Things to do this year that aren’t resolutions…

Definitely not resolutions – as I said earlier, I don’t do those – more along the lines of ambitions. These are things that need to be done if I’m to get my life back on track now my legs are healing – Lymphoedema is incurable, but the leaks have gone and the remaining lesions  have almost completely healed, though I have to accept that either or both might be back at some point – first among them being get out more, before Cabin Fever sets in! If, indeed, it hasn’t already.

Before I can do that, I need to Continue reading

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A Touch Of Nostalgia – The Best of My Very First Year As A Blogger.

The Best of 2006. A tad long at 8.5k words. Might be best printed and read at leisure (26 A4 pages in 14-pt Times New Roman). Please bear in mind the age of the material and, if you feel moved to argue about anything, save your energy, I’m not getting involved. Otherwise, comments, as always, are welcomed.

The text here has journeyed through several versions of Continue reading

The Hospitalised Blogger…

For the urgently hospitalised blogger – an event which seems likely to feature in my future a lot more than I’m going to be happy with – there is, as far as I can see, no solution to the “if I’m unconscious I’ll be unable to take any gadgets into hospital with me, and thus will be incommunicado” dilemma – not, anyway, without the costs of duplicating everything and hanging it on the back of the door of my flat to be grabbed on the way out by the ambulance crew – which can’t be guaranteed so Continue reading

Why I’m not writing much of any consequence.

Apologies for the lack of quality output for a while. I can see from my blog’s stats that my lack of output is damaging it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain what’s going on.

Since getting out of hospital, the bilateral lymphoedema** which has plagued me for the past two years has become seriously infected (cellulitis, possibly) and, so far, is resistant to treatment.

**Caused by my failing heart, which APH is still trying to deny, even though it was diagnosed there in 2011.

What’s cramping my style is the pain, which on a scale of 1 to 10 is a solid 10, and there is no position in which I can sit or lie which provides any relief. The pain, at its most extreme can, without warning, come roaring up my legs as if I’d just stuck them in a blast furnace – there is no way to Continue reading

Praise where praise is due…

I’ve noticed a strange trend online in the past few weeks. There seems to be a tendency for people to praise the writing of bloggers whose writing skills are, actually, often marginal.

I’m all in favour of encouraging people to write well – I’ve written quite a lot on the subject – but praise should be given where it’s genuinely warranted. By telling someone who’s not really that great how wonderful they are, you give them false confidence, and minimise any inclination to self-analysis and improvement, because it’s a sad fact that writers are too close to their work, very often, to see errors and defects without making an effort to do so – and I do mean all of us.

Far too many, it seems, fail to Continue reading

What makes a good writer?

Steven Pressfield, in his book “The War of Art” says this:-

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” Chances are, you are.

The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

Now I have no idea what the hell a “counterfeit innovator” might be (by definition, an innovator produces original work and therefore is not a counterfeiter), but I am sure that this is the purest bovine ordure.

I’m a good writer. On occasion I’m very good. I know this (nor is it just my opinion), and have every confidence in my ability, and my grasp of the English language – were this Continue reading

Attracting people to blogs, and writing for them – which comes first?

In my view, that would be the latter, every time.

One of the most frequent cries for help in the WP forum is “how can I get people to visit my blog?” All too often, a look at the blog throws up another question – why would they? All too often that plea comes from a blogger who has written nothing beyond the initial Hey, I’m here! post.

If you want people to read your blog, you have to do two things (at least). One Continue reading

On writing, and on being blocked…

There is a WordPress forum thread entitled “Do you write because you have to or because you want to?” It also mentioned writers’ block, as it applies to bloggers.

Most responses were interesting, one or two pretentious – this was mine. Since, ultimately, I write for you – whoever you might be – I thought I’d share it with you.

I write because I want to, and also because I can. Would I write if I had no readers? Yes, but I’d certainly write something entirely different!

And I write Continue reading

Intellectual snobbery – some thoughts…

This is a snippet, verbatim, from a comment on one of my posts, in which I mentioned, in passing, anti-intellectual snobbery; I’ve deleted the writer’s name as I have no desire to embarrass him (I had hoped he’d revisit his comment, to see my reply, but so far he hasn’t, which is why I’m writing this):-

I dont agree with your intellectual snobbery though Ron. Many people didnt have the oppurtunity for futher education and thats not their fault.

And that’s the sort of anti-intellectual prejudice I was talking about. There is nothing in the post to suggest that I think I’m an intellectual, nordoes writing about intellectual snobbery in any way whatsoever, make me an intellectual snob.

I write well –  I know this, and I’ve no time for false modesty – with a clear, easily-understood style. I’d like to say Continue reading