Monday afternoon saw me having my second research visitor of the day but this time from Sheffield University. Dr Jenni Brooks is doing some research around “Writing with Dementia”. She found me through Twitter, I think.
Jenni wanted to ask about why I write my blog, the kinds of things I write about, and who reads it and why.
The aim of the study is to explore why people write and what they get out of writing, also why should others write and what support would they need to do this.
Jenni was a little late but as I opened the door, I realised why. She’d ridden her fold up bicycle from the station to the village and it was a very windy day!
I made her a cuppa tea (goodness knows what I’d do if someone arrived who only drank coffee😱) and once she’d got her breath back we started the interview, which she also recorded.
She asked me why I started it in the beginning and I said that it was simply my memory. I hadn’t imagined that anyone I didn’t know would want to read my ramblings. But as time went on, not only was it my memory but it was also a record of the challenges I’ve faced and how I’ve adapted to living with dementia, so it has some legacy value as well.
Jenni also asked whether others should be encouraged to write no what support they might need. I told her how no-one should be put off because they think they ‘can’t do it’. With help and support, if writing a blog is what you want to do then give it a go. It’s useful to connect with someone you know who also writes because then you have that support line. I call my daughter Gemma my technology support line as she helps me when things go wrong, but I was also able to help someone else at the weekend. They couldn’t find a certain page so I sent them a photo so at least they’d know what they were looking for.
Writing can be very therapeutic. For me, it’s a way to feel normal as I can type far better than I can speak.
It’s also a simple way to let others know how you’re feeling.
That was a very different type of study and I’m sure we must have spoken about loads more but I must have stopped typing to concentrate on talking -ha!