How to Write a Blog Post for VRWG if you suffer from Involuntary Volunteering Syndrome

If you’re like me, you like the idea of making a contribution by doing things like: being on committees; helping organise events; or writing blog posts – but, when it comes down to it, you’re not very good at actually doing stuff. It’s probably something to do with wanting to be popular or something. You probably shouldn’t volunteer for stuff because you will probably end up letting people down and then you will end up not being popular at all.

However, if you are anything like me, then there’s no help for you anyway and you probably suffer from an involuntary twitch that makes your arm shoot up in the air whenever someone says something like, ‘Does anyone want to write a blog this month?’ It’s only when someone actually thanks you for volunteering that you realise that you will probably never get the thing done.

So, as an experienced blogger, who has written the VRWG blog twice and who has his own highly successful blog that no one has ever read and hasn’t been updated for over two years, I am here to offer you some advice. It may not be good advice but if I manage to get the same number of readers as I normally get, it won’t make any difference anyway.

  1. Write the blog as soon as possible – straight after the meeting is probably best; the next day at the latest. Beyond this, your chances of completing the thing decrease massively by the hour and you’re in grave danger of letting people down yet again.
  2. You don’t have to make it the same as anyone else’s – don’t worry about being more factually accurate, funnier, more poetic or having more sparkling prose. It is more interesting to read different perspectives and different styles.
  3. If you’re struggling, ignore number 2 and copy someone else’s.
  4. Take notes at the meeting – you don’t need to minute the meeting or anything, Marian will do that. (However, if Marian isn’t there, it might be a good idea to do just that because I always forget to write up the minutes when I am deputising for Marian.) But there might be something – a phrase, a question, a reading, an agenda item – that really gets you thinking and that you can write your blog post about.
  5. Just be you – normally this is bad advice; normally it’s better to be someone else, but a blog should demonstrate something of your passion, something of your character and your style. If you want to write a bullet pointed list, go for it. If you want to write a poem or turn your account of the meeting into a fictional story, just go for it. If you want to write a Joycean, modernist, Finnegan’s Wake-style, slightly abstract piece of literature that no one understands, just do it! But do it quickly, or it will never happen.
  6. Have fun – you’re not being paid, it isn’t a competition, your reputation isn’t at stake. Try something out. If it doesn’t work, so what? OK, so you may be ostracised from the group but we never liked you in the first place.



An Account of the January 2016 Meeting

There was a meeting on January 4th 2016. I was there. I took notes so I would remember what happened. These are the notes in full:

The apparition of Les Green with his bobble bobbing

Tight pyjamas

Lovers in the fridge

Sat nav. errors

Fishing gear

Class warriors

Deep dreams eating cake

Alien abductions


Magnetic poetry

Strange award ceremonies from the point of view of a six year old child

Kick-starting audio short stories

Nothing to report

Playing it safe

Riff raff later

Armageddon’s not the end of the world

The word superfluous is superfluous

Mac goes boating

The blinking pub just ignored us

New Year’s revolutions

Writing up a storm

Bohemian Rhapsody of cake

Tidying up ideas that are lying around

Eat my shoe

Books lying on the floor of bookshops

Grasshopper mind and total idleness

Pull yourself together like another pair of curtains

Funding an eye operation

What I done yesterday

Trying to stitch a baby sample and knitting, sewing and embroidery tips

Nick is fine

Bill’s done nothing and can’t even think of an interesting way to explain it

You and your bloody gin

Last gasp available now

Bags of news there

One of which was two

My first adult poem

Textured with the hardening nipples

Black mark on freshly laundered linen

One excuse too many

Poke it with a stick

Glass cutter across my life

Eternal slumber with duties to perform

An arctic zephyr curled around the peak

Immune to wasp and fly killer

Bed bugs, cockroaches, fruit flies, field mice, black ants, slugs, leeches, lemurs and unicorns

Mitochondrial Eves

Look back, back

One family throughout the Earth

Midnight, put out the lights

3:36, no use, have to get up for a pee

Scrivener – Google it

Peeled banana; threw banana in the kitchen bin

The aging process has not yet affected my problem solving abilities

Desperate for inspiration

Eat an apple then a chocolate biscuit

Husband now covered in Vaseline.

And I think everyone who was there will agree that was pretty much how it happened.