Philip Adams, our new Project Coordinator in East London, tells us about his first experience of blogging

So, there was I, a couple of days into my new role as Project Co-ordinator for My Life, My Decision and I’m tasked with writing a blog for the project.  “Don’t worry”, I was told, “just make it interesting and keep the topic close to the project, and, besides, the deadline is still a few weeks away.”

And as I write this today, that deadline approaches. Worry sets in. Why, though, I ask myself?  I can write. I’ve written marketing pieces before; I’ve written manuals and guidance notes; I’ve written sales reports. But were they interesting, though? Were they even readable?

Let me explain where I am coming from on this.

Last year, I read about an earthquake that took place in South America in 1970. It was a national tragedy. A lot of people died on one day, which means there were thousands of personal tragedies behind that event. And thousands more personal stories behind each one of those deaths. And I was going to write a book about a very small number of them. It would be a challenging and sensitive subject.That said, apart from a few ideas, and several thousand words to get to an outline of something interesting and readable, I haven’t progressed much further. Writer’s block? Prevarication? Lack of time? All of these things?

I have learnt one thing, though.

Anyone can write, but to write well  takes a number of skills – imagination, discipline, research, determination, and, above all, confidence in language and one’s own style of writing. It also takes something else which all of us have, but in reducing amounts: time. Our relationship with time will vary from day to day dependent on how busy we are, but those clocks have been ticking away since we were born and we have to find the time from somewhere to do the things that we feel are most important to us.

And important to others.

Like advance care planning – this requires us to focus on matters we know we ought to address before it’s too late and we’ve run out of the time we need to do it. Having had a month’s experience of talking to people from all stages of life on this topic I recognise that my writer’s block is nothing of the sort. I cannot call myself a writer until I’ve written something meaningful. It’s just me. That book is in my head.

Meantime, I’ll develop those skills I mentioned above, together with the volunteer champions, Laura and Matteo, and we’ll use them to guide our My Life, My Decision clients step-by-step through the process of their own advance care planning.  We’ll guide and encourage them to grasp a challenging and sensitive idea, weigh up the pros and cons of it, develop it, make time for it, and, if we can do it, get to the conclusion. That should be straightforward, shouldn’t it?

Then I’ll get back to writing that book. If anyone wants to look out for it, it’s called Huascarán.