Well – that’s it then. Thirty posts in the thirty days of November. I’ll be honest, I’ve probably enjoyed this series more than any previous one. We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past month : politics, surgery, book and TV reviews, unbelievably large animals and unbelievably cute kittens, my dad, my kids, and a few other things besides. There’s been some poetry, some satire, some serious comment and lots of less serious stuff. There’s rarely been a day when inspiration has been hard to come by, and there have been a few likes and comments along the way that have been encouraging and reassuring. At the end of every November daily post challenge, I invariably commit to continue regular posting as we move into December. And equally invariably, I fall out of the habit again. Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. I have no doubt that some of you will already be fed up of me clogging up your Twitter feed and Facebook timeline. Whichever way it goes in the future, there will definitely be a short break now (at least for a couple of days) as I tackle the backlog of maintenance jobs that need to be sorted and (more importantly) as we put the decorations up around the house ready for Christmas. Thanks for reading this month; and see you again soon! In the meantime, a repeat of last year’s image that signed off the November 2017 blogathon, and that I suspect sums up the feelings of you, dear Reader, on this November 30th!
280 characters? I’ve completed blog posts in less than that! #brevityrules
This is the second post in my blogging101 challenge. Today’s prompt invites the blogger to reflect on their blog name and tag-line.
My blog title came to me relatively easily and works on a number of levels. I explained the inspiration for it in my very first post in August 2013 : “My grandad (a very wise man) always used to say “Better out than in” – usually immediately after noisily clearing his throat and depositing the product in a weed patch on his allotment. This probably makes this blog my weed patch; and my posts to it, the phlegm that otherwise threatens to clog up my thought processes.” Apologies if you’re reading this over the dinner table! The title is therefore a nod to my grandad, a description of the somewhat random nature of the posts that appear here, and an acknowledgement that what I write is in many respects a kind of mental de-cluttering.
The tag-line reflects the inevitable self-absorption that is probably present to a greater or lesser degree in all bloggers. Blogging (for me at least) is a form of psychological self-help. There is something cathartic about sitting in front of the computer and downloading thoughts, ideas and observations onto the blank page. There’s also something narcissistic about publishing those thoughts into the public domain rather than – for example – keeping a personal diary. I kid myself that I publish for my own benefit and that it doesn’t matter to me whether anybody reads this stuff or not. In reality, of course, I’m as thrilled as the next blogger if my views hit a new record, or if I receive an unusually large number of ‘likes’ or comments.
Having said that, some of the posts that have been most ‘popular’ in terms of views aren’t necessarily the ones that have given me the most pleasure in writing. Nor are they the ones that I have spent the most time in crafting or researching. There’s a salutary lesson there around my inability to predict what might hit a nerve with the reader.
I work in the Health Sciences Faculty of a regional University in the south west of England. I’m neither an academic nor an educationalist, but having spent the past 9 years working closely at various times with doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons, I have picked up quite a lot of ‘advanced lay’ knowledge. One of the key professional development skills for healthcare professionals is the ability to engage in reflective practice. You can find an interesting overview of some of the models of reflective practice here : http://www.brightknowledge.org/knowledge-bank/medicine-and-healthcare/spotlight-on-medicine/what-is-reflective-practice and a Google search will bring up many more references. In some ways, this blog is a reflective practice exercise for my life – covering not just professional development but a lot of more personal stuff too.
So – better out than in? For me certainly, and hopefully for you too. And blogging cheaper than therapy? Well it’s free, so I guess that’s a no-brainer!