Monday, March 18, 2013


There are many "purposes" for blogging. Some blogs are veritable works of art while others are ad hock family journals.
My blog began as a result of a Canadian Author's Association meeting where the president of the BC Federation of Writers recommended blogging as a means to literally show one's 'productivity'. Publishers are apparently interested in 'productive' artists.
The Artist's Way by Cameron described 'creativity' as a process. She encouraged artists to write daily 'morning pages' as a means to overcome the 'censor' and stimulate the flow of creativity long stymied by all the negativity that individuals encounter in the school and work place.
Drama of a Gifted Child, by Miller, another classic in the creative process described a similiar need for freedom of expression.
Vaillant, the brilliant psychiatrist from Harvard wrote a book on Creativity which I did a review on for a Canadian medical journal years back.
I started my blog then as a kind of 'writer journal'. I rarely 'edit' or 'rework' my blog but have it as the original 'download' of material from which I thought one day I might be able to find something of value. It's the 'first draft'.
I had another blogger tell me that I really ought to have '5 or 6' blogs because of the different themes that run through mine.
I thought this a great suggestion and definitely true but that would defeat my original purpose, which simply was to encourage writing. I have note books full of unfinished novels and boxes of published stories. I found I really enjoyed the 'creative writing' but because I had so much 'editting' and 'careful detailed scientific writing and research' as my 'work' I didn't simply write for the joy of writing as much. Further, while I loved the publishers and editors I've had I found the process of sending things off a barrier of sorts. With blogging I could just write and press the publish button. Sometimes I read what I wrote over for punctuation mainly but mostly not.
The themes are there though, the main things I write on.
So my blog could well be divided into the following:
1) Travels with Gilbert - I always loved Steinbecks 'Travels With Charlie' and while I don't believe I'll ever be the writer Steinbeck was I do believe Gilbert is a much more exceptional and noteworthy dog than Charlie, though I suspect Steinbeck might disagree.
2) Notes on Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychopharmacology from a front lines practitioner of the science and art over 30 years
3) It's hard to separate this from the previous one but Notes on Medicine - being a physician and healer over 30 years.
4) Spirituality - this is what really turns my crank - love of God, desire to be closer to God, theology, Christianity, ecumenicalism, world religions, heaven, all of this is so very important to me and what I like most to write about
5) Addiction and Recovery - I'm an addiction psychiatrist and a recovered alcoholic so it's a joy to write about this in a scientific and objective way, making it part of the earlier two headings but also in a personal way, as part of my spiritual journey and travels with Gilbert.
6) Adventure and the Wilderness - I've been out behind the lines in physical, spiritual and psychiatric territories and being a 'front line' worker , always working where the 'greatest need' is, and being a wilderness doctor , often beyond where doctors like to go, is a theme that runs through my blog and blogging.
7) Sexuality - I taught sexuality and sexuality is a large part of life, subjectively, and medical and psychiatric practice, objectively

Finally I was the high school photographer. My father was an avid photographer and my brother is now a professional photographer. My nephew, Graeme, not only does still photography but has branched out into making movies which is so reminiscent of my father who graduated to a movie camera and would 'splice' little 2 minutes segments of film together to make a movie we'd watch as a family in the living room .
So I usually have a camera along and now my iPhone so enjoy sharing pictures with my blog and love getting feedback from friends and family on my blog.
It reminds me of when I published orthodox scientific papers in prestigious journals. No one got back to me. I was 'cited' occasionally but much preferred publishing stories and writing in the Medical Post because so many of my colleagues read that national weekly medical magazine.
Blogging for me keeps me in touch. I write book reviews, poetry, movie reviews and just about anything that catches my attention. Frankly blogging has been the most fun I've had writing since I began writing poetry as a teenager and performed in local Winnipeg Coffeehouses age 16 to 20, around the time Carrie and I put out the Vincent Massey High School, poetry journal, Poison. Later I'd love editting the Meditoban and talking with friends about the writing we'd share in that.
Then there came a time when I was always writing but the boxes just went into storage. Many might say 'as they should'. Indeed there are those who favour censorship and 'refinement'. I do admire my friends who rewrite dozens of times before they share. I've certainly done this but while we all know that's the 'work' of writing, I think of that indeed as the 'work of writing', whereas my blog has been for me the 'play" of writing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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