Every time I think of packing in my blog (which is frequently) I remind myself that I’m not writing a book. I think a blog only works if any post is seen as the first word and not the last word on any matter. It allows for thinking aloud – something most leaders are not encouraged to do as changing your mind, learning or growing up are seen as weaknesses rather than strengths.

Anyway, this blog runs the risk that I will write ‘first word’ stuff that gets quoted back later as if it were ‘last word’ conclusions. Quotable lines from one context get held up as heresy in another. I guess it’s just part of the game, but it’s also a massive pain.

This isn’t post-Easter misery on my part. I just started thinking about it on holiday while reading William Boyd‘s Any Human Heart. In the preamble Boyd’s main character explains why he kept a journal (which forms the text of the book). He writes:

We keep a journal to entrap that collection of selves that forms us, the individual human being… a true journal presents us with the more riotous and disorganised reality… The true journal intime… doesn’t try to posit any order or hierarchy, doesn’t try to judge or analyse: I am all these different people – all these different people are me.

A blog is not a journal intime. But it should allow the writer the freedom to be honest, to listen to response and reaction, to venture an idea or analysis, to express a view or present an interest, to try out a perspective – perhaps then to reject it and move on. The problem is, of course, that the text stands there to be lifted and used in evidence against you. Yet, unless the blogger strives only to convey a single persona – a particular image – or create a selective persona, the whole person will always run the risk of being undermined by the partial representation of a particular instant or period. Oh well…

William Boyd’s character, Logan Mountstuart, seems pretty selfish and narcissistic so far (I have only read the first had of the book and I haven’t seen the film version). I guess I’d better reserve any further judgement until I get to the end.

The end of any book always shines new light on all that has gone before. A bit like resurrection at the end of a gospel…