It is interesting that I seem to have run-out of things to say lately. Perhaps this is because I have covered all that I can – my blogs have passed their expiry date and it is time to move-on to some other form of self-expression. I don’t know. It could just be a hiccup or something to do with the changing seasons – the appearance of conkers always resonates with me.
I often wish, and particularly when I am browsing the books in Waterstones that I could write fiction – could conjure another world, populate it with interesting characters and tell a story, but that is something I have never been very good at. I am much more into stream of consciousness/reflecting on my reflections.
Should I therefore give the blogs a rest and move-on to something else?
For the past year I have sat at my computer and happily typed away most Saturday and Sunday mornings – with the main interruptions being only when I have to go into the hospital for ward rounds. And, even then, I have often caught-up in the afternoon.
The blogs have been cathartic and a good way for me to express myself.
I never know who will read them (although I know a few people do from the Facebook likes and re-tweets), but as to whether they serve any more purpose than an evanescent diary I don’t know. Certainly, writing helps the thinking process and a few of the blogs have helped me run teaching sessions.
There is a school of thought in literary circles that you should only write about things that you know, and if you don’t know about them, research. Most of what I find easiest to write is stuff that I know (or think I know) – older people (although not as much as older people know about older people), polypharmacy, person-centred care, hospitals, although I have occasionally ventured into areas that are outside my expertise (and this is from every perspective, in particular in relation to yesterday’s blog).
Surely questioning and thinking about things that are new or different to that which is immediately in front of you is a good thing; I guess, the exploration and learning could be done in secret – hiding away until the amount you know is significantly greater than what you don’t.
When I started blogging I ran each one to about 500 words, which I felt was long enough to get something across and short enough for people to read without too much effort; of late I have spilled over into more words than that – again, I don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing.
I sometimes think of John Kennedy Toole – for those of you who haven’t read A Confederacy of Dunces, please buy a copy today (ideally from Waterstones), Kennedy Toole killed himself after his masterpiece was rejected by 30-odd publishers – he couldn’t accept that his work would never been read by others – he also had mental health problems, which in combination with repeated rejection is not a comfortable mix.
I am not saying that my blogs are anything or anywhere like A Confederacy, they don’t even deserve to be on the same kitchen table, yet, I find it interesting that some people are content to sit and write, draw or create in silence or isolation whereas others are terribly affected by their inability to be recognised, it not being enough that they are satisfied with the work, but, only when the opinion of another is brought to bear can the work have any meaning – a precarious position and one which is likely doomed to fail. (Likely had Kennedy Toole won the Pulitzer Prize, that wouldn’t have been enough) – secondary gratification is one of those things like salty snacks you can never get enough of.
This also makes me think of Kafka’s request to Max Brod that he burn all his unpublished manuscripts after his death – what was Kafka thinking? This spills-over into the subject of digital legacy and where these blogs sit after I am gone – what happens to the passwords, links and uploads – not that cyberspace cares.
So, here is a moment to pause, to see what will happen.