Starting blogs is a habit of mine

me and Archie

I know I started one (or three) somewhere with lots of links and things, but can I find it or them? Nope. Though I have found, I only make up just less than one page on a google search. Not a great web presence then, which brings me back to why I have started yet another blog. You see the problem is this: I need a web presence to create a platform for my writing – literary agents apparently google you, when you send a submission (covering letter and first 3 chapters of your novel, for non-writers reading this) – but (and there are two):

In between working full time as a teacher and running the home and everything else known to man and woman, as well as writing short stories and a novel or four, keeping up with writing groups on and off line, reading blogs about writing and publishing, entering competitions and preparing submissions, and reading lots and lots of books, where do I find the time to write a weekly blog posts, with links and pictures and other exciting things?

Well, here I am anyway – avidly reading blogs on blogging for writers, like this one from Ann R. Allen’s blog, which is why I have used my name in the title, ( it should also aid me finding it, though I hope this time not to lose it in the first place); and this ‘get started’ guide from Jane Friedman.

Yet already I am getting cold feet.

Which brings me to my second ‘but’:

Why would anyone want to read what I have to say (says the aspiring author)? I don’t know what I think about most things most of the time. There are fundamental things I am sure about, hurting other people, physically and psychologically is wrong (excluding consensual acts of S&M); the only person who can make you happy is you; no one is all bad, or all good; and, every pudding should be accompanied by clotted cream. But beyond that, I am a bit airy-fairy, prone to seeing the other side of the argument.

Most recently, I have found myself wavering around the whole benefit debate. I am proud my country has a safety net. As has been said by many, including Gandhi and Pope John Paul II; a civilised society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. I have often used the argument that benefit fraud is  a very low incidence (despite what the papers say) and any system that protects the weak will be abused by the minority (and should not be reason not to have one). But, I can’t deny the fact that there are some families in the second and third generation of career unemployment, collecting their ‘wages’  from the state, with no compunction to get a job or an education; their lives lurching from one self-inflicted crisis to another.

The state protects many vulnerable people, but in doing so, infantilizes and institutionalizes some. These kidults (having children of their own) are locked in an egocentric world, where their needs are paramount and those of others, not so much ignored, but not perceived.

So I don’t know what to think? And I don’t know what the answer is? If we don’t have benefits then the most vulnerable will suffer. But if we do, then we sustain, and possibly create, an underclass.

If you have a view on this, then please pile in. I have feeling a number of my posts will end, not with an answer, but a question and a plea for help to unravel what it is I think, I think.

Until next time. Au revoir.

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8 thoughts on “Starting blogs is a habit of mine”

  1. Juliet I agree with you about the minority of benefit fraud but like you said it will without doubt breed a family of takers. Can we please talk about gun control next?

    P.S. keep up the good work

  2. Thank you Austin. I have a feeling (in fact I know) that you and I have a very different take on the right to bear arms – it could get messy, but then again it would be good to hear an alternate viewpoint to my own. I will certainly start thinking about a blog post on this issue.

    1. Juliet I know you and I will always agree to disagree about firearms but will still be friends. Here is my take on it people will always find a way to do bad things if they want to. I own a few guns for different reasons some are for going out and shooting targets some for hunting dinner and some for self defense from four legged critters and two legged one that wish to do me or my family harm.
      I know things are different in the UK to here in the USA special in Arkansas we are raised to respect firearms and what they can do.

  3. I know you from authonomy (well, kinda, sorta …. I don’t know what country you are in and can’t reply specifically(Rep. of) to your blog. I am in the U.S. and spend a few months every year in Ireland . Loved what you said about the measure of a civilized country is how it takes care of its vulnerable. Thanks for starting your blog! Pat Mc A San Diego

    1. Thanks Pat for commenting. I am in the UK. I do very much agree with the sentiment, but the reality of the welfare state in the UK is some people see benefits as an entitlement. Though I am not sure how I feel about it, I do know if you don’t allow people to fail, then they never learn to succeed. Success (through effort) brings personal fulfillment and that, to me, is the most tragic thing about the current system. You are penalised (e.g. losing benefits) if you work more than a set amount of hours a week, discouraging purposeful enterprise and encouraging dependency.

  4. You know Austin, I am always going to struggle with any civilised society promoting the ownership of weapons designed, not to hunt animals, but to kill humans. I completely understand the need for those who live in rural areas to own guns for hunting (same as in the UK), but giving everyone the right to own a gun, can only increase accidents and incidents. Having said that, I don’t think the weapon itself is to blame for mass shootings, rather individuals intent on hurting others will find a way to do so. But I do think the more weapons out there, the more accidents, or moments of madness. I also think, if we bring children up with weapons in their hands, then we teach them that violence is acceptable. I have never held, nor fired a gun and I am pleased I don’t have to own one, just in case other people, who aren’t like me, have one. As I said, I don’t think we are likely to find common ground on this issue – and we’d better not get started on the death penalty, but yes, friends can have very different points of view and still be friends.

  5. Juliet, you blog as well as you write fiction. I look forward to reading more posts. Blogging is something I have also considered as a writing platform, but like you, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read a blog of mine. But you have written something that is easy to read, and stimulating. Not a bad effort at all.
    Regarding the welfare dilemma. I agree that it infantilises some, but I suspect the numbers are small, and I also feel that another small percentage of that percentage, would turn to crime if not for welfare. How do we prove or solve this? No idea.
    Thanks for the links about blogging.

  6. Thanks for your comment Juli and good luck with your blogging. I am trying to make Sundays my day to write my blog (posting on a Tuesday) – and it’s Sunday tomorrow and I am still wavering over what the topic will be and what I want to say. However, it is good discipline to write something each week and I am enjoying the process and I love the feedback.

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