Believe it or not, it matters a great deal to me that I’ve written so little here this year. But I remain hopeful that scarcity might bring its own rewards and that when there is something worthwhile to say, it might be absorbed and appreciated.
When I first started blogging – or ‘journaling’, as I preferred it – almost 10 years ago, it fulfilled a very different function. It was my first close community and I wrote my heart out. It encouraged me to be open and raw in a way I cannot imagine happening again.
I’ve spoken about all this before, but not about the issue of proximity.
Part of the reason I could write so openly those years ago was because the small audience was quite tightly defined and was made up of friends that I rarely got to see. It was a valuable and profound means of communication that didn’t infringe upon my local company.
True, this changed slightly during my second undergraduate year, when select hall mates followed along and when I still believed in the merits of being an open book. But how acutely sensitive I’ve become over the years to the impact of what I write upon my immediate company.
In the past, I’ve been able to manage that company. My family know nothing of my journalling, and even when living with two friends in London, I made every effort to shield this site from them. It felt like a responsibility to do so.
Now, however, WP can crop up in conversation with peers and friends that I see several times a week – fiercely intelligent people who think critically and unforgivingly.
In a world where there’s far more to read, watch, and entertain oneself than ever before, I’m forever touched that anybody would spare any time to contemplate anything I had to say.
But I’m well aware of what gets hidden beneath the surface here. However explicit or implicit the sentiment, my writing is born out of introversion – the shadow that looms behind closed doors and lowly curtains. I sense that I’m judged on that differently at this stage of life than I would have been several years ago
Blogging, to me, is essential, and I’m proud of my writing in the sight of strangers. But I can be ashamed of it to the sight of friends. How I often believe that they deserve better from me, and that I write partly because I don’t know how to deliver.
The message behind all this, I think, is that any sense of embarrassment or awkwardness tends to make the writing shy away. So I encourage any dear readers, few yet faithful, to engage, but to engage carefully.
I’m flattered to occupy a thought in your head, but I’m wary of alarm bells occupying mine. I guess I see this space as like having a private conversation with different people at once. So for sure, I’ll talk to you in person about my writing, but probably not in public.
If this space really does ring a chord, why not engage with me here, where it suits best, and drop me a comment? You’ll find I’m always grateful, even when the remarks are challenging.
I don’t doubt that the secular nature of this space is intensified by its lack of outside voices. It’s mostly just trackbacks – echoes of the past, and digi-stapling together. True – that says – I’ve got consistency in my convictions across these past years, and time only solidifies most of them. But here and now, consistencies retreat. I notice a change, and it’s all I can do to try and address it.
Let the rest of 2012 sparkle for you, like sequins in a spotlight.