We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blog Horror

Blog Horror! 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.


Gadjo Dilo said...

I reckon your doc was right, Kev: externalising the anger and despair is very healthy however you manage it do it. ...using it as in staff training materials... - I really want to believe that's true!

As for me, I'm an expat in a place where I know nobody with my own cultural background. I need comedy to survive, and comedy is notoriously culturally specific. I never wanted to get into blogging - I use a computer more than enough for my work - but I was desperate and was happy to find No Good Boyo's blog and through it other genuinely funny ones. I've also fancied myself as a writer - I've tried my hand at poetry and novels in the past - so I eventually committed myself to having a blog. I want to be funny. I also want to create the warm cosy illusion that I'm sitting in a living room with people from back home watching things we all enjoy and often shouting back at the telly. Cheers!

Can Bass 1 said...

Thank the Lord you didn't 'tag' me, Mr Musgrove. By the way, I wonder how your motivation first in the Ten Commandments of blogging? (And where did you get that picture?)

Can Bass 1 said...

And how does Mr Dildo do that thing with the hyper-link in his comments? Some jiggery-pokery, if you ask me.

Lavinia said...

Well, thank you for this revelatory post. It's helped me put the last few pieces of the Helminthdale puzzle together. And now I have you all figured out! (tee hee).

Quite interesting to know how and why you started this self indulgence and so flattering to know that you would like to know how I started my own blather site on the other side of the pond. I will post an answer on my blog, but I suppose the real reason is quite short: I kept getting heckled as I stood on street corners and spouted my opinions. People mistook me for a lunatic...fancy that! Hee!

Lavinia said...

By the way, can I copy that pic on today's post for my own post? Thanks.

Webrarian said...

And what does your blog do for me, Kev? For a start, it makes me realise I'm not alone in dealing with all the nonsense that's thrown as us on a daily basis. And it's just the same sort of nonsense.

It also helps me to distance myself from it, and to laugh at it all with you.

I also marvel at the breadth of your cultural references, including some which are so arcane I had fondly imagined I was the only one around who knew anything about them these days.

I won't say I've used your blog for training, but when a colleague comes to see me about a problem it's not uncommon for me to refer them to the goings on in Helminthdale so that they realise their not alone either. It does make a difference.

The.Effing.Librarian said...

if you write for yourself and I write for myself then what does it mean when i read your blog and you read mine? am I you?

The Topiary Cow said...

Interesting. Thank you for the essay.

Agree that writing is therapy. But think blogging is also helpful because you get comments which may help you get through something, or give you a perspective. Or add to your knowledge base.

Cow is personally very thankful for her readers and thinks it has expanded her horizons. If you're in a situation of just trying to survive a living hell, you must grasp at whatever line is available.


Kevin Musgrove said...

gd: Mad as it seems, two London Boroughs do include this blog in their staff training materials. I suspect that in one case it was part of a scorched earth policy.

cb1: I know how shy you are, sir! The hyperlink's achieved by including the < a href= > tag. (The link's a nice not-very techie guide to HTML). Oh, and the picture's from one of those extraordinary mail-order clothes catalogues from the sixties. It was a toss-up between that and one of two chaps in padded underpants staring off into some far horizon in a field in Berkshire.

Lavinia: copy away, I pinched it myself!

Webrarian: ta mate. It's always good to know there's somebody out there who can sing his way through the Ronald Frankau songbook.

effing: don't wish it on yourself! Besides, I've no tattoos.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ms Cow: we crossed midst posting. Ta for the comments, as usual.

Marianne said...

You seem to write so effortlessly while mine reads like a plank.

So good to know how why you do this, Kevin, now can you please tell me how?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Marianne: I do bullshit, you teach.

I could teach bullshit, though.