Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing the present history

There comes a time in every writing person's life when the Question happens: Why am I doing this? It certainly comes to bloggers, who write just about every day.

It is a good thing to question those things you do every day. Even if you do it every day.

But sometimes, you ask it in a rather less Socratic way. You ask - why am I doing this, and why should I continue? And the answer seems a little less obvious than it should be.

Unfortunately, I can't give you any good reason to continue doing what you're doing in general. Out of politeness, I'll just assume you have such reasons already set in place. But I can give you my reasons for continuing to be a writing blogger.

1. I am someone else

This is an important/difficult concept to grasp, and I struggle with it every day. When I go around being me, there is no lack of access to me - I am, as it were. And the things I do every day are, well, everyday. But for everyone else, I am not me, and the things I do are not as accessible and everyday, and more often than not I am someone else. And just as when I relate to someone else, it helps if they/I takes the time to sit down and explain things.

It turns out it's harder than it looks. But very well worth it once it's done - especially for those who (for some reason I cannot fathom from the inside) find me an inspiration.

Needless to say, you are also someone else. And it's very nice to meet you.

2. Externalization

The great thing about writing is that it is visible. Even when I'm not around. Once the "publish" button is used, the whole world is watching! - Or, well, it could potentially watch. (Do please help it by spreading the word.)

The important thing about this is not that it gets out into the world, though. It is that it gets out of me. And since it is visible, I can watch it and see what exactly it is I think I'm doing. No ifs, no buts - what I see is what I get. And if I don't like what I see, then it's up to me to remix it into something better.

I have many things to say about externalization in the future, but for now it will suffice to say that getting the word out there is reason enough to continue writing.

3. Meditation

As a wise someone once said, any text longer than 500 words is by default not about the present. And when something is not an immediate response to something in the here and now, it is a mediation on either the past or the future. (Whatever Heidegger may have to say on the topic.)

And since I have this unyielding tendency to go around thinking about things past and future anyway, why not turn it into something others can take part of? It's not like I'm going to stop doing it any time soon.

I may be somewhat of a dreamer, but I shouldn't be the only one to benefit from it.

4. Community

My favorite thing is to see people react to what I do. Not necessarily by talking to me, though - while an added bonus, it is rather beside the point. I am beside the point, as it were.

And when I see people coming together because of something I did, I can't help but to think the words "mission complete". I have no real idea where these discussions may lead to, but I revel in the fact that they happen.

So, please, if you find someone interesting here, on the Twitter or on the Facebook - do reach out and poke them. You may have more in common than you think.

5. The future

In ten years from now, I will only have vague recollections of what goes through my mind right now. And it will probably be ever so slightly nudged in the direction of me being ever so smarter, better and awesomer than I actually am right now. So in an attempt to give a retroactive middle finger to my future ego, I'll preserve a little piece of mind at a time in order to remind myself that I indeed was mortal even back then.

No utopian explorations for me, I seem to be saying. As if in an attempt t keep the future at bay by keeping the present at present.

So. Why am I doing this, and why do I continue to do this?

I don't know, really. But I do seem to have some good reasons for it. -

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