And so starts a new year…
Does it look much different to the last one? Well, yes & no to quote my old friend Noel. Yes – in that we’d no idea at this time last year what we were heading for, and No – in that there’s already a lot which is familiar from the bulk of last year. For here in the UK, we’re back in another national lockdown. We’ve no clear idea yet for how long. The plan seems to be until a significant swathe of the population have been vaccinated – although as that swathe includes only my mother from the group of me-and-mine, it’s unlikely to change my day-to-day life significantly. As I welcome a new grandchild in February, I can but hope…
And that takes me on to my Word of the Year… for hopeful was a serious contender. Last year, the word I selected was Act! (and yes, the exclamation point was a critical part, it being a call to action).
Now, like the purchasing of diaries and planners for the year 2020, you could be excused for thinking this proved to be a wasted effort. Certainly, not much that I planned to Act! on could (or did) happen during the year, nevertheless it did prove useful as a focus. Where the opportunity to take action wasn’t restricted by pandemic regulations, I did so, rather than prevaricate as is my wont – and the outcome proved consistently pleasing. But I also decided to take action around mindset and reframing, which put me in a better place for dealing with pandemic enforced changes. As a long-time sufferer of Depression, my decision to Act! rather than adopting a wait-and-see attitude proved crucial for my mental health throughout 2020.
So I pondered over what word to chose for this year, and whether to simply repeat last year’s choice. But as 2021 has started with more than a small hangover from 2020, I decided a new choice had to be made. One word which appeared in several iterations seemed like it was becoming the chosen one, until I hit upon Productive. Productive feels like a natural follow-on from Act! with my tendency to ruminate and delay decision-making being addressed by 2020’s word, I want to harness that forward momentum. But I don’t want simply to Act! I want my decisions to be driven by the requirement to be productive. There is much that I try to do – too much in all honesty – and that invariably ends up with my being not as productive as I’d like. So, let’s see if this time next year, I look back and consider 2021’s choice of Word of the Year to be a winner (or not).
But to get back to the headline topic – personal blogging rules. I wrote a post late last year but decided to delete it – catching it it just as it published. I wrote it while feeling decidedly stirred up on the subject. The subject? No matter – it was my state of emotion when I wrote it which was the issue.
I made a decision some time ago not to blog when het up. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the primary one is this blog was only ever intended to be an outlet for me to write stuff, a light-hearted magazine column if you like. So, I try to avoid any subject that gets me hot under the collar, or which might be considered contentious. I do have strong opinions and can find it cathartic to type them up in the form of a blog post – before deleting it. Much like writing a letter to someone to express your feelings – only to burn it, or shred it, but certainly not send it – it allows the emotions to be released without reaction from another party. I’ve been very open in the past online and while I regret nothing said, I am comfortable with being more circumspect here.
This blog started as a place where I talked predominantly about books. To some extent that’s now moved to the fiction site I co-host, and I rather drifted into the current format. At some point, I’ll probably need to re-think my purpose in blogging here but, till then, I’m determined there’ll be no emotive posting happening here.
Do you have a particular purpose in blogging? Do you have Rules for your blog – about content or tone – which you impose upon yourself?
© Debra Carey, 2021