I’m naked. Well, almost. I’m wearing only a fig leaf. Overcoming the discomfort is part of the reason why I write.
That’s the way it feels sometimes, writing this blog. I enjoy it. But It’s exposing.
To be clear, I have no qualms about sharing the content of the stories. That’s just life. It’s posting something I’ve written, for all to see that’s scary. At least it was. Not anymore. Loss of that fear is freeing.
Why I write – telling stories
I’d wanted to try writing stories for a long time. But I procrastinated. My excuse was lack of inspiration. A self-imposed obstacle I overcame using my own experiences as material. There was, it turned out, quite a lot to of material play with.
Receiving feedback on writing, good or bad, is the best way to improve. I was thrilled when a friend, a published author (looking at you Nigel), said of my first post ‘very tense and evocative… Looking forward to the next part’. I needed that validation. You have to take the rough with the smooth though. Another friend said my writing style is ‘a bit verbose’. Ouch.
When a reader tells me they laughed out loud there’s a sense of warm satisfaction. Silently, I hope it’s at one of the parts I intended to be funny.
Why I write – family past and present
Some family characters I’ve mentioned are, sadly, no longer alive. I use the blog to remember, and enjoy, their humour. I’m not above fart stories. Neither were they. Let’s face it, the comedy cupboard has a well-stocked shelf of fart jokes. My family embrace cheeky (rude) humour. To illustrate, my maternal great grandmother’s legacy is a selection of colourful phrases to describe fart types. A sample:
‘That one had its slippers on!’ = secretive, silent, noxious
‘Two sniffs of that and you’re a greedy bugger!’ = stinky
‘Grab that one and paint it blue!’ = inexplicable
But I digress.
Why I write – reconnecting
An unexpected pleasure of writing the blog is reconnecting with old friends, schoolmates and teachers. Reflecting dispassionately on how little we communicated about the accident at the time. We were kids. I don’t recall anyone asking me about the details of that night.
We’ve also mused on our teenage boozy capers too.
Via this blog and Facebook groups, I’ve connected. for the first time, with others with the same injury (BPI). They’re far more empowered than I ever was about treatment. I didn’t even know the name of my injury until years after the accident when the internet came along. I found out for myself. I’ve learned that I’m lucky. Many suffer intolerable pain. Always looking for new treatments to ease their suffering. My pain has always been manageable.
Finding your tribe is easier in the digital age. In closed Facebook groups, BPI survivors share tips and support one another. Such a different experience to mine.
It’s not all gloom in the groups. Recent discovery of a one-hand-operated-Bagel-Guillotine created much excitement among the US members. Now even one-handers can slice bagels cleanly into two halves. I intend to start eating bagels just to try it.
Involvement in these groups led to an interview for The Capable Body podcast. I’m a veteran, it seems, in the BPI survivor community. I was happy to do it but did I have much to say? As it turned out, I couldn’t stop talking.
So where now for this blog? There is no plan. As long as I’m enjoying it I’ll continue. The goal is to write better stories. The best way to do that is practice.
Why I write – get amongst it!
I urge you to get your kit off. Figuratively of course. Provide feedback in the comments below, on the Facebook page or over a beer at the pub. Anywhere. Come in. The water is lovely.
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