Friday 3 December 2021

Blighter's Rock

 I thought this morning that I would not have time to write a blog post today.  But things change.

And now I can't think what to blog about.  That feeling, of course, instantly brings to mind the wonderful scene in Shakespeare in Love, when Will is consulting his soothsayer about his writer's block. And that brings to mind the superstition of writers in even naming the phenomenon. Russell Hoban used the phrase Blighter's Rock (but then he would, wouldn't he).

The difference (one of the differences, to be more accurate) is that I am not a writer in the sense that either Shakespeare or Hoban was. And whilst I don't subscribe to Johnson's view that No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money, I do recognise the difference between serious professional writers and casual bloggers. And when considering Shakespeare or Hoban, that quality of genius also springs to mind as a differentiator.

All of which raises the question, why do I write blog posts? The question is simple enough, but the answer is quite complex. I think there are several contributory factors.  

One is that I do see myself, in part, as a writer. As well as the book I have published, I have written some radio plays (all wisely rejected by the BBC, though I was a near finalist in their playwriting competition many years ago), and I write a lot professionally: handout material, video scripts, reports for clients on consultancy projects and so forth.

Another is, I suppose, marketing; in that broadest sense of keeping in touch with some of my client base in a way that I hope is engaging, and reminds them of who I am; and for potential clients giving them some flavour of that.

A third is the adulation. At least a couple of people, over the last few decades, have said that they enjoy reading my blogs, and I as am susceptible to such praise as most people.

A fourth is that it is one of my disciplines; that is to say, one of those practices to which I have made a commitment, as part of my regular routine. (I can't quite remember why, but probably for all of the reasons I am rehearsing now). So it has become totemic, for me, of honouring a promise I have made to myself.

A fifth is that my writing often entertains me (sad, perhaps, but true) and sometimes others.

But perhaps the most significant is something that I have alluded to occasionally in previous posts: I write my blog posts to think out loud: to explore my thinking about whatever is on my mind - and this week, that happens to be, why do I write blog posts. 

The real mystery, of course, is why anyone reads them.

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