Carpe Bloody Diem
If there’s one thing every reader of this website knows by now (because I never stop banging on about it), it is that I intended it to be a forum for open, intellectual discussion on hot topics that would create impassioned, but respectful debate. Then I went all cancer blog and everybody started reading that because apparently it’s interesting.
But why embark on the whole website project in the first place? I said in my first real cancer related article ‘Skyfall’ that the best way to teach my kids life lessons was not through pious words echoing through time, but by providing them examples of setting myself goals, and getting off my neoplastic arse and doing something about them. To be ‘Inspirational’. That’s a big ask, and bigger still to claim success. A success I’ll never actually know if won, as I’ll be long gone by the time those lessons have coalesced in the minds of my children, or not, as the case may be.
That said, in the short time I have been writing this garbled inanity, it appears that the motif of Inspiration may have taken seed already in the minds of others. You may have noticed the occasional, subtle mention of the Britmum’s Brilliance in Blogging Awards, well the culmination of all this prattling was Katy Hill, (yes, that Katy Hill, the one from Blue Peter with the impeccable teeth) calling out my name as the winner of their 2014 Inspire category. Unfortunately, I wasn’t present to collect the award in person as I was sat in a hospice bed at the time. I don’t know how much of that win is because of how highly I score on the tragedy scale, or how much is because what I have said or done is actually inspirational; I guess that’s for you to decide. Either way I have a shiny ornament that says so!
What I do know is that quite a few people have contacted me to say they have picked up the ‘Fright Club’ baton and are tackling new challenges in their life. It may be that seeing my life unravel has reminded them of it’s delicate and fleeting nature and has kick started an entire new active perspective, or may be they had already started down that road, but my words have reinforced their confidence that they are doing the right thing.
Some of those challenges have been huge life changing ventures, and some of them have been tiny, personal, but satisfying reminders to enjoy life again, and not vegetate when one could be doing something more satisfying instead.
One area that is relevant to this site in particular is writing. By commenting on articles you, the audience have become authors. Many of you have stepped outside your comfort zone and applied your opinions to print. I have also invited guest articles, the first of which, “How We’ve Lost the War on Terror” by NotSkidsAnymore and ‘On Assisted Dying’ by Dr Ros Taylor are available here.
We still haven’t got there entirely. Much to my frustration, I haven’t been able to convince everybody (you know who you are!) to commit their thoughts to public scrutiny despite being hugely entertaining, controversial and interesting. In addition to the comments section, we received many replies to ‘How We’ve Lost the War on Terror‘ through email discussions. Most of these would have lit the touchpaper of public opinion had they been communicated to the rest of you. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I was unable to convince the provocateurs to go public. (Honestly, stand back twenty feet, whoosh, BANG!, Oh shit! twenty feet wasn’t enough!) Instead they have kept their ideas within secure, familiar groups they trust will not ultimately judge them, but I guess not everyone is as reckless as I am when it comes to asserting their opinions.
I know of at least one other person who has written a piece and is in the editing phase, and two others that intend to write articles on subjects that they find emotive and important. I’d like to extend that invitation/ challenge now further. If any of you out there have been sitting on your hands, frustrated by some unscratchable itch (no, not that kind of itch!), write about it and tell the world. It doesn’t have to be controversial, but it can be. It doesn’t have to be important (whoever decides that), but it can be. There are some editorial caveats I’m legally bound to enforce, i.e. no incitement to racial hatred or violence, etc. and I would ask that you don’t be a dick for the sake of it, but other than that you have a free hand. Remember, it’s not a writing competition, nobody cares if you don’t know a pronoun from a preposition, it’s about getting good ideas out there and generating discussion. If you have a point, make sure you can back it up.
I know far too many opinionated, vociferous people with an axe to grind for this challenge to go unanswered, so contact me by email (helpful little button at the bottom there) if you want to talk about writing an article; I’ll even help you put it together if you want. Providing you don’t break any laws, I am happy to give your voice a home and promise to be the first to play Devil’s Advocate on whatever subject you bring to the table.
The first person published gets one of those novelty pens that reveals a naked picture of me when you turn it upside down.