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Blogging as therapy

December 21, 2009

There is no doubt in my mind. Blogging isn’t about the target audience. It’s not about disseminating information. It’s not being about first with news. Nor should anyone tell you it’s the long-form equivalent of the PR bypass the likes of Stephen Fry considers Twitter to be.

Blogging is nothing more than therapy, pure and simple.

Take today as an example.

I’m on my Christmas leave. It’s considerably longer Christmas leave than most people take but that’s in part because me and Significant Other love Christmas and also because I have a problem switching off. I need time to unwind. I have to give certain things a wide berth too. So, checking in to work emails is definitely off the agenda. So why then did I check in with my work email like I did this morning sat on the sofa in my jim-jams nursing a cold with a couple of ibrupofen and a luke-warm mug of instant coffee?

Because I’m an idiot. Because I worry a lot. Because I think I’m indispensible.

None of these things are especially endearing. A few hours spent at the laptop, disconnected from colleagues except via electronic messaging and I’m a nervous wreck.

My mind has played a special unedited and utterly depressing act from the play “You’re Doomed”, the delivery of the re-upholstered sofas has presented considerably more logistical problems to the delivery men than originally thought and the unexpected shovel-load of snow which came down late afternoon has played havoc with the road outside. Hours later having helped a couple drivers with their ill-thought journey up our hill and the day has taken it’s toll on me.

Then I remind myself I’m meant to be on holiday. And when you’re on holiday you’re not meant to check your work email, are you?

A test-run of the Christmas Day roast potatoes with a cheeky roast pork sourced from the reduced counter at the local Sainsburys and a few glasses of water to ease my rough throat and things start to look a little better.

Then I turn myself to the one thing which has given me the most pleasure (and by extension has been the most relaxing) all day.

I’m printing, trimming and sticking pictures I’ve taken of various trips to see my parents this year for inclusion in a calendar I’m giving them for Christmas. It’s there. It’s inviting. It can help make a day seem a little better in a self-indulgent kind of way.

This is the second year I’ve turned to arts and crafts to meet a Christmas present requirement, formerly looking down on such endeavours as cheap, cheerful and loveless.

But, if like me you’ve always put store in the large gift to communicate love and value, what do you get people who’ve had a lifetime of present receiving? There can’t be that much left to give?

That’s when I’ve hit on the reassuring reality that present-giving is and should be first and foremost a pleasurable experience for the giver. I can’t necessarily guarantee the receiver will enjoy the gift, but if I can make sure I’ve enjoyed sourcing it/making it/purchasing it and then giving it, then I’ll be a happy chap come Christmas Day.

My parents will be pleased. They always are. And this year I’m rather hoping they’ll be even more pleased. Next year’s kitchen calendar combines pictures of a family get-together in Ickworth, West Suffolk to celebrate my father’s 75th. It was the first time in a long time we’ve all been together. What’s odd is that I left that event convinced that most if not all of the photographs were next to useless. But, printed up 6×4 and then stuck on a white piece of card they all look a treat. I look down on the finished creation and marvel and how much happier I feel having achieved something slightly more tangible quite possibly more worthy in personal terms. It’s the simplest of things which can, I find, offer the most pleasure.

But how does that tie in with blogging? Wasn’t blogging meant to be therapy?

In the few short hours whilst I’ve been doing the arts and crafts Christmas presents I’ve been reminded of one of the most liberating aspects of blogging. What will I write about today? How can I tie in the now more comfortable aspect of diarising otherwise dull day to day events with something which might be described as a potentially mild-diversion?

Why not just tell the truth. Be transparent. Tell it how it is. Write about what happened and see if you can tie it up in a bloggy kind of way. That’s the creative freedom and the creative challenge presented by the blogging platform.

No one makes the rules. No one should feel constrained. Keep loyal to core values and, suddenly, that blogging platform is your oyster. That is the greatest freedom of all and isn’t, now I come to recall the years I spent paying for the service, not unlike therapy.

  1. Chris permalink

    That’s a great picture. Simple but evocative. To which month are you going to allot that door?

    Whatever your motivations for blogging, and I admit I do get confused by them, do keep it up in the new year!

    We’ve all got colds too. Bleh!

    • Confused? How so ?

  2. Chris permalink

    Now you’ve put me on the spot. Maybe I expressed that badly. May I retract that statement? 😉

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