Why Start Now…

…or why a perfectly innocent question from an Glasgow Lawyer made me think.

I’m coming to the end of my 3rd week of my Diploma at Glasgow University, having graduated with my LL.B here in July.  A more natural point to start a blog would have been 3 weeks ago. I could have – possibly should have – started writing this blog during my undergraduate degree…but I didn’t.

Why not?
Time, I think, is an issue. Contrary to popular opinion, being a student is hard work – even more so a law student. Throw in my studying abroad (yet another potential blogging-entry-point missed) and the fear drilled into you about the exacting requirements of your ever looming dissertation, blogging seems an unnecessary burden on your time.

Over and above that, there is the constant worry that  you might say something you really shouldn’t. My first day of Law School included the standard “Be careful on-line” warning, and it struck with me. I don’t have a particularly short temper, nor would I make a claim I didn’t think I could prove. I do sometimes struggle to find the right word and so use a less than appropriate alternative (e.g I recently told my friend she was “loose”, when I was looking for the word “rascally”), which might be taken the wrong way by someone who didn’t know about my unfortunate vocabularial lacuna. The constant warnings from my mum that what’s on-line is on-line forever, didn’t help matters. She has a good point, and the media like to remind us or the perils of teenagers (and not so teenage-ers) being too keen to share what they really shouldn’t.
But, I have a twitter that I use a lot. I don’t hide my political stances and can’t imagine doing so. Even during the Independence Referendum (or #IndyRef) I was pretty forward about the fact that I was voting, supporting and campaigning for No. I get into debates, chats and jokes with others – so how would that be different to blogging? I write short political and legal (but not personal) pieces every now and then…so why not blog?

Why Start Now?
Simply, you can thank lawyer Brian Inkster for getting me to start. Preparing a Lecture, he asked for blogs written by Law students, and after saying I wrote as part of a bigger site, he asked me a simple question “What is stopping you creating your own site?” I gave him the answer above: too much work, too risky, public image. For the first time, I didn’t feel that was good enough. I have the time to do it now; I know the rules of the game; and (as I’m sure I’ll be told in Mr. Inkster’s lecture next week) it can improve your reputation when done right.
So, I’ve decided to try it out and see if it suits me, or if my outbursts are best contained in 140-character chunks. If my previous tweets are anything to go by, this will turn out to be  40% Law; 40% Politics; 10% Law AND Politics; and most of the rest Doctor Who. I do aim, though, to be at least a little bit interesting and thoughtful.

So let’s see if I can manage that…


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