I’ve been tempted to write here again for a while, very much so since November. It’s oddly intimidating. Four major challenges: time to write, which is usually scarce but which feels relatively heavy in my hands here in Florida; the pressure of writing for public consumption, which I’m spared when I stick to my journal; a certain alienation from the online writing landscape that’s been so significantly altered by quick-fix, character-limited, opaquely ranked, shallow-dive social networking interactions; and my eyes, which are undeniably going, and these Duane Reade computer glasses aren’t really cutting it anymore.
In November I a) traveled b) to the Bay c) and then flew to Florida to visit my mom & family down here for Thanksgiving, all three of which tend to prime my writing pump. In recent months I’ve had a few unexpected but welcome reminders that I once wrote decent stuff that meant something for some people out there. (Thanks, y’all.) Nico started blogging more again, which I only learned about through Facebook because I simply do not read any blogs these days. (I read blog posts on occasion, having learned about them via Facebook or Twitter, but I don’t read blogs. That’s different.) I posted a comment on one of his posts on FB expressing my temptation to start blogging again, and he encouraged me to go for it.
So, here I am in Florida again, after only about 20 days at home in Brooklyn; the past three months have included a large amount of travel by my scale. Here I am with a head full of thoughts and time on my hands (heavy.) I’m burning a candle that I’m pretty sure I acquired in high school, in a room dubbed mine in a house full of stuff I know well in a gated subdivision that I’ve known for just shy of a year, listening to Peter Murphy, Trent Reznor et al perform “Warm Leatherette;” what else can I be expected to do but write?
I recently encouraged someone very close to me to live more fully for themselves, for their own happiness. In what I see as an essential tandem for them, I also encouraged them to consider new possibilities for happiness than the ones to which they’ve limited themselves in the past. I try not to give advice that I don’t take to heart myself these days; as I write this, that advice is on my mind. I think I’ve made good progress on these fronts in recent years in many areas of my life, but one’s got to stay mindful to keep good practices up.
As such, if I’m gonna keep writing I’ll have to commit to write in an authentic voice without too much self-conscious performance; to not feel pressure to fit a particular profile or style at all times; to strike that necessary balance in my writing between the public voice (here) and the private voice (elsewhere), both of which I crave; and, in the end, to write primarily for myself. That may sound funny coming from someone who’s putting their shit out there for anyone to read, but writing for oneself doesn’t necessarily mean writing only for oneself to read. I need both.