Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Course of Life

They warn you about killers and thieves in the night
I worry about cancer and living right
But my mama never warned me about my own
Destructive appetite.

Jenny Lewis

Suppose as thought experiment that I were to look for a new job. Crazy in this economy, right? Poor choice of words perhaps, as the demand for psychiatric services seems perennially high. Will diagnose, prescribe and counsel, for cash destined for the mattress (hold the 401(k)--please).

So the question is: does a blog like this improve or imperil one's job chances, even if it's left off of the CV? (It is currently on). I've never been an employer, but does anyone make a hire these days without running the hapless chap through Google first? Plenty of folks have been embarrassed by drunken and other shenanigans bumblingly posted on Facebook (okay there), but what about the hybrid personal/professional blog?

I would hope the humble site here would reflect some creativity and independence of spirit, but some employer might grumble, "As if that's a good thing?" But if so, why would I want to work for him/her? Um, because the mattress might get low on cash.

What about private practice, with multiple individual "employers" as it were? Would the blog usefully advertise my clinical and philosophical views without Too Much Information, or has the latter threshold already been crossed? As I compile posts it is easy to forget how much could be inferred from a careful reading of the entire series (do not try at home). I don't like the idea--or the effort--of painstakingly editing past posts in detail, but it might be necessary to jettison a few of the more casual or jejune efforts (like this one) that might not measure up to Professional Dignity.

Blogging topics to be deferred:

My High School Prom
Domestic Pet Peeves
Back to the Dentist
Annals of Toilet-Training
My Vintage Bottle-cap Collection

(Just kidding, prospective boss; a sense of humor is important to me in a boss, unless the economy gets any worse, in which case I can play it straight with the best of 'em).

What would Freud do?


Anonymous said...

Freud wouldn't have gone anywhere near the Internet. He was a great believer in reinventing himself over time. The prospect of having something that he wrote long ago coming back to haunt him was a constant problem considering how many times he changed his mind on things over the years.

Personally, I blog what I want to blog about and damn the consequences.

vanderleun said...

If it is not from the heart without fear or favor it is worthless to everyone, the writer first of all.

Just think of the Kerorac quote: "Secret notebooks for your own joy."

Retriever said...

For me, the only constraints these days are not wanting to say something that might get me fired from my day job, and (primarily) a concern not to embarrass the husband and kids. I remain "anonymous" for their sake, and (also for their sake) do NOT advertise my blog to all my friends, relatives, and acquaintances.

Anonymous said...

A blog is not an atheist's graveyard where thoughts come to die for good: thoughts are reborn, ressurrected, or reincarnated in the afterlife of interpretation/reinterpretation/misinterpretation/metainterpretation. Sometimes ghostly, sometimes fleshly. Other times, they're like ghoulishly mutated specimens hovering mid-jar with formaldehyde fixed expressions that elicit fascination/repulsion/neutrality from here to cyber eternity.

To risk thought is to be preserved - for better or for worse (you don't get to choose).

...ANd to not risk thought is to be an atheist?...oh my god, no!! These damn metaphors are twisting my beliefs, my thoughts... I really don't know...

just a thought...

Anonymous said...

I think Freud would have been fascinated and horrified by the Internet - but then maybe that's all my own projection. I wouldn't want patients to Google me and find my blog but I'm happy for invited guests and random strangers to read it. So maybe there needs to be a professional blog and a more personal one? Or keep the more experimental thoughts in a journal? I like reading people's thought progressions though.

Novalis said...

I'm guessing that Freud would have found the Internet to be a treasure trove of primary process--the id writ very large (not just that, of course).

Thanks for the helpful comments. I guess much of the art of life involves balancing authenticity, discretion, and accomodation.

Of course, the very reason boundaries are such a big deal in psychiatry and psychotherapy is the tendency of personal and professional interests and dispositions to intermingle, as the blog happens to illustrate. At work I like to think boundaries are sacrosanct (indeed, probably a bit rigid in that respect), so the question is whether the blog offers a realistic counterbalance or merely a distraction.