It’s been on my mind again recently – why am I blogging, should I be spending so much time thinking of useful, interesting topics, typing, uploading, finding a picture to make it alluring to my huge audience of 10 to 20 people…making pacts and ‘friends’ with strangers in blogging communities across the world – “you look at my blog, I’ll look at yours”, checking on Amazon and Adsense accounts to see if I can spot anything but a zero anywhere on the page.
Reading the BBC’s story about blogging in Iran I felt pieces of a puzzle fall neatly into place. The BBC article pointed out that despite the Iranian government’s zealous attempts to block the bloggers, most people seemed just to want to be heard, to be able to express themselves a little more freely whether it was in making the kind of music they liked or diary-blogging about their daily lives.
We’re no Iran here in the Caribbean but we do have our restrictions. It’s one of the first things I said when I started blogging; there are countless times I felt I should say something and didn’t, and a lot of the time I felt it was too risky to rock the boat – upset a potential employer, funder, someone who could have some influence in my life. It is a real issue, but one that is, I think, in the end distorted by the fear we all feed it with, and those in places of power are very often quite happy to let this go on. I don’t think that fear accurately reflects reality though, it’s safer to speak than we think it is and it’s more perilous for us than we have yet acknowledged, if we don’t.
Life is easy if no one is prepared to point out the way it should change. But is life any good if we live this way? Not really. It may appear easy, but it’s only easy to fritter away. We immediately limit ourselves by this pseudo-protectionist behaviour – that’s not a new thought at all and it’s something of a wonder that it’s even worth saying still.
But the truth is, we in the Caribbean, haven’t learnt to speak out, to take the responsibility to talk and to listen and to share responsibility for failures and credit for successes– time and again s the C.Y.A. priority is in effect and all life is sucked out of any initiative by the huge amount of effort misplaced into this #1 priority of Covering Your Ass. And in the meantime life slips on by in search of somewhere more interesting and productive to bestow its gifts.
I’ve found it somehow easier to say what I’m thinking in the comfort of cyberspace – it’s fully in my control, don’t have to win over any editor’s approval, and yes, even you 10-20 readers I have on any given day are incentive enough to keep me coming back.
Perhaps I haven’t said anything really able to rock any boats so far, perhaps no-one who owns a boat has read anything I’ve said either. Whether I get a gift coupon from Amazon or a cheque where the paper’s not worth more than the dollar amount from Adsense or not, for me, blogging is proving to be a very useful and rewarding thing: I’ve not sorted through my thoughts so much in many years, and as the scale tips in my three score years and 10, and I sadly see so many taken away from life before their allotted years are done, I’m more and more conscious of the thought that I should make the most of my time here and leave my mark as best I can.
I know I have a lot of experience chalked up and I plan that the coming years will see me finally earning a decent living from that, and in the meantime and all through this new leg of the journey, I’ll keep blogging away, reaching out to far corners of the globe as well as to my immediate neighbours. I have no doubt in my mind at all that good things will come, good waves will be made and rode for all their worth, and the changes they make will in their own subtle ways be my mark on this world, however slight or deep that mark may be.
So thank you for the company so far my small group of cyber-friends, each comment, each visit is much appreciated! Let’s blog-on.
Small Waves at Vigie Beach, St. Lucia