A banana in time saves nine

 

Breaking: Nine lives were saved today by a banana that jumped in to the ocean and swam each of them to shore, depositing the ninth person on the sand only moments before the ship, the HMAS Tropical Fruit Salad, sank.

*

Banana issues statement after rescuing 9 from drowning.

Banana issues statement after rescuing 9 from drowning.

Pic: © Blathering 2016

Dear readers, lately I’ve been feeling a bit bored with my own writing. I’m never quite happy with it, particularly when I try to be amusing. If only there were more banana rescue stories, it would be more fun for all of us.

This navel-gazing causes me to once again wonder what the purpose of writing this blog is.

I can’t deny that writing a blog whiles away the time. I suppose that’s one purpose for it. After all, statistics suggest that, based on averages, I have a good chance of being on Earth for 40 more years – give or take – that I’ll need to fill up with activity somehow. (Heaven forbid I should sit and just look out at the back yard while sipping a cup of tea.)

So I thought I’d fill at least some of that time by writing a blog. Of course I’m aware that this is written largely for my own amusement and that of a few kindly souls who are generous enough to read it every now and then.

Perhaps there are some of you out there that feel the same way about your writing sometimes? I enjoy writing – it’s become a hobby that I can’t do without – and sometimes I’d like to do more with it, but sadly I seem to lack the drive, or ambition, or determination – something necessary, anyway – to turn my love of writing into anything more than an that of an amateur hobbyist, plugging away at a personal blog.

I miss, too, the silliness that I used to achieve here in the first 12 month period, when the only reader I had was (still my favourite!) the imaginary reader, who always loves everything I write, without discrimination. So sweet!

It seems to me that if you have an interest in developing your writing, the downside of writing a blog is that after a year or two, any time you start to write something, it ends up being for your blog, and after a while you develop a sort of  lazy”style” or shorthand approach that doesn’t change much. I’m sure I’m guilty of doing this very thing, right now.

So I decided to challenge myself, and signed up to an online course that requires me to write for 10 minutes – on the Course project page, not here on this blog – each day for 10 days in a row, inspired by the deceptively simple prompt “Today I noticed…”.

(Try noticing anything useful once that challenge has been put to you. So far, 2 days in, I’ve posted 2 pieces and I’ve noticed myself feeling happy, and that the bananas were ripe. An effort that is surely worth a sad face emoji.)

However, the more important thing is that in this ridiculously short time, I’m already feeling very motivated. I think that’s because I’m writing there for a different purpose, and for a different audience (delightfully, on the course project page, my posts so far have been viewed largely by a bunch of imaginary readers, and they are always so encouraging!). I enjoy writing to a time limit too, as it forces me to get ideas out, not worry too much about editing and re-editing every sentence, and not write pieces that are 1000 words too long, as I usually do here.

All in all, it’s quite liberating.

Now, it should be obvious from the lackadaisical style of this blog that there is no commercial sponsorship involved. Even so, I don’t like to act as if I’m being paid to endorse commercial operations – heaven knows, if they want to pay me, I’ll probably endorse them – so I won’t mention the name of the course here, but you can locate it if you are interested, via this link which will take you to the course work I’ve done so far, where you’ll be able to identify the course and the site offering the course.

I’ve never signed up for an online course before – free or paid – but decided to see how much value I got from it for 3 months. So far, unless there is some hidden clause I haven’t read, it seems very worthwhile, given how motivated I’m feeling after 2 days! I was otherwise considering enrolling in a short 8 week course at my local community centre that would have cost $100. It would have been more detailed and extensive than most of the courses on offer through this site, but on the other hand, I would have had to give up all my Thursday nights for two months and made the effort to go out in the cold and dark to attend! Weighing up the pros and cons, people.

 

Call the Motivating Banana for more writing ideas.

Banana now available as a motivational speaker.

Pic: © Blathering 2016

In terms of value, if I manage to do even just a few similar courses in a year, and find them motivating, then the $96 will be worth it. The site offers courses in all sorts of things, not only in writing.  I filtered the categories down to Writing, Photography, Design and Techology and saved 58 courses I was interested in before I could’t bear to keep scrolling any further!

So I thought I’d tell you all about this. I know that learning online is not a new thing and there are a million different online course providers out there, and I’m a complete novice, as it’s the first time I’ve ever signed up for one, so I have no comparison to make. But even if just for the sake of providing some motivation to write,  it could be worthwhile to try out one of these courses if you’re in a rut, writing-wise. Why not join in Creative Writing: 10 Days to a Daily Habit with me and try the challenge yourself? It’s harder than you think.

What did you notice today?

 

 

Advertisements

Fade To Grey

I have a lot of admiration, and more than a little envy, for bloggers who are able to write a post every day, every other day, or even every week. I’ve successfully managed to make my life so busy at this particular point in time, that I can’t seem to write a post more than about once a fortnight, sometimes longer. I love the creative exercise of writing, and I spend a lot of time in the back of my mind while doing other things, imagining that if I had more time, I’d be writing.

But would I?

Sometimes I think I’m fooling myself. When I’m really flat out, juggling my two part-time jobs in non-profit arts organisations (that frequently require more time put into them than one full time job would), driving my daughter to appointments and extra-curricular activities, cooking, cleaning, spending time on weekends catching up on work, or making long overdue trips to see family, etc, I tell myself if only. If only I wasn’t doing this, I’d be sitting at my laptop writing.

But one evening recently I gave myself the night off from checking and replying to emails for the little theatre company I work for, and thought I’d write a post. I got out my laptop, sat myself in front of it, and recalled a list of possible topics that I had developed in the back of my mind. Suddenly, now that I had allowed myself time to write, it was apparent that all my ideas were only half-formed and had no substance. Just like the haze floating on the stage at the start of a theatre show, when I tried to pin them down, they faded away, revealing that there was no substance to them in the first place. I felt a definite lack of inspiration and couldn’t even muster up the energy to try.

I suppose this is called “Writer’s Block”, although I feel a bit of a fraud using that term, since I never refer to myself as a Writer, with a capital W, as if it’s my main occupation. Occasionally I’ll admit to the fact that I write – I allow myself to describe the activity, to claim writing as a verb that I do, but I don’t use the noun, or claim that it’s something that I am. Much as I don’t claim the title of Singer, although I do admit to singing, in the shower, in the kitchen, and in the car.

Thinking further about Writer’s Block though, it occurs to me that it’s possible to suffer from Athlete’s Foot without being an athlete, so I’ll accept that Writer’s Block is a term for a condition that anyone, even a lame, one-post-every-few-weeks blogger can suffer from. If only a tube of Canesten(TM) could swiftly clear it up!

If only it had the power to clear up the symptoms of writer's block.

Time someone invented a cream to free the brain from the symptoms of writer’s block. Directions: Before bedtime, drink one large glass of red wine, and rub an entire tube of cream directly onto the skull for maximum un-blocking action.

Perhaps right now, I need to take some time to work on my ideas. That is a frustrating realisation, when it’s taken me 3 weeks just to find time to write – I don’t want to have to delay publishing a post even longer, I want instant results!

As a blogger, I’m aware there’s a need to post on my blog as often as possible – that’s one of the ways to keep your followers engaged, right? My followers, even the imaginary ones, must be tired of the Test Pattern replacing real programs. I can see them all – stretched on the couch, yawning, scratching themselves and clicking the remote control to see what else is on.

Blogging is great for developing skills in writing about 800 – 1000 words pretty spontaneously, tidying them up a bit, and publishing – and hopefully producing a comprehensible and interesting piece of writing on most occasions. I’m not suggesting that I’ve produced any earth-shatteringly good writing using this method. I don’t expect the New York Times will text me this afternoon to see if I’m available to write a weekly column. But I like to think my – mostly spontaneous – posts, on which I’ve usually spent 2-3 hours at the most, have been adequate. But, as a blogger, the impetus to post as frequently as possible sometimes conflicts with the desire to change pace a little bit, and write something that is considered and researched, rather than just spontaneously writing whatever comes into my head and pressing the Publish button.

While I mull over what to write about next, and perhaps even try to plan how I’ll write it this time, I am undertaking at least one course of action that is recommended by most writers, and that is – reading. When I can snatch some time – usually at breakfast – I’ve been reading posts by other bloggers, articles and essays that I discover when someone tweets a link, and, not least, I’ve been reading real, actual books.

In fact I think it is all the reading I’ve been doing, across such a variety of media and topics, that is to blame for why my head was full of vaguely formed, half-thought-out ideas. Reading is definitely what stimulates a lot of my ideas, but perhaps, like Virginia Woolf, I should carefully plan my reading too.

Of course, back in the first half of the 20th century it was pretty easy for Woolf to plan her daily reading. It’s much harder in 2013, when my Twitter feed is full of links to articles and essays on topics ranging from music to feminism to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

After all, there are only so many links I can “favourite” to come back to later, before my list of favourites is so long that it’s just another never-ending feed of ideas that only serves to make me feel that I don’t have time to concentrate on any one idea properly.

Maybe I will try to select from the plethora of possible topics that bombard my mind every day and focus on just one of them. Hopefully when I next post, some of those half-formed ideas will have been slapped into shape.

Nigella Lawson v. Air Supply

It’s interesting to ponder the stats on this blog for a few seconds. After a few seconds it becomes less interesting, and if I spend more than a minute musing about them, then clearly I’m trying to avoid doing the dishes, but one thing I can tell in just a few seconds, is that posts about serious, sad topics like the death of my brother last year, do not get lots of views. And that Nigella Lawson’s ears are still a hot topic.

That people prefer to read humorous or impersonal writing to writing that is both sad AND personal is not surprising. I myself would probably steer away from an excerpt of a blog that sounded intensely sad and personal, by someone I don’t know.  I kept that in mind when I was writing those posts, and even while I was intensely grieving, I aimed to try and observe my experience rather than just blurt out my grief,  hoping that made the writing  worth reading. Whether I was successful in that endeavour or not, I don’t know.

But I find it intriguing to note how very few of more serious posts that mention his death or any other sad topic are ever viewed, even when I know a lot of readers only land on any given post by accident, in the course of searching for something else. Since I often title my posts after song lyrics or titles, eg I still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and Where’s Your Head At?,  there is often no clue in the title that the content will touch on sad or personal things.

In the meantime, people are madly entering random phrases into search engines all day long, and the most popular terms searched category on my blog are still “air supply” (1964 searches), “smug” (706 searches), “yoga mat” (607 searches) and “cockroach costume” (302 searches).

Who would have thought there were so many people out there searching for cockroach costumes? Not me – I only used a picture of a cockroach costume because it was a lot funnier than a picture of a cockroach. For all their good qualities (I’m sure there must be some, but reading this post may not enlighten you any further on what they are), cockroaches are not on record as having displayed any slapstick humour, made any amusing observations, or uttered any witty comments, so far in the approx 300 million years that they have been on the earth for.

While these search terms have been at the top on my blog for a while now, causing it to be most visited by those seeking pictures of Air Supply (or perhaps of an air supply), there is a new contender rising to the top in past weeks. That is Nigella Lawson, and her ears.

Oh dear – I feel a bit guilty for having written a post (in the form of a song) about Nigella Lawson’s ears, which I wrote only because so many people were landing on my blog after searching for terms like “Nigella Lawson’s ears,” which  seemed delightfully absurd. Being a little bit slow, it only occurred to me when writing my silly post about her ears, that possibly people searched this term because of speculation that she has had plastic surgery on her ears, or something? I don’t know, because I can’t imagine having so much spare time in my life that I’d have nothing better to do than check on whether a particular celebrity chef had got work done on her ears. But if that IS the case, then my silly post, which innocently included the line “Nigella Lawson’s ears always stay in place” (only because “place rhymed with face, not because I was suggesting that they were glued in place!) – has probably not aided her cause.

In the last 30 days there have been searches for “Nigella Lawson’s ears” , “Nigella Lawson’s big ears” “Nigella ears” and “Nigella ears pictures” – just to name a few. Poor Nigella. Have people nothing better to do?

Then again, perhaps they are all just writing silly poems, as I did, and looking for inspiration. ??

an air supply – this one is portable!

Anyway, the result is that in this week’s stats, Nigella has overtaken the previously long-standing contenders for top post, which were Why, Oh Why did Air Supply cry? and Yoga Mats and Other Potentially Life Threatening Items, Part 2. (Part 1 has never reached the same level of popularity that it’s sister post enjoys). The fight is on, and it remains to be seen as to who will be the final victor. Personally I hope it is the post on Air Supply crying, which still remains one of my favourites. Interestingly, while starting off humorously, it also delved into some serious (although not personal) content. But I’m fully aware that the reason these posts about Air Supply and Yoga Mats are the most often read posts is because of the images contained in them. I realise that people search for images of Air Supply (and yoga mats, apparently) and land on these posts, but this does not prevent me from hoping that at least a small portion of those people might actually stop and read them when they get there, because I still like those posts and think they are worth a read.

John Wayne in a 10 gallon hat

I’m not Nigella Lawson.

So that’s it on Nigella Lawson v. Air Supply. We’ll have to keep watching, to see who wins the popularity race. But before I close off this week, I should mention a favourite search term on my blog this week. It was:

How long does it take to write an essay that is 4000 words long?

Well, dear reader, that is easy! Here’s how to work it out: write one word. (Preferably a word containing more than 4 letters, as teachers marking essays of 4000 words will expect at least a few of these.)  Time yourself. Now multiply the answer by 4000. That is how long it will take you*. Better get started!!!

 

*Thinking time not included. If thinking time is required, the above equation does not apply. Any contracted agreement entered into about the aforementioned 4000 word essay is null and void and no correspondence on this matter will be received.

Who’s that girl?

At what point does sharing your life online become oversharing?

Well, Plinky – I think that point differs for everyone.

I’m actually a shy, and fairly private person – yet I write a blog, and a reasonably personal blog, at that. Go figure! How does that work?

Face

The best likeness of me available online

Well, it is tricky, actually, because those of us who scribble away (figuratively  speaking, of course!) at a blog generally do so because we really enjoy writing. And, as with any form of creative expression, there is a certain lack of stimulus if no-one is actually engaging with what I produce.

So I want an audience, of course. It was tempting, therefore, to tell my family and friends when I started blogging, in the hope that they would be so smitten with my witty, intelligent, thought-provoking writing that, after reading the first line, they would sign up to receive every post I wrote.

But the paradox for someone as private as me is that knowing who will read what I write causes me to be self-conscious what I say. So it’s undoubtedly fortunate that when I made the announcement to a select group of friends that I had started a blog, most of them were honest enough about their interest in reading my blog that they did not even bother to reply, let alone ever pretend to have read it. (I like to think that it indicated their lack of interest in reading any blog!) This was kind of a relief, in a way. I infinitely preferred this than having friends pretend to read it, or even worse, actually read it and wonder what on earth I was on about, and then feel obliged to pretend to like it!

So there are actually only 2-3 people who read my blog and know who writes it. As it happens, I’m glad that is how it panned out. I’m pleased at the freedom that affords me. I’m able to approach writing a blog the way it should be approached, in my opinion – as an excercise in creating a good piece of writing, not an excercise in worrying about the image I present to people who know me. I’m glad that those who have subscribed,  or regularly stop by to see what I’ve written, do so simply because they like my writing.

So how much sharing is oversharing? I think that is a subjective question, but also comes down to the goal, and skill, of the writer.  A Facebook status update by a friend, of less than 15 words, feels like oversharing to me unless it either has a message of social value or they make it entertaining – otherwise, I don’t need to know that you just went grocery shopping. Whereas a blog post of 1000 words about doing the grocery shopping, written by someone whose primary intention is to turn it into an interesting and engaging piece of writing, is worth reading, and therefore, is not oversharing.

I’m aware that I don’t reveal all to my readership, but I have talked about things that I couldn’t avoid, i.e, my brother’s death last year. I had to write about that at the time as it was the only thing I could think about. Even at the time, I knew that to be worth sharing with the wide world of strangers out there, it had to be well written.

So until recently, I avoided Facebook and Twitter because it seemed to me like the place where people overshared, without necessarily any interest in writing something worthwhile. Admittedly I also avoided them  because I felt I might fall into the same trap. I love communicating my thoughts, after all, that’s why I have a blog!

Last year however, I got a second job, and one of my tasks was to set up a Facebook page for the organisation. In order to do so, I needed to first have my own account. Lo and behold, I was forced into joining Facebook!

I took to it with caution, (I take pride in having the Official World Record for the lowest amount of friends on Facebook ever, as I have not attempted to “friend” anyone I don’t already see on a regular basis AND enjoy hanging out with) and then, more recently, I gained some courage and tried posting some witty comments. But my opinion of Facebook is only confirmed by my experience in the few months I’ve been on it. It’s not the platform for someone interested in using writing to create a good sentence. I’m already bored with Facebook. I’m bored with the newfeed full of people making comments about the latest doings of AFL players or what they had for dinner.  If it’s not witty or engaging, to me, it’s oversharing – although their 400 other Facebook friends may not agree, particularly about the AFL player updates.

But this experience on Facebook served to peak my curiousity about Twitter. I began to wonder if it was, in fact, a good place to post a witty one liner. So about 3 weeks ago I finally gave in and joined Twitter. I approached Twitter differently, however. I created a fake name. I have told only one person that I have an account. I’ve started to “follow” people – none of whom are known to me personally, and all chosen on the basis that what they tweet is either witty, or intelligent, (ideally both) and likely to be of interest to me.

So far, I’ve found that Twitter is far more interesting to someone who likes writing and privacy. If I share my life on Twitter,  I have to do it in 140 characters –  a definite challenge for someone who can rarely manage to write a post on her blog in under 800 words ! (I wonder if other people spend as long editing and refining their 140 characters on Twitter as I’ve done sometimes) (often only to post it and then think of an improvement later on, of course!)

So to me, almost any sharing of my life online has the potential to feel like oversharing. Yet I have the urge to write, and the desire to write with honesty about whatever topic I like. I can manage to feel more comfortable about doing that when it’s done anonymously.

Writing about reading…about writing

It’s a glorious sunny (if cold) winter morning in Melbourne – must be time to write a post, surely?

The last post I wrote was about some books I’ve read recently. That was 2 weeks ago, and since then, I’m sure that the entire english speaking world has been sitting on the edge of it’s seat, wondering – what will she read next????

Well…sorry to disappoint on such a massive scale, (once again, phew! – it’s lucky that you all only exist in my imagination, because that way you probably won’t hold a grudge), but so far I’ve read…..nothing. Well, nothing by way of a book, that is.

My biggest problem with reading books is deciding what to read next when I’ve finished a book. I look over our hundreds of books, (it’s like living in the fiction wing of a small local library here) and…..nothing grabs me.

You know how people often remark, about such things as going to the dentist, attending job interviews, or getting out of bed on a cold morning, that thinking about it is the hardest part. (They are very wrong, by the way, but, nevertheless, it is what they say!) For me it’s a bit like that when deciding what to read next. Since my last post, I’ve read a few newspapers, and perused other people’s blogs, but I have not yet made a decision about what book to embark upon next.

This is a shame in terms of my blog readership, which almost doubled when I wrote a post about reading books!

(Hopefully, by saying that it “doubled”, I have cleverly managed to imply that the number is impressively large, but, in reality the number would not amaze anyone except my mother).*

Admittedly, it makes perfect sense that people who write and read blogs are interested in the topic of reading, and books, but I had not given it much thought before.  I’ve written plenty of posts referencing literary authors and/or their works – see my posts on Waiting For Godot, Macbeth,  Neitzche and his moustache, and Jane Austen and how she didn’t have one (a moustache), and they didn’t have the kind of response that this post had. Apparently it is specifically the mention of books, and reading, that gets lots of people doing just that! Well, I learned a lesson there.

these things are what I’m talkin’ about

The trouble is, those kindly folk who spontaneously subscribed on the basis of one post about reading books, could be disappointed by the next 200 posts I write, as, judging by the direction this blog seems to be going in so far, it seems likely that a post about books could just as easily be followed by a post about yoga mats, a post about moustaches, a post about Jane Austen, or a post about a rhinoceros with boiled eggs for eyes.

So, new subscribers, maybe you’ll enjoy the ride, or maybe you’ll decide to unsubscribe when you see that I’m not (necessarily) going to write about books, or writing, every time I post here. Who knows, I might write a post about a book next week…..or I might write a post about chewing gum. I don’t like to plan this far ahead. Either way, I thank you for tuning in, even if temporarily, and wish you well.

My reason for stating this is that I’m not always a terribly decisive person, so it was a surprise, even to me, that when I started this blog, there was one thing I was really clear about, which was that I  didn’t want to have an “angle”.  I’ve read the advice that focussing on a particular area of interest is a good way to gain more readers, but, I’m interested in a lot of stuff. I don’t really have a particular area of interest (unless it is “the arts”) (if “the arts” includes contemporary rock and electronic music) and, more to the point, don’t want to tie myself down to writing only about books, or music, or yoga mats, or moustaches. I want to write about all of the above and more. Even with my limited knowledge of SEO and WTF**, I get that rambling about any topic under the sun, without any particular angle, is not going to gain readers in huge numbers, and that is fine.

And if I happen to change my mind, and develop a burning passion to write a blog solely dedicated to moustaches (it’s just an idea…), I’ll probably start a separate blog to do that, and continue to write this rambling and personal perspective on the world as a sideline. It may not be a big seller, but I’m quite happy with it that way.

*

*(My mother is familiar with the traditional numerical system, but not familiar with the idea of strangers around the world reading one’s ramblings on their iphone.)

**SEO = Search Engine Optimisation, WTF = Web-based Total Fabrication

Writing about crying on planes

Well it’s pretty certain that, by now, any regular readers will have given me up for good, assuming that I’ve totally forgotten that I even have a blog.

But no, dear reader, (hell, there may still be one out there somewhere!) – I have not forgotten that I have a blog. Nor have I completely lost interest in the enjoyment to be gleaned from writing. And I do still recall that you need to do one, in order to have the other.

It’s just that in the last few months I’ve contrived to make my life so busy that I am unable to find any time for the luxury of just sitting and writing. (Did I mention that I took on a second job in August last year? If you are by any chance the sole remaining regular reader, you will know that was not great timing for me.) So my blog has been sitting, languishing, with nothing new on it since last month.

Now, it happens that letting your blog sit for a month without writing a post is not a tactic that gets much of a mention in the plethora of advice about how to generate more readers for your blog. I am, however, clocking up useful research if I ever decide to write a book on how to lose readers and not influence people.

Luckily, though, non-regular readers won’t have noticed my lack of regular posting, so I’m grateful for each and every god-damn random one of them! Their views of my blog make me feel as though people are reading my blog with avid interest, even though I know that most of them are only searching for pictures of Air Supply.

After landing on one of my posts about Air Supply, I’m sure that most Air Supply fans move on quickly to find more – probably even better – pictures of Air Supply, as well as actual information about Air Supply. You certainly won’t find out here why Air Supply cried on planes, although since writing that post over a year ago, I’ve gained some unwanted insight into why people might cry uninhibitedly in a public place. Perhaps each of the Air Supply boys had a dearly loved younger brother who died suddenly.

Ah yes, that’s right. My brother died. And it’s hard to write about anything else.

I did manage to write a post last month that was not about my brother – the first one for months. If you’ve been reading regularly, I hope you enjoyed that one, because they may not be frequent.

(If you are just here to find pictures of Air Supply – Hi! Thanks for dropping by! For pictures of Air Supply,  just check out the Tags section and hit Air Supply. You’ll find real pictures and made-up ones.)

But this is a real reason for being unable to write very often at the moment. Yes, it’s true that I’m too busy with work most of the time, but even so, when I am not, I prefer to switch off and distract my mind – reading or going out. I don’t want to continually write posts exploring my feelings, because that will just mean a blog full of depressing posts. But I refuse to pretend that I don’t still think every day about the devastating loss of my lovely brother. So that’s the bind I’m in: if I want to write another post, at least this time, I have to mention him.

So thanks to those of you who keep on looking for Air Supply pictures and landing here.

Air Supply. If it was true that they cried on planes,* I think I know how they felt.

Air Supply

Is this what you were after?

*As you can read about in my earlier post on Air Supply, there was a sentence on Wikipedia saying that in the early 80s the band was unwelcome on some airlines because they “cried excessively on planes”. This led to my PHD thesis** into why Air Supply cried on planes, but interestingly, since then the sentence has been removed from Wikipedia, so now you only have my word that it was there in the first place. 

**When I say PHD thesis, what I mean is, I casually mentioned this strange, out-of-context statement on Wikipedia in one post, and then I wrote a post entirely about it. So I’m about 89 000 words short of a PHD thesis, but hell, I think I will submit it anyway. I drew a picture, after all. That has to count for something. 

And where do we go from here?

And where do we go from here?

Which is the way that’s clear?

Rock On, David Essex.

It’s pretty hard to know how to continue writing a blog, after the death of my much-loved brother. It’s hard to feel motivated to write, but then again, it’s hard to be motivated to do most things at the moment.

And if I go on writing this blog, what do I write about? I am unable to think about anything else at the moment, except the fact that apparently my beautiful brother has died.

I was already floundering at how to continue writing, after the death of my friend Dori. Dori was a good friend, and she used to read my blog and comment. On the other hand, my brother John never read my blog, nor even probably knew what a blog was. Nevertheless, after 33 years of being in my life, his absence leaves such a significant and painful hole in it, that I can’t proceed  without stopping to ask why I would even want to continue writing a blog at the moment.

I guess that the question for me is why do I write this and what do I get out of it? Do I think that there is anyone out there regularly reading my blog, not because they know me, but because they enjoy my writing? Not really. So I guess I am mostly writing it for myself.

Like all bloggers, I just enjoy writing. Writing helps me to reflect on life and shape my thoughts, and try to make some sense out of life – or find the nonsense in it, as the case may be. I enjoy trying to craft a piece of writing into the best piece of writing that I can, even though I know that most people only read it because they were searching for “air supply pictures,” or “slimy monsters”, found my blog, and will probably spend 60 seconds, if that, scanning a post to see if it’s what they are after, before they move on.  Even though I write it for my own satisfaction, or need, I enjoy the challenge of trying to write the best piece of writing that I can, for that casual, one-time reader.

So I’d like to be able to go on with it.

I’ve never felt such a need to try and make sense out of my thoughts, which at the moment, spiral wildly around, trying to find meaning where there is none, grasping to find reasons where none exist. At the same time, I know that is a fruitless task, that there is no sense to be made out of the untimely death of someone I loved, no matter how much I may reflect on it or write about it.

After all of that, though, I’m not going to write anything about John, not  just yet anyway. I am reluctant to try and sum him up, and loathe to even begin to talk about how I feel when I remind myself yet again, that he is gone. Apparently I will never see him again – that is what I am supposed to understand.

So this is where I will leave it, for now. In some other more flippant time, I might have noted that, just like a character in a Beckett play, having thought it through and  determined that I will go on, I’m going to stop.

%d bloggers like this: