This is not my first blog, nor will it be my last and I hope I have more to say than has already been said. The first time I wrote one, I approached the task as I thought it should be done. Considered, thoughtful, written to my best guess ( or estimation) as to an average reading and comprehension ability. Like that just now - comprehension or understanding, guess or estimation? Which should be used. What is the impact of each and what impact do I want to have?
I did not have an answer and certainly did not have a solution to the questions that I was posing myself. Nothing ventured and undaunted I proceeded to write, I forget what about, and circulated first drafts around a small number of friends who had generously agreed to make comment. Of course I had assumed they would have the answers. Four copies given out, four very different responses.
“It’s too long and too complex” “people won’t read it to the end” “were the two comments that raised the thorny issue of length. How long is a blog? I know they range from four or five lines to pages of writing because I have looked. What is the correct length of a blog? I’ll bet a pound of my own money that there is no official answer to that because it will depend on the matter at hand being considered, the audience required, the response required, the time available, the clarity with which the issue is raised and expressed and other variables such as distribution, circulation et cetera.
Should an assumption be made that the main audience has a low reading threshold and a low comprehension? I think not and I intend not. Does that mean some people may not be able to understand what I write? Yes it does. Am I bothered about that? Yes I am, but not so much that I would step away from my education. If there are people who read and don’t understand what I’ve presented and who are interested enough and they will reach forward and take a step toward better understanding one way or another. If they’re not sufficiently interested they will not pursue the issue and that’s perfectly fine because there have other things they want to pursue. A blog doesn’t have to reach everybody. It doesn’t have to touch everybody or provoke a response from everybody.
And so it is with Parkinson’s. There are many ideas and views around about what causes Parkinson’s, what will fix it, what will allow for better management et cetera et cetera. These ideas sit with people with Parkinson’s, researchers, pharmaceutical industrialists, neurologists, GPs, nurses et cetera. Each of these groups of people will approach Parkinson’s from a perspective made up of their current discipline, their history, preferred methodology et cetera. Do I have to believe them all? Do I even have to read them all? Might I miss out on a miraculous cure? Yes I well may. But I don’t expect to. If there is a highly academic piece of research which appears by the title and the Digest to be relevant and interesting then I will find a way of understanding what is being written. If it appears to be pie in the sky and woolly I won’t bother. If that means I miss out then that’s what it means. Other people may feel that they need to read everything or read nothing or to operate by speaking directly with people or to get their views from a forum and these are all proper adult choices to be made by people who make similar choices everyday. Whether or not I agree with them is more or less irrelevant and I have no expectation that people should agree with me. If people want to actively disagree with me that’s fine and I may or may not take up cudgels in response. I rarely find that I want to correct somebody who thinks differently than myself and persuade them that I’m right and they’re wrong, but that’s me.
See you next time.
Charity Commission registered number 1150802