****ing hell, there’s a new ofopinions.com in town.
I’m not going to hyperlink it, because I don’t want to continue driving any more traffic to it, than I have inadvertently done through my semi-active Instagram and Twitter accounts.
I don’t swear often, but ****ing hell always bursts forth when I’m both spontaneous and pissed.
Of Opinions is my thing, you know. It’s the name I love to hate. It’s the one I’ve never been able to replace, or been fully able to live up to.
Like a real name.
My posting has been sporadic over the last few months. Most of you miss out on when I do post, and new people haven’t dropped by in quite a while. Still. It’s been nearly five years officially, and about 600 posts, and 2600 followers. It’s been Freshly Pressed. It deserves some respect on the Interverse, which is unlike the Realverse because in the Realverse you can have the same name for multiple people.
And okay, I’ll tell you why this may have partially been my fault. Last year, on the last day of February, I published a book. It is called Of Opinions: Essays on Life, Love and Loneliness. To promote it, I bought the domain for my nearly four-year-old blog Of Opinions, for the princely sum of 35 American dollars. That may not be much to you, but nearly 6000 Indian Rupees is a helluva lot of money to me. I could buy a heavily discounted Yamaha keyboard with that money.
But, the book was a failure. I’m not getting into its merits, or lack of, here (I firmly hate the cover, and would love to get one I like for the paperback version, as I now include it on my CV. Because, you know, I published a book. And that is a thing people do.), but monetarily, it made no money. If I ever make the fantastic sum of 100 American dollars, only then is Amazon going to give me the 35% it promised.
And so, I did not renew my WordPress plan this year. In fact, you may not have noticed it, but my blog was inaccessible for all the time I needed to renew or cancel my plan, of which I did the latter.
I was demoralised. Not indifferent, but demoralised. However, as I’ve often told you, for a generally miserable person, I’m surprisingly optimistic. I kept hoping there’ll be a resurrection here, a back with a bang or a phoenix from the ashes situation if you like a classical but secular idiom.
And now they’ve gone and taken my name.
It is MY Of Opinions. My. Surely, you couldn’t have got it before I cancelled it. And it would be mighty cruel of you to take my name as soon as I can’t afford to pay for it.
One of the reasons I have been sporadic here is because I want to properly write a book that makes me proper money. Because I don’t like things nagging at me, and I would ideally like to have enough money to not have to think about it and to get on with my life and do the things I enjoy.
I do. Blogging is not a means to a writing career, or to money. It never has been. I never thought I could do it, until this one took off. And now, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to microblog or photoshop or whatnot. I want to go on, like this, till I’m too old to know what I’m doing. I want to be writing to the world, at no cost of their own or mine, on my deathbed.
And if we bring that several notches down, to being an acceptable “author” with her own, professionally-managed website, I still don’t want Of Opinions to go. It has never made money, probably will never make money, but it has been so much to me.
The only way you’re going to win true affection, sincere care and well-wishing in life is by being vulnerable. There is no other way. Gifts, words, favours, shared moments of joy and sorrow all fall short of true knowing, of being trusted to be privy to parts of you even you wouldn’t want to confront. I am not vulnerable in my life. I am trusting, loving and caring, and I receive the same, but I do not know how to be vulnerable in any way except for writing.
I have been vulnerable to you. Maybe not literary, artistic, beautiful, thought-provoking, reassuring, or instructing or anything else you might expect from a piece of writing on which you consider investing your time and energy. I may have been none of that, not much of anything else either, but I have been true. I have been playful, teasing, a total flirt, but I’ve still let you in.
And I don’t know if that constitutes as a worthwhile, acceptably capitalistic object worth investing on, but I hope it is (maybe not the capitalist part, but you know what I mean).
Being an “author”, (I don’t like the word, I prefer “writer” because of its artisanal quality, which I find more honest and humble than the god-like status of the former) doesn’t necessitate vulnerability. It requires skill, an extreme indulgence of thought, one or more “angles” and an overall “something original” to the work produced for it to be considered authored. In other words, the author herself is irrelevant to the work she produces; but I have not been an author to you. I have written my heart out to you. I am relevant here; in fact, I have spent years making the case of Amrita as a human being to you. Or Of Opinions, as you all better know me by.
I don’t want this to end. I feel like an insect flapping for life in a tub of water it has fallen into (that metaphor maybe one reason I haven’t “authored” yet), but to quote the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who, “I don’t want to go.” And I don’t want this life, this avatar in my writerly career, to disappear and be replaced by a news website.