I’ve decided to start a blog.
Yes, it is still 2014. No, you haven’t suddenly gone time travelling and magically reappeared in 2003 like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap.
I realise that I’ve missed this particular bandwagon by several years – even the word blog is starting to sound slightly old fashioned compared to the new wave of social media – but I’m going to have a crack at it anyway.
I should have done it years ago, but it was one of those things that always slipped off the bottom of the To Do list. Procrastination being the thief of time and all that.
Recently though various things have prompted me to stop thinking about it and just get on with it.
First was a post on Richard Branson’s blog about action breeding confidence
The last phrase in particular struck a chord with me: “just get out there and start: now is the time to do.”
It’s so simple; so obvious. But how many of us really live our lives like that?
I’m a planner by trade, and by nature. I spend my life analysing, interpreting, considering all the angles, weighing up the pros and cons.
Sometimes though I’d be better off just getting started and seeing where I end up.
I love reading, I love writing, and I have a strong opinion on absolutely everything. But other than snarky comments on Twitter, I had no real outlet for my views.
And 140 characters grumbling about Grimsby Town’s perennial uselessness doesn’t quite cover the full range of my thoughts and emotions. Except on Saturday afternoons.
So reading that Branson post gave me a little jolt.
Not enough to make me do anything about it, obviously (you can’t just rush into these things!), but enough that it started to play on my mind.
Then I saw a Twitter post by Paul Frampton (@Paul_Framp) along the very same lines (what a very wise man he is!).
But probably the biggest motivator for me to start this blog was an entirely unrelated incident.
Robin Williams died earlier this week. And from nowhere I felt a rush of sadness completely out of proportion with my relationship with him. Because I didn’t have one. I didn’t know him, never met him.
To be honest I didn’t even think Mork and Mindy was very funny.
But then people started posting their favourite Robin Williams movie clips on Facebook and Twitter, and I realised the common thread that made me, and thousands like me, have that strong feeling of loss when he died.
Many of his characters focused on drawing the best out of other people – getting beyond the front, the bullshit, the ephemera, to reveal the true self beneath. It can’t purely be luck that Robin Williams was continually drawn to that kind of role.
If you have any feeling in your bones it’s impossible not to be moved by someone who champions the fragile strength of the human spirit in the face of overbearing societal pressures and conventions.
Whether it was as Sean Maguire forging a bond with Matt Damon’s tearaway genuis in Good Will Hunting, renegade DJ Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning Vietnam, or Patch Adams, or most obviously as the inspirational teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams’ characters continually encourage others to express their true thoughts and feelings:
So, suitably inspired, I have in some small way decided to sound my own barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.
I certainly can’t promise I’ll deliver any poetry as a result. In fact I’m not entirely sure yet what I’m going to write about, or how often.
I’m starting right now though, and that’s the important thing.