When I first began this blog, I was terribly concerned that it might be rather narcissistic of me to write my thoughts and opinions in the public domain. Somehow I didn’t equate it with what ‘proper’ writers do (editorial columns and the like) and considered it to perhaps be slightly tacky, especially when I thought that I would quite possibly be writing it for myself to read and perhaps (on occasion) convince a good friend to take a look.
Don’t get me wrong – I think I’m absolutely bloody marvellous…but not any more so than you are. So in writing a blog and offering my viewpoint to the world, I felt a little bit, adunno, stuck up. Blowing my own trumpet and thinking you should listen.
I haven’t once thought that of any of the authors of blogs I read and love. Not once.
So unless I’m happy to live my life according to a total double standard, I need to stop assuming it of myself.
I daresay there are those out there who blog for attention. I know there are those who blog to share information with distant family and friends, to create a memory cache, to heal or just to have it out of their system – sometimes they do it all at once! The blogs I follow contain wonderful insights into the lives of the writers. Usually entertaining, lots of funny, sometimes shocking, heartbreaking or offering something really tough to think about but always worth reading.
We are social beings and, like ants, have a compulsion to share information, though uniquely amongst social species, we do this in the form of language. Lewis Thomas makes the following comment:
If language is at the core of our social existence, holding us together, housing us in meaning, it may also be safe to say that art and music are functions of the same universal, genetically determined mechanism. These are not bad things to do together. If we are social creatures because of this, and therefore like ants, I for one (or should I say we for one?) do not mind. Lives of a Cell (1974)
Perhaps this is what it’s more about. Blogging as a social connectivity program; allowing each member to contribute to an imaginably larger whole, which we cannot determine the greatness of our contribution to, only that we are making it, slowly, painstakingly.
And like the ants who stop, rub antennae, exchange information and continue on their way enriched, blogs (amongst other forms of writing) provide this service to others – a short stop to gather the meanings conveyed through the text. Whether these meanings inform, entertain, edify, condone, shock, outrage or endear is dependent on the author/reader dynamic, but experiencing them is important to the individual, especially in a society which is increasingly proclaimed to be ‘out of touch’.
With this in mind I shall continue blogging with a clearer purpose and less guilt about lurking personality disorders – I’m blogging as an outlet for my thoughts, sure, but I’m also doing it for you, so you can gather what I have to say, stroking your antennae thoughtfully as you progress to the end of my post. And whether you give it any heed, to savour it, assimilate it or discard it, you must at least first consider it.