Early on in my diagnosis, Mum gave me a book called 'Writing my way through cancer' which I immediately chucked in the garden, and it is now almost ruined. I was annoyed as the woman was such a moaning minnie. In such circumstances one undoubtedly compares onself with AN other and this woman was a published writer, which got my green tentacles up to start with, she was about double my age, and the cancer was less dramatic. I didn't find reading about her whinging very helpful, especially then. Now I too can see the benefits of documenting one's experiences - in my case blogging. With blogging, as one's parents and friends, not to mention the Stazi, thought police, MI6 and the FBI are reading then you invariably have to make the thing upbeat and keep moaning, especially about anyone with two pence worth of power, to a minimum.
I do think it's a bit of a myth that creativity thrives on misery - surely good writing and art comes with practise and experience? So I'm going to try, against the best wishes of the Royal College of Censors, to carry on with my blog, even if it gets slightly dull with my limited propensity to moan.
And what else have I learnt or changed with the a) cancer/b) blogging/c) engagement (they all seem to merge into one and it's difficult to separate them)? Well from cancer - a) stay upbeat. Blogging - remember who pays the bills. You may think it's you, but actually it's the british tax payer and 99.9% of the time you don't agree with them so b) keep your opinions to yourself. Engagement - Enjoy and keep your eye on the budget (see b).