Why I Do This Thing

Where does a month go?

It does­n’t go any­where (to answer my own rhetor­i­cal cliché): in the case of the par­tic­u­lar month in ques­tion, I lived it, day by day, hour by hour, often minute by minute. It many ways, it feels more gen­uine, from my per­spec­tive, to ask myself “Was it real­ly only a month since my last post?” It has been a packed sev­er­al weeks of aca­d­e­m­ic life for this writer, and for once I am glad of a lull in my stud­ies (or at least my classes).

And that gives me time and ener­gy to turn up here again. But why? Why this: this blog, this end­less cycle of lapse and retrial?

I have addressed myself to such ques­tions more than once before, in this space or anoth­er like it. Not much has changed, but some thing are worth say­ing more than once. 

I write. That, more than any­thing else I have believed (or endeav­ored to con­vince myself) of myself over these decades I have longed to be some­one I could look up to — that much is true. I write. Not much, not con­sis­tent­ly, not entire­ly sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly. But I do so inevitably. Some peo­ple run (I know, I don’t get it either, but I have actu­al­ly seen them doing it); some peo­ple gar­den; some peo­ple throw Molo­tovs and brace for the tear gas. All of these things are, with­out a doubt, some­thing these indi­vid­u­als, and all the oth­er bil­lions with their own bil­lions of ways, are in some sense made to do. Not in any pre­des­ti­na­tion sense, or hard-wired func­tion­al­ism. But yeah, there is some­thing in me that wants to put words on pages, not for kicks, or to make some point, or because it seems like a vir­tu­ous or roman­tic thing to do. I both need to write, and I love to write: the two dri­ves are expe­ri­enced as dis­tinct, but at the same time are absolute­ly insep­a­ra­ble for me. 

And the next step, or lev­el, or com­po­nent, or what­ev­er, of my par­tic­u­lar dri­ve is that, hav­ing writ­ten, I must then share. The very pos­si­bil­i­ty of shar­ing plays a huge and (in my expe­ri­ence) nec­es­sary rôle in me com­mit­ting the act of writ­ing to begin with. And I mean nec­es­sary in a strict philo­soph­i­cal sense here, which any­one who knows me will know is not some­thing I ever do; that’s how seri­ous I am about this. I share because I write, and I write so that I can share what I write. And this blog is how I share.

I have rarely made any pre­ten­sion to being a quo­tid­i­an blog­ger. There have been brief, humil­i­at­ing, demor­al­iz­ing points in my his­to­ry here where I have attempt­ed some ver­sion of habit­u­al reg­u­lar­i­ty, but it is not me. Not “that could nev­er be me” but at least it has not been me yet, and I don’t want the place any bets on when that might start to be me.

But I am com­fort­able enough, now that I am more than halfway through my prob­a­ble lifes­pan, to sim­ply car­ry on, and keep writ­ing when I can, how I can, and as much as I can. I hope you will keep read­ing along with me.

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