An Egg Manifesto, Part 1: Retrospection

After near­ly ten months of (typ­i­cal­ly spo­radic) pub­li­ca­tion here, I feel it is man­i­festo time at Egg Yolks. At the very least I am due for some sort of mis­sion state­ment for this site. What am I doing here? What am I try­ing to do? What is the point?

Look­ing back over my mete­oric (or mediocre) career in desk­top pub­lish­ing, there is no con­ceal­ing the many dis­heart­en­ing gap, par­tic­u­lar­ly this lat­est one. I pub­lished the (thus far) final issue of The Float­ing Egg in Octo­ber 2004, after an inter­mit­tent run of near­ly five years. Thanks to my friend Chad, a hand­ful of the essays remain avail­able online, but despite grand inten­tions on my part and the well-wish­ing of more than a few faith­ful friends and (for­mer) read­ers, their num­ber has not been aug­ment­ed, not even with fluff from my (not insignif­i­cant) ‘archives’. I have made many fit­ful flinch­ing attempts to put out ‘the next’ issue, but they have been in vain. The Egg seemed cer­tain to float no more.

When I first set up this blog, it was vague­ly con­nect­ed in my mind to ‘The Float­ing Egg project’, though the nature of the rela­tion­ship was very unclear to me. Ini­tial­ly I thought of this as an inter­im stage, some­thing to prop up my flag­ging ego until I got back on my feet as a writer and could return to my own brand of ambi­tious and vain­glo­ri­ous desk­top pub­lish­ing. Then, as I grew more com­fort­able with this new medi­um, I thought maybe this could be a sup­ple­men­tal organ, a venue for pieces of a slight­ly dif­fer­ent tone or stature than had his­tor­i­cal­ly found a place in the print­ed pages of TFE. Always, though, I have assumed the even­tu­al return of TFE to cir­cu­la­tion. Until that day, Egg Yolks would have to do.

And it has done. I am still unre­li­able as a pro­duc­er of prose, prone as I am to long dry stretch­es and often paral­ysed by per­fec­tion­ism, but I am writ­ing again. And the mechan­ics of web pub­lish­ing have made it a far sim­pler (and far less expen­sive) under­tak­ing to get my words to my read­ers.

Final­ly the oth­er day it occurred to me: Egg Yolks is not a side project or a space-filler while The Float­ing Egg is on hia­tus; it is The Float­ing Egg, the next step in its evo­lu­tion. It has tak­en these sev­er­al months to reach this point, but I can see now that the thrust of my writ­ing is set­tling down into a range with which I can be very com­fort­able, and while things are def­i­nite­ly dif­fer­ent than vin­tage TFE, there is, from my side of the screen at least, an unmis­tak­able feel and flavour that I have deeply missed.

Make no mis­take, things have changed. I am more seri­ous than I once was; the con­stant self-aggran­dis­ing pat­ter that was such a hall­mark of my col­lege writ­ings has lit­tle place in my out­put any­more. My imma­ture and almost-uni­ver­sal­ly awful attempts at ‘social com­men­tary’ are behind me. I now feel that I can say what I want to say with­out resort­ing to con­trived inter­views with an invent­ed self-serv­ing alter ego. I feel increas­ing­ly com­fort­able search­ing my own soul and find­ing what I tru­ly feel and believe, and then putting that per­son­al truth into words that I can share with the world. The Egg floats on, and I with it.

Next time we turn our gaze inward: An Egg Man­i­festo, Part 2: Intro­spec­tion

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