Marianne over at The MLxperience has tagged me for the "How I got started blogging" meme.
I'd love to say that I started blogging as a concerted effort at creative writing but it would be a dead lie. I just drifted into it. I blame the medical profession.
I'd been going through yet another bad patch at work which had gotten to the stage where even I had to admit that I wasn't coping with the nonsense any more. Spurning the medical advice that I had the choice of either taking psychoactive drugs or chucking the job and taking my chances in the employment market, I decided to pay attention to one comment from my doctor and started to write a journal. And failed miserably, as have all my efforts at writing a diary over the years. I'm just not the sort of person who can keep a diary going for very long. However, I am the sort of person who can tell a story, however badly. And this job had provided me with a steady stream of entirely unlikely stories over the years. So I decided that rather than keeping a formal journal I'd write up each stupidity as it came along, the idea being to externalise the anger and frustration and to put the necessary bit of distance between myself and the things that were doing me damage. I still found myself struggling: the arthritis in my hands makes it difficult to write more than a page at a time without getting very sore, so I took to the keyboard. By one of those eerie coincidences, at about this time I was training staff and public alike in the use of social networking tools like Facebook, Myspace and Blogger (needless to say, the public were much the more receptive) and it occurred to me that I could use blogger as the writing tool.
I'll admit upfront that then, and now, my primary audience is myself. It's a pretty self-indulgent effort but I don't pretend that it is anything more than an old bloke's prolonged whinge about his job. I'm astonished that anybody else bothers reading it, let alone commenting, bookmarking, or even using it as in staff training materials(!!!) It still manages to fulfil its primary function, which is to help me cope with my workplace. Instead of sitting and fizzing, or kicking the wall down, or both, I can mentally take a step back and ask myself: "well, my lad, how are you going to write that one up then?" It falls down a bit when I come to one of the off-limits areas (I don't discuss personnel issues on this blog as I think they're too close to the bone and technically none of my damn business) and I have to be a lot more circumspect these days as a few people know who they think I really am, but I can generally live with that.
How any of you cope with all this drivel is beyond me.
Let's see what Gadjo Dilo, The Topiary Cow and Lavinia have got to say for themselves.