Why blog?

Good old WordPress – their annual stats have handily revealed that this blog gets about the same number of visitors whether I post to it or not! The Cheery Pessimist started in May 2010 as a blog about the energy crisis but is really just a place to dump my thoughts and practice writing. I posted 11 times in 2010 but don’t have figures for how many people viewed the site, though I know it wasn’t many and comments were mostly from people I knew. Not really the point of blogging! In 2011, I managed 8 posts and got a pleasing 1,500 viewings, while 2012 saw a paltry 3 posts but 1,400 viewings. So while I do feel a little bad at neglecting my blog, and remain perpetually in awe of those who write for a living (or even regularly), I know that I need a better reason to write than feeling that I should.

Social Reporters
If given a deadline, I usually stick to it. I like deadlines, I need deadlines, but they work better for me if they are someone else’s. During 2012, I also posted 8 blogs on the Transition Network’s Social Reporters site. A Chance is Enough, an interview with the inspirational Eva Schonveld, is the only blog I’ve also put on this site. That post gave a wee summary of my three previous posts but since then I’ve written about the Transition Research Network, Reforesting Scotland, my adventures with setting up a local Community Trust and looked into another aspect of supermarkets: The Gruen Transfer.

So I am still blogging, nearly three years later, just not here. And as for why I do it, I’m not sure. I guess I like the fact that you can take time to mould your thoughts into something, hopefully, understandable. In conversation, my single mouth fails to cope with the multiple thoughts which inevitably thunder into my mind, before most of them thunder off again. Giving lectures is better – you’ve prepared your words and there are pictures too.

Knowing there is an audience, a potentially critical audience, certainly helps me to think hard about what I’m saying. I shudder to think how many hours I’ve spent composing text which ultimately succumbs to the delete button, especially on email lists where geoengineering is hailed as the solution we’re all too dumb to appreciate! I’ve been slacking off on such exchanges, partly to find time to blog and partly because it has become so obvious to me that we are never going to voluntarily choose to become sustainable – fracking has proven that to me. This is what I believe; others don’t. That’s fine – it was ever thus. But we still need to have conversations about the issues no one wants to face, including me. We’re at the peak, we’re hitting barriers – what should we do about that? That’s one reason to blog.

What do the next five years hold here where I live, or there where you live? Does the phrase ‘triple dip recession’ make you shout at the radio? Will the Tories’ Bedroom Tax be a step too far in taking from those who already have so little, while the rich get richer? What do you think?


About The Cheery Pessimist

Waiting for some sign that we will change our ways before it all comes tumbling down...still, you've got to laugh
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7 Responses to Why blog?

  1. Janet Moxley says:

    Mandy, is your blog publised on Facebook e.g via a Cheery Pessimist page? After having been sceptical about FB for years I did a use of social media course in the spring and have become a FB convert – it is a good way to share info and get a lot of people interested quickly. (I’ve managed to get over 200 people following a campaign on the bus service from Edinburgh to Dumfries through Biggar, and have been gradually growing fans on the Lanarkshire Greens page – maybe better for faster moving developments like the bus campaign where it is really useful having others adding info). Haven’t ventured into Twitter yet – the thought posts which have a validity time for about 2 h is too much (FB is 1 – 2 days for most post and I like to ramble rather than compress thoughts!). Not saying you should use FB to blog, but it could be useful for posting “Look at my new Blog post about X” and because it is a network information can get forwarded to more people more quickly. People are less likely to forward and email to a random selection of friends (‘cos that’s spamming!)


    ======================================== Message Received: Jan 06 2013, 01:34 PM

    • mandy meikle says:

      Hi Janet – I don’t do FB and have no ability to even think about it! I think the trick with blog hits is to post stuff! Just can’t find the time….

      Hope all’s good with you & maybe catch up some time….

  2. Teen Ross says:

    Looking forward to hearing more from you in 2013… will it be the year of the technofix?!

    • mandy meikle says:

      Oops, just found 3 seemingly legitimate messages from months ago! Sorry guys – Vikki, Teen & Janet. I didn’t get an email notification. I get a few from random strangers banging on about how great my site is and how they found it using their wonderful iPhone. How blatantly ridiculous! Anyway, to the world in general – apologies for not replying, or posting much. And to Teen – I will try to post on net energy returns, about which I’m speaking in Aberdeen on 8 May – http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cisrul/events/2268/

  3. I love your blogs, and I love that you share my view that most of us are never going to voluntarily choose sustainable ways of living, and yet it doesn’t seem to get you down and you still feel it’s important to keep talking about it. I worry that things are going to get worse and worse and it will ultimately lead to civil unrest. “Social Security” is just that; a way of giving people just enough that they don’t start making a fuss. If that is taken away, what kind of security will fill the gap?

    • mandy meikle says:

      Thanks Vikki – you’ll see I’ve just replied to others. The future of social security will be in community & cooperation, not pension funds. As Mary Mellor said, “Money is only as good as the society in which it sits.”

      But I think it’s going to take a lot of work at the grassroots. I’ll try to post more on good stuff that’s happening – no point worrying about things which have not yet happened but very wise to think of possible scenarios, then think how to prevent or lessen the problem. This is why I’ve all but given up on giving talks on energy issues. We’re not in the situation we’re in because of a lack of knowledge – it’s because most of us have no power (political, not lekky!) but no time for that just now!

  4. Percy Mark says:

    Good prompt at the start of a new year. Your easy conversational tone is very inviting.
    What keeps ‘thundering’ in my mind is the ever stronger conviction that we’ll never make it (what ever that might mean) as long as our motivation for action about our problems is limited to self-preservation. I mean, as long as we have to be ‘scared’ into action. “If you don’t do this -or that- …armageddon!” That motivation wears off as soon as we forget the danger, – and there’s plenty to make us forget. Not long ago we were all excited about putting bricks in our toilet cisterns. Now we’re flooded out, – water everywhere. It’s too confusing. Perhaps the scientists don’t know what they talking about after all….Perhaps we have to thank the banks and the speculators – they’ve scared us good and proper…., but that doesn’t seem to have worked either. Growth seems to be the only thing on the menu now, when not long ago we were nearly convinced that a finite planet couldn’t sustain unlimited growth.
    But what other motivation is there? – other than greed, which is the cause of our problems.
    I sound like a pessimist that’s not even ‘cheery’, and I didn’t know I felt like this until you lured me into writing this.
    I’m half way through the book “The Empathic Civilisation” by Jeremy Rifkin.
    Its a big book! – an amazing book! (but I’ve had to have a break from it over Christmas and started reading the ‘Hobbit”) Anyway, perhaps ’empathy’ is going to be a real reason for doing things? What do you think?
    I shall read on…..

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