Updating this blog has been a tour down memory lane.
The thing that strikes me most is how badly I write when I am angry and the NHS junior doctor recruitment debacle of 2007 made me very angry indeed. Those posts irritate me six years on because so many of them lack information; too many are articulate emotional rants. They communicate badly because the reader has no room to respond. I am irritated and repelled by my former self.
It’s partly to do with speed. Writing coherently takes time and the conversation was moving quickly. I was part of a community of bloggers and activists, very much swept up in the fight. There was a lot being said and little time for reflection. It shows. (This lack of time to reflect combined with a permanent medium is the reason why I don’t use twitter much.)
I heard Maryam Namazie speak a year or so ago and was impressed by the calmness of her anger. Her anger is powerful but not loud. It fuels a clear and contained rationalism which I struggle for, instead I become enraged. She is calm but driven and focused, and this is what I now hope for when I write on subjects I feel passionate about.
A couple of years ago I did one of those courses which elucidate your working style. This one looked at your style when calm (mine is “analytical” and “thinking”) and compared it with your style under stress. It was illuminatingly accurate. When I am stressed I become more emotional and less rational; I lose the ability to think. Discovering this has given me permission to step back from fraught situations and wait until I can think clearly again. I am a more reliable colleague and I hope I am a less emotional blogger.