Is it sensitive to blog at the moment?
Just what kind of content should we be creating right now?
It's difficult to know how to approach blogging in these strange and unusual times. I find myself wanting to respond in some way to what is going on, to offer some help if I can, some positivity, yet at the same time I feel that the world probably has enough people doing just that, most of them more expert than I am. On the other hand, it seems rather vacuous to ignore the ongoing crisis and act as if everything is carrying on as normal, when it clearly is not.
During this time I want to blog even more than usual. Blogging is thinking aloud and there is a lot to think about right now. Blogging helps me clarify my own thoughts and might in some way help others to do the same. I think as bloggers we can ask ourselves two questions – what does the world need right now and, perhaps more importantly, what does the world not need right now?
In answer to the second question, I think we can answer fairly confidently that the world does not need more and unnecessary scaremongering, it does not need the constant and relentless spreading of fear, it does not need repetition of false or misleading information and it does not need any more ‘catastrophising’. So, what does the world need right now? Or rather, what do humans right around the world need from each other right now? We need mutual support, strong community, both actual and virtual; we need positivity, encouragement, co-operation, social interaction (even at a distance!); we need creative solutions for coping with difficult situations; we need hope, we need generosity and we need fun. And perhaps more important than any of these – we need to hear and tell the truth.
One of the most uplifting aspects of this Covid-19 crisis has been the support coming from the blogging community in Ireland. I have been inspired by beautiful words, supportive messages, generosity, genuine caring and an outpouring of creativity and creative ideas. The one thing I can say with certainty is that we need each other at this time. We need each other’s words of inspiration and support because these could mean the difference between hope and despair for so many. It’s good to give at this time, to create, to share.
So I say keep blogging, keep posting photographs of beautiful places and wonderful things, keep the positive messages circulating so that we can drown out the messages of fear and negativity. If only one person is helped by our words we will have played our small part in giving the world what it needs at this most difficult time.
Why we need to keep following our passions
Photography is my passion. Photography is what helps me to be more present in the world and it gives me a great amount of pleasure. With a camera in my hand, concentrating on finding the next interesting subject, the best angle from which to shoot, the best light, I can become totally absorbed and momentarily forget that the world is in turmoil. Granted, I do have to come back to reality, but even a small amount of time each day given over to doing something we love provides much needed respite from a diet of negative and frightening information. I wrote an article on this blog some weeks ago in which I described how, for me, photography is a gateway to mindfulness and a way to help keep my thoughts free from anxiety. The article was written before the world was plunged into this current crisis, but perhaps is even more relevant today.
Many people share their stories online in an effort to give encouragement and inspiration to others. Some share their meditation practices or their love of books. Others share their love of walking in nature. Still more share their passion for running and how that can help their mental health. There are numerous blogs and videos sharing recipe ideas, fashion tips, self-care techniques or demonstrating keep fit programmes. For some people, their passion is an outlet for creativity, for others it’s what gets them through the day; an oasis of calm in the midst life’s challenges. Whatever our passion, I believe we help each other when we share that passion and what it brings to our lives. Blogging, posting on Instagram, podcasting, tweets, whatever our chosen medium we can choose to be beacons of light in this dark space by sharing what we are most passionate about.
To quote a much loved poet, the late Seamus Heaney:
If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.