I've kept a number of blogs over the years, but with each of them, I'd changed as a person and writer to such a point that it felt like my earlier blog-posts no longer represented me. My solution was to just shut them down. This is the blog I'm hoping will stick, or rather, the one I intend to make stick. And if my political or philosophical viewpoints shift, or I end up feeling a little embarrassed about my earlier posts, so be it! My earlier work may not represent who I am at present, but they do reflect who I was in the past, and that's fine. We change through time, and what we call the "self" is really just a collection or succession of selves.
I no longer feel the need to present a unified, coherent face to the world. I've also always detested the social media vogue to "build your brand". How insulting and debasing to model our personhood on the goals and values of the corporation. We are so much more than that.
We're bigger than Brexit or any of the other resurgent white nationalisms too. I can't bring myself to even say that man's name. For fear of the taste of rising vomit at the back of my throat, I've had to come up with a euphemism: F3 (for "Fucking Fuckface") will do. My goal with this blog, though, is to principally write about what inspires and energises me, and to avoid giving too much attention to what enervates me. Radical intellectuals, historically speaking, have tended to focus on those doing the oppressing, rather than on what ordinary people are doing to free themselves and bring about alternatives. F3 only enervates, but the recent women's marches have been hugely energising. I know what I'd rather focus on.
Although this won't exactly be a current affairs blog, it will be no less political. I'll be writing about politics in an expanded sense - the politics of everyday life, attending to concerns well beyond the narrow scope of politicians and politics as reported on in the media. There's a politics in every relationship between human beings; in every work of art; in how we choose to live our lives and how we interact with our natural environment. There's cultural and ethical dimensions in everything we do as well, and these are just as much a part of the politics of everyday life.
The other reason this won't be a current affairs blog is that I don't particularly care to respond to the day's events, like some unthinking devotee of the 24-hour news cycle. I will reflect on things in my own time, and aspire to a writing that might remain relevant years from now, rather than just relevant to one particular news story of the day or other. It's clear, then, that I harbour no journalistic ambitions whatsoever. Journalism is to literature what painting houses is to fine art, and what I want to do (maybe someday, if I keep at it, and keep honing my craft) is to produce literature.
In between official publications, I'll at least have this blog, where, each week, I'll choose a journal entry or two to convert into a blog-post. Yes, I keep a paper journal and love writing by hand. I find the physicality of it much more conducive to creative thinking, and by extension, creative writing. Most things I write electronically have first been processed through the tip of my pen. It frees me up like no keyboard ever can. I know it works for me, even if I wouldn't know how to explain it psychologically.
There's also a little something psychologists call strategic pre-commitment: Telling someone that you're going to do something makes it more likely that you'll follow through and do it. I was wavering on whether or not to go on a massive 27-km one-day hike through the Royal National Park, until I told someone that that's what I was going to do on the weekend, and then sure enough, I went ahead and did it. And so here goes my strategic pre-commitment for this blog: This blog will accompany me throughout my life; it will be a tool to help me stay true to my calling as a writer as well as connect me with readers; and I will post at least one blog-post each week. There.
By way of context, finally starting this blog was one of my New Year's Resolutions, only the start date for my resolutions was February 1, not January 1. I needed January to reflect and transition. I think that's what that month is for. Its name even derives from Janus, the Roman god of doorways and transitions, with two faces upon a single head: one facing the past and the other looking forwards into the future.
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