Thursday, December 01, 2011

11 down, 1 to go

The first of December. Eleven months of daily blogging behind me – the last stretch ahead. What an odd experience this has been.

One of the more significant, and even attractive, aspects for me of being a writer is the solitariness of the craft. I’ve written poetry, stories, a novel – as well as plenty of academic and professional writing - all of which has been done with me and my pen or my computer. Alone. The vast majority of what I have written personally and even creatively has never been read by anyone other than myself.

Since I was a child, writing has been my way to work something out, to figure out how I feel about something or to diffuse pent-up emotion. In my diary, my writing is purposefully raw and uncensored. I also use creative writing to go to the edge of an emotion or an experience, and then take it one step further.

So given that my primary methods of writing are solitary and explorative, blogging is a strange medium for me. Despite that I may be sitting alone while I write, the minute I publish this to my blog, I have no control over who will read what I’ve written.

Instead of the freedom of solitude, I feel constrained by the undefined presence of my readers. I worry about boring you or disappointing you. Not knowing who is reading this, nor with what grace you extend toward me, I am afraid to become too vulnerable. So this has been a strange dance of giving enough of myself to engage, but not so much as to feel naked.

It will not be surprising, then, that I do not feel like I have found myself or my calling through blogging. I have a new respect for how this medium could be used for social or political causes and appreciate the value of sharing thoughts and reflections with others. I have been moved by some blogs I have read, and certainly prefer the intimacy of blogging to the gossip of facebook. But to be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do with this come 2012. Whatever I do, it won’t be another 365x365.

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