I have quite a few posts in the Of Opinions folder on my computer, lying around underwritten, sometimes overwritten but, almost always too personal to publish. This has been happening a lot, which explains my scarcity of posts in the last month. There was a time when I could just bang away at my computer keyboard for half an hour and come up with something publishable. I’m guessing that is how most non-professional bloggers go about it anyway. We lead busy lives but we take time out to, I don’t know, make something or build something that says something about us and yet is hopefully relevant for whosoever comes by it. You can’t ask for more than that, from yourself or your reader. But, does it often involve much more than you bargained for? Does a life blog necessitate it being a confessional blog, sometimes too close for comfort? And who determines when things have gotten too personal, you or your reader?
In art, you can do two things. Either choose to be a personality by identifying your work with yourself, lending it believability, credibility and authenticity. Or you can let your work talk for itself and let only its emotions be your own, to the extent that you yourself believe in them without needing to experience the context they are expressed in. The first allows you to write material you easily, passionately believe in, even if it treads on the dangerous line of imagining an impersonal, universal validation and thus, influence your life in a delusional manner. That is, writing about your problems for people you don’t know, as a way to work them out and seek assurance for your own point-of-view. The second is just as much hard work, but it allows you to explore possibilities which you can safely say are not your own (even if they are) and it is as if you are mainly a craftsman, doing your job and not expecting anything more from it. Or giving anything more to it.
I don’t want to make a career based on my pain. There are some who do it very well, so well as to not only exorcise and transcend it but, to create something entirely new and enormously worthy. But, I have enough self-awareness, both of my talent and of my pain, to know that I am not one of those people. One of my chief concerns in life is that writing itself is part of the pain for me. That I cannot have the conviction and perhaps (though I’d hate it to be true), the finesse that other writers have who’ve managed to make this their bread and butter. You can call me over-dramatic, and there is rarely anything I ever do or feel that isn’t OTT but, in my experience, every time I’ve allowed myself some surety, certainty, I’ve been humbled.
I make no secret of having anxiety and depression. I do so because this is the only place in the world I can speak freely with the hope that someone out there listens and understands without judgement and impatience. I also do it because for the past few years, I’ve understood that a person isn’t defined by a single thing. Not to themselves, at least. I was afraid, just like most sufferers are afraid, that I will face the stigma related to these conditions. Which I do, almost on a daily basis, further complicating the things I already feel. But, while to me they are not the single thing that define me, a sort of tagline that comes with most things (like this blog), they are also an undeniable part of me. They explain many actions, and lack of action that I have taken through the business that is my life. They continue to unfold in myriad forms, causing and affecting new experiences in my life in ways I can’t estimate. They are mysterious, powerful, mischievous, excruciating things to embody. They entice my curiosity and tire my mind and body at the same time. We’re all in the habit of figuring out who this person we like to call “me” is, and that is exactly what I am doing, with the means I have to do it.
That, and my struggles with writing is all the personal I shall be offering to you. Even if my context would inspire those ramblings I take on every so often, they will not feature unless I deem them perfectly safe. I am often critical of social media, even as I take to it to express that criticism, not exempting myself from the contradictions (hypocrisy maybe too strong a word) it embodies but, I have a very strong personal censor of what I allow to be here, and what not. It may not make my work easily engaging or even relatable but, that is the risk I am willing to take.