My last little benign (or so I thought) post elicited some pointed discussion from a long time reader, Kip. I encourage you to scroll back read the post and his comments and my initial response. His follow up comment, I will deal with here. He’s been enough of a burr under my saddle ( I do mean that affectionately) to earn his own post in response to his last comment.
First his entire comment:
Yes, well, there’s no mystery about the hose attraction, is there? When in doubt, introduce prurience and the mob will take it from there (present company included).
And drama, well, of course. That’s why we read novels and go to plays and watch the tube and if we can’t find it there we create our own.
I expect you’ll keep doing with this blog what you’ve been doing all along. Doing your brain dumps, sifting and sorting the experience of your life, putting it out there for better or worse. Which is fine. But what do you really really want to achieve by doing this in a blog? What role to you want your audience to play, if any? If you want them to acknowledge their presence by talking back, you’re darn well gonna have to provoke them. Get out the big guns. Start spilling out the things we all think about but never say. The things we all want but never acquire. The things we’ve all suffered in silence. Sex, love, death, money. All the biggies. You go girl, I’ll be watching.
I expect you’ll keep doing with this blog what you’ve been doing all along. Doing your brain dumps, sifting and sorting the experience of your life, putting it out there for better or worse. Which is fine. But what do you really really want to achieve by doing this in a blog?
I originally began this blog to play with writing. My goals for writing were to improve my writing and to play with a variety of topics and approaches. This I stated up front. Another goal, though unstated, was to improve my confidence in my own writing. I have achieved both these goals to some degree though they are goals that are by nature never completely achievable. While it might not show it here, my writing in other venues has improved tremendously to the point that I am routinely called on to write and edit materials others create before they go to print. My confidence in my ability to write has improved as well. Writing for an audience and getting audience feedback albeit sporadically through this blog was a bonus.
I admit, I do not write to intentionally arouse debate or discussion. I have reasons for this. Reasons I am scrutinizing myself right now. It is true that comments are the life of a blog.
Another added benefit of writing on this blog was the sifting sorting process I undertook which Kip refers to in his comment. Unplanned but valuable to me personally. I don’t apologize for that, because in the end I don’t write to please others here, I write for my own purposes. I have achieved those purposes with this blog so far. If it seems less than interesting or meaningful to others based on the presence or absence of comments or interesting content then so be it. This is my personal journey and it has been valuable to me to sort through the crap I’ve encountered along the way in this format. Whether I continue in this vein is something I’m weighing. If I do, I will have achieved my own humble purposes in doing so, audience participation or not. I am decisively undecided about the direction I want to go with this.
Kip brings up a good point. What the hell is my purpose here? Writers generally always write for a purpose. What is mine? It is a fair question and one I must address.
What role to you want your audience to play, if any? If you want them to acknowledge their presence by talking back, you’re darn well gonna have to provoke them.
I haven’t decided about this either. Provoking kind of puts me on the line and I’m not sure I want to take the heat…I’m also not sure I don’t want to either. It is an investment in time and energy which quite frankly I’m not entirely certain I have loads of either to invest in order to present a quality forum. Certainly not on a daily schedule for sure. Again, I’m pondering this direction too.
It seems the real question here is not can I or do I want to take the heat, it is, am I up for the mental challenge? Face it. It just requires some clarity of thought and some conviction. While I at times have both of these in spades, I’m not sure I want to put it out there just yet. On the other hand, maybe it is time I quit lurking in the sidelines and really begin to bring it.
Sigh. This is almost as painful as deciding what to do for a graduate research project.
Start spilling out the things we all think about but never say. The things we all want but never acquire. The things we’ve all suffered in silence. Sex, love, death, money. All the biggies.
Now this is the most interesting thing you’ve said yet. By that I mean, this is the the statment that has me staring blankly at the screen pondering…pondering…pondering.
Because if they are the things we all think about but never say there is a reason we never say them! Maybe they shouldn’t be said? Maybe they can’t be articulated adequately. Or maybe it would be very healthy to say them.
And, yes, there is a bit of the chickensh*t in me that says I really don’t want to face the heat!
I get that there’s a challenge that’s been laid down. Picture me quizzically analyzing said challenge, weighing the costs in terms of time to research, write and respond and then where to focus in light of the many other things I’m also considering. Plus, there is the knowledge that even after a great deal of time and energy expended my efforts will be lame and weak at best.
You see, in the end, it isn’t an issue of the quality of writing here, it is a reflection of the quality of my thinking and it is this component I am evaluating and dealing with right now. I simply cannot write anything of quality if I’m not thinking those really wild thoughts and these days, thinking is tough when just as I’m beginning to formulate a thesis statement I’m beset with sibling rivalries, dirty laundry, leaves in the pool and the eternally nagging question of what to fix for dinner. I hate it, but it is my reality for now. While I’m fighting it ever so valiantly, sometimes it all just gets me stuck.
Then again, maybe I am just the little podunk cowgirl who really doesn’t have the mental abilities to tango with the big boys.
Okay, now them’s fightin’ words!
And now, after reading this post, you must have no doubt that the moniker, “The Wild Mind”, refers not to the bizarre quality and content of the thoughts occurring within said Mind, but instead to the undisciplined and untamed nature of that Mind.