonder what would happen if my opening gambit as a wheelchair user was 'Hallo, I'm a lesbian.'

I'd wondered if it was just me who noticed. I came in to retrieve a friend who was chewing off the ear of two men in grey suits, and there was an immediate reference to a wheelchair user, apropos of nothing.

But the friend, one beautiful Susan Cudlipp, said this -

Susan Cudlipp yup Sam I was taken aback at the reference to another wheelchair user today. As I know this bloke is actually not a bad chap I can only surmise that seeing me in that setting today. along with you in your chair made him immediately associate with s much loved mutual friend also in a chair and a previous president of that same organisation 13 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1 Susan Cudlipp either way the point wad notlost on me and had i been less pre occupied with evil thoughts I might have reacted d differently

Reassuring, really, that I'm not just being oversensitive. I spend a lot of time these days thinking 'Am I just being touchy?' I'd like to save some other people that introspection, if it helps.

Five - Therapy is expensive. Blogging is cheap.

Ready for thirty days of blather? I can promise this - it won't be boring.

Let's go.