I’ve been ill for over a year now. For most of that time (until this last week in fact) I have refused to set up a blog. Why? Well partly because I didn’t want this to become my main means of ‘socialising.’ Its too easy when you’re housebound in a rural area to not see many people. But mostly because I know many people who are too ill to work receive a lot of abuse for writing a blog. The attitude is that if the person can read and write well enough to have a blog, then he or she is well enough to have a job.
Let me try to explain why this is not true.
Firstly, writing a blog is not like writing in a business setting. There is no need for professional or formal language and styles. Unlike writing professionally, I am not going to be spending a lot of time editing what I write. Most importantly there are no deadlines. This blog has been going around my mind for 10 months. I can’t imagine any employer willing to wait 10 months for a piece of work! Most of what I write here will be from things I have thought about for months or years, so it is merely a case of getting it down in writing. Not a lot of thought has to go into it at this stage. A big brain splurge. And with no deadlines, it doesn’t matter if I write this piece today, or next week, or next year. I can write one paragraph today, another tomorrow, leave it for a week, scrap everything I’ve written so far. It doesn’t matter.
Secondly, I can fit it around my health. This fits in with the deadline thing. Today, unusually, my fingers aren’t very sensitive so I can type without the contact between finger and keyboard causing pain. Although my joints are aching already, so I will have to stop soon. When I get tired I can lie down for an hour or two – not something I can envisage in a work situation. And when I’m so tired that I can’t think, can’t read, I can abandon the blog totally.
Third, this does not take up anywhere near as much time as a job. I don’t have to travel anywhere, which is fortunate given that I can’t walk more than a few hundred metres in one go, and can only manage that once a day if at all. The writing doesn’t take more than an hour, and that can be spread out through the day as I get tired and in pain so quickly. I can’t see anyone employing me to do 2 hours writing a week. Most people write blogs in their spare time around employed work, house work and bringing up a family. I write in my spare time around resting, and do none of the other things mentioned.
Finally, blogs are useful. I get a lot of information from other people’s blogs which is important to me as a disabled person. They’re usually short and easy to read, whereas I often struggle reading newspaper articles. Many people get encouragement from what other people write. Members of the disabled community support one another through blogs and twitter. So this isn’t paid work, but that does not mean is is valueless.
So now I’m tired physically and mentally, and my fingers ache. I shall lie down for a while and recover from the exertion.