Inspired by New Friends

I’ve been writing a blog for a very, very long time. If you include the static sites I posted to the internet before the dawn of “blogging”, I’m almost comically ancient. I some ways I am the blogging equivalent of Methuselah. If you’ve not heard of Methuselah before, Wikipedia tells us the following;

The name Methuselah, or the phrase “old as Methuselah,” is commonly used to refer to anything of great age.

There is a picture accompanying the article of a particularly grumpy looking old man in the form of a stained glass window. He almost looks like me – perhaps that’s a sign – perhaps I am Methuselah.

Anyway. World championship level digression there…

Let’s just say that I have written a blog for a very, very long time. In that time I have come to know lots of other bloggers – some are long forgotten, some appear now and again, and some are still out there, emptying their thoughts into the keyboard for others to find if they so wish. I have kept up with one or two of the random collection I have crossed paths with over the years, and have never really given much thought to why. The last few weeks have reminded me exactly why.

I made a new friend. Somebody a world away, living in a very different life, but facing the same internal struggles I often find myself facing. The big difference? She writes about them – with honesty, candour, bravery, and defiance. On more than one occasion I’ve become sucked into her world – her posts. She is perhaps the most inspirational discovery I have made in quite some time. I’m not going to name and shame her blog because it may bring unwanted attention.

Reading her words makes me realise how safe, pedestrian and boring my blog has become in comparison. Her posts remind me of what blogging can be – of how stories can be told.

Maybe the real problem is that I’ve been standing out here on my internet desert island spouting gibberish for far too long. I’ve become the weird old man selling newspapers on the corner of the street in Swindon during my childhood – nobody was entirely sure what it was he shouted every few minutes – he probably didn’t know either. I think perhaps his shout started out as “Evening Advertiser”, but given several decades and a few less teeth, it evolved into “Manganangananga!”. He was pretty frightening.

I can’t help feeling that I need to stand up and write words of consequence more often. Write words worth reading instead of this navel gazing detritus. I also need to start making time to read the growing mountain of books in the corner of the junk room before they topple over and bury somebody. I think it was Stephen King that said the secret to great writing is to read as much as you can. Maybe that works for blogging too.

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