It seemed inevitable,
Well, not necessarily, it could have remained a flat-line;
That hasn’t been the case.
Since I started blogging in 2015
More people have been reading.
I still don’t know what is most popular – blogs or poems.
Poems are certainly easier to pen although the blogs are likely better for self-expression.
The numbers of readers have been rising (here is the data if anyone is interested)
2015 – 1,759
2016 – 5,142,
2017 – 11, 048
2018 – 20, 617
(At this rate it will take me until somewhere in 2023 to reach a million people).
Ironically, as the blogs have become more popular, I have become more constrained in how and what I write. I guess the chance of my upsetting someone or taking a wrong-turn has increased.
For the first-time ever this year I was invited to tone it down.
(Here I reflect on Biko’s book… I write what I like – look where that got him.)
I know I could give-up; there would be no great loss. I could resort to the diary or journal, but I have never been very good at that, I always seem to drift away. There is something special about blogs, likely the immediacy of sharing that makes the medium hypnotic. (aka a dopamine thing)
And yet, I don’t open-up fully, there is always more to say, more life that has been lived, more time passed for reflection.
It is interesting that this year, in a sensational media event, a doctor was called-out for the content of their reflection; their openness and honesty with themselves and their supervisor was made public, all, sending a shiver through the profession.
And, what is the point?
I originally started blogging to make some of my ideas concrete.
The relationship between safety, mindfulness, imagination, the unconscious and creativity were early themes.
More recently I seem to have focused on analysis of my life as a doctor – the good, the bad, the challenging. Mostly I feel I ask questions; only occasionally do I arrive at an answer.
I have some dedicated readers who make me feel worthwhile.
In the three years I have been blogging I have only had one, maybe two altercations with readers, and those mostly misunderstandings. (Not counting the time I was blocked!)
Blogging is walking a tightrope.
It’s not the fall that kills you.
Perhaps I am running-out of things to say;
There is an adage; when in doubt, act.
Perhaps I should adopt, when in doubt, shut up.
Sometimes I think of white blood cells and their response to infection; the overwhelming increase of defensive mechanisms aimed at maintaining the status quo.
Mostly it is just self-expression.
Bruce Lee called Jeet Kune Do the art of expressing the human body.
Perhaps blogs are the art of expressing the human spirit.
The spirit encounters ups and downs, rides a roller-coaster, frequently made more vulnerable by changing seasons.
I remember in the 1980s they used to talk about biorhythms. These still exist today although they sit firmly in the realm of pseudo-science.
And yet… our world is in flux, it does follow a pattern, we are travelling in time and space with an uncertain destination.
When will we get where?
It wasn’t inevitable that more people would read the blog,
That attention would grow.
Would I have carried-on as I did back in 2015 if nothing had changed?
An aspect of this is nostalgia.
We like to look back on the surety of a lived-past and remember.
Once I was young, now I am old. Tomorrow who knows?
This is the same logic that prevents me from planning too far ahead.
Yesterday, someone asked me to book a meeting for next November.
I said yes, but I just cannot conceive of such a thing.
They talk of five-year plans, I tend to live in a five-minute window of being. Now and a minute, now and a little bit more. You’d think a lifetime of experience would convince me differently, but not.
Yesterday is a comfort.
Safe in heaven, dead, Said Kerouac.
I get the sentiment!
Why not exist perpetually in a merry moment? Why not maintain a constant now/joy?
I guess it’s not how we are programmed.
If you can balance the threat of tomorrow, weave this in to a context of eternal optimism, you are moving in the right direction.
Let it flow, as they say.