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On blogging and creativity

August 17, 2008

I took a night off from the Proms again last night and took myself off to a party somewhere close by to us in South East London.

A small glass of red wine and a few olives after arrival and soon the conversation started flowing between the party guests sat in the cosy back garden of a house in Deptford.

Now I come to look back on the handful of conversations I had, two strike me as important.

One was with a would-be journalist who didn’t understand quite how useful blogging was in terms of writing. When I explained what I regarded was it’s usefulness she still wasn’t convinced.

Strictly speaking, a journalist is only a journalist when they receive money for their writing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that blogging isn’t useful or valuable or creative. After all, there’s no point in writing things if people aren’t reading it (no matter how many times I try to convince myself otherwise, I do want people to consume what I create). I tried to maintain my usual charming air at all times, naturally.

At the end other end of the scale was a comment made by another party guest, a comment I honed in on almost as soon as I heard it.

The comment was something to do with how there is potential value in everything no matter how lacking in apparent quality there might be.

Inevitably, I started thinking about me and the stuff I like making and the way I look on things. After all the world does revolve around me, doesn’t it?

People do keep banging on about how things have to meet certain visual and written standards before they can be regarded as serious or engaging enough. The message is clear: if you don’t write or film or record or make things in a particular way then you’re not professional in your outlook and you can’t be taken seriously.

At least, that’s how it seems sometimes. It’s not quite as severe as that day to day, but the gentleman’s comment about seeing value in everything prompted an almost immediate response. “I can buy into that view,” I said not really fully understanding the gentleman’s point.

It turned out his comment originated from his Christian faith. Evil can’t be condoned, but we should always strive to create good from evil. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that the past few months have in some respects been very difficult – and more so, this weekend – that the man’s words seemed instantly understandable and equally reassuring.

Unlike the relative cycnicism about blogging I’d heard earlier and regardless of my present state of mind, I know I’d prefer to see value in everything, and promote such a view wherever and whenever possible. That’s what Thoroughly Good is all about – minus the religious bit, obviously.

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