Writing a blog is harder than you think. Especially when you’ve got all the time in the world and no excuse to not do one.
Hardest of all there’s the consideration of topic and content. It’s a real sticking point if I’m honest. Wtf do I write about? Do I write what people expect? Do I write about what I know? Or do I write about something I have no knowledge about but can research?
Well, if I did what people expected, you could ‘educate’ yourself from a post about shoes, bags or fat seventies graphic patterns in lurid oranges and browns. Innocuous and vacuous. And it wouldn’t reflect me in the deep-thinking light that I was hoping for. So that was a no go.
If I write about what I know, we’re fairly limited. Education perhaps? Boys’ v girls’ attainment? The use of questioning in the classroom? Bloody hell, there’s a reason even I don’t read educational blogs - it’s because they’re bloody boring and nothing earth-shatteringly new and all been written before, probably by Vygotski.
So thus, it comes down to writing about what I don’t know. Well, that’s a long fucking list. And navigating that would be like traversing space on a dark night in a shuttle with no satnav.
I don’t know much about history. Only having covered the French Revolution, the Corn Laws and Social Reform in Britain from 1830 for my GCSEs, leaves me in the dark for about 99.8% of our existence on planet earth. Maybe I could start there? But is that science? Which is fine, it doesn’t matter if it’s history or science really. Either. But then that makes me think: I don’t know much of biology either; what I can recall about photosynthesis and osmosis I could write on the back of a postage stamp so that leaves me with vast swathes of material to research. Indeed science was my particular bugbear at school. From forces to friction, atoms to acids and the periodic table, it’s all pretty much as unknown to me as the deepest darkest depths of the ocean are to humankind. Don’t know much about a science book; not even sure I own one - so thank goodness for the internet. Perhaps I could get so into this research that I may even become an expert. And science is current too; there’s loads of science around, what with Covid. Perhaps I could research and write about vaccines? Cells? Patient zero? (Pretty annoyed with him right now.) Herd immunity? Index cases? Contact tracing? Super spreading? After all every other bugger is talking about it and they’re not all science heads. But do I just want to jump on a lockdown bandwagon? Besides, science is too broad/intense/clinical a subject for a layman like me.
Perhaps a more international flavour is a must. Maybe I could do what every other bugger on lockdown is doing? No, not bake banana bread - start learning a new language! The world is my oyster. I could do Arabic, I’m off to Morocco in August after all... or maybe Swahili? My brother in law can speak it then I could converse with him coolly. Or what about German, Xhosa, Esperanza or Pitjantjatjara? Hang on, before I learn a new one, which seems like a lot of work for just a blog post, perhaps I could just brush up on my GCSE skills? After all I don’t know much about the french I took... and lockdown may turn out not to be as long as threatened... please? In which case, a refresher would be all that I could manage in the time as there probably aren’t enough hours in the day/week/month/rest of my life for me to learn the 1.5 million conjugations for the verb “to swim” in Archi (a language spoken by about 900 people in Russia).
Quite frankly I’m not closer to coming up with a topic about which to write. Although reading this back I have discovered that I have unwittingly referenced Sam Cooke. ‘Who is he?’ I hear you cry. Well, Sam Cooke was an American singer from the 60s. Listen to his song “What a Wonderful World”. But that’s all I know about him... ‘wait a minute’ I hear you say now, ‘he could be your blog post!’ Well, indeed he could, but I can’t be arsed to reinvent the wheel, so here’s the link to his Wikipedia page instead: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Cooke
Tbf, I nearly fell down a Sam Cooke rabbit hole after this and am possibly now more qualified than most to write a blog about him. But I’m not going to, I’ll leave you with the instruction that if nothing else you should scroll down to the section on his death and have a read. You’re welcome.
And after all this angst, I'm still no closer to an idea for a blogpost. Maybe I'll write one about not knowing what to write.