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Why I Blog

Fingers Crossed

(To Be Ignored by Millions)

I have learned that I cannot play the lottery.  My personality is such that, immediately upon buying a ticket, my mind goes haywire, letting loose my expectations to soar free of the chains of probability.  I instantly give way to fantasy, wasting away hours planning what I will do with my winnings and trying to preemptively decide whether I will go in to work the day after my number comes up.  Reality gnaws at my reveries, but is quickly subdued, only to coldly and abruptly reassert its dominion with the eventual spin of the wheel.  It happens that I face a similar problem when it comes to my writing.

I used to write extended emails that I would send to a group address of select friends and family, most of whom were charitable enough not to rankle at the imposition.  But with those widely broadcast emails, I faced another version of my lottery ticket problem.  Shortly after hitting send, I could not help but begin to first pine for and then imagine expectantly the replies I was sure I would soon receive.  Despite years of disillusioning experience indicating that few, if any, would actually answer my unrequested foists, I nevertheless was repeatedly disappointed when responses failed to come.

After repeated encouragement from an especially indulgent uncle, I decided to try posting some things on a website and made an unexpected, liberating discovery.  I found that in posting my scrawls on a blog rather than in emails, I could get all the same joy from the writing itself, but without the ensuing feeling of discouragement resulting from unrequited outreach.  With no specific audience on which to pin false expectations, putting myself out there no longer created naïve hopes of fawning riposte.  This was more like keeping a diary, like recording only for me and the few folk who might slink into my room to sneak a peek.  It was just me painting some graffiti on a wall in case anyone fancied a look-see.

I draft and edit reports for influential people about serious topics every day in my work, a heady activity by most measures that nonetheless, 25 years in, has lost much of its thrill.  What a joy it is then to reclaim the act of writing for my own personal pleasure.  I get a real kick out of first ideating, then finessing my thoughts, words, and musings onto the page, and finally launching my discharges upon an unsuspecting and inattentive world.

Now, I force my missives on no one, instead seeking contentment in the creative act itself, free of the stress of bated-breath anticipation.

●  Why settle for an unresponsive dozen when one can be ignored by a billion?

●  Why the impolite foist when a submissive transom beckons?

●  Why knowingly shed dignity when naïve obliviousness is on offer?

5 Comments
  1. As much of my blogging (especially the first couple of years) resembled Paragraph 3, I was becoming rather edgy as I neared the end of your low-key manifesto. So thank you for the Disclaimer that invites the liberation of shedding dignity in favour of authenticity. Mind you, I have the para 3 reaction even when I write a poorly phrased comment on another’s work. The next person is pretty damned attention-needy, it seems.

    I’ve spent a bit of time with you today, Victim. Thanks.

    • Being as yet unable to be either consistent or self-assuredly extroverted enough to pretend to any regular audience, I do try to live by the declarations of joy in the making and nonchalance to reaction (or lack thereof) asserted in this post. This claimed detachment is belied however by my elation at the idea that VotF is worth spending time with. Thank you, my friend.

      • As I have probably muttered before, there is no doubt that writing (when time and sufficient neurones can be mustered) is the primary pleasure. I do believe it makes me a more tolerable person to live with. The subsidiary benefits — sharing/justifying the ridiculous music collection, positive feedback, some strange sense of community, the list goes on — bubble along constantly. They often migrate between foreground and background depending on space and state of mind. As a reader, the foregrounding of VofF has been a pleasure.

    • Friend VC, my blatant rewriting of history at my whim has now inadvertently confused your first comment above. For that I apologize. Might I have your permission to read it going forward as follows?:

      “As much of my blogging (especially the first couple of years) resembled Paragraph 2, I was becoming rather edgy as I neared the end of your low-key manifesto. So thank you for the (now-conveniently-deleted-but-still-implied-despite-yourself) Disclaimer that invites the liberation of shedding dignity in favour of authenticity. Mind you, I have the para 2 reaction even when I write a poorly phrased comment on another’s work. The next person is pretty damned attention-needy, it seems.”

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