It’s been months since I’ve posted anything on this blog, and nearly as long since I have done any significant writing in my notebooks, but as I enter another fall, after another summer, after another year, I am feeling like I should be doing more of both. And to do so, I may need to reconsider my purposes for doing either.
This blog started out as a place for me to post my personal writing–poems, free-writes, and other older findings. Given it’s purpose, then, there was a built-in process of selection. I chose only certain pieces of my notebooks to publish for others to read which made this blog, as well as my notes on facebook, tiny little glimpses into the written records of my thoughts. What it has not been is a place for me to actually express myself with freedom, spontaneous richness, or lightness. In short, I haven’t written on this blog as I am doing now, that is, without copying some early writing in a very careful and deliberate manner.
In part, I haven’t been posting on this blog because I haven’t even had writings in my notebooks that would be suitable for sharing. The bits of writing that I would post were typically those somewhat poetic journal entries that expressed more emotion through images, metaphors, and rhythms. Lately, my notebooks have been filled with boring and direct statements about what has been going on in my life. My process of processing has become quite straight forward. Maybe I haven’t had much time to just sit and let it “flow,” or maybe I’ve been too lazy to even think about it. I think it is a combination of a lack of motivation to write, and a lack of time that has been dedicated to it as an important practice.
For the past week, however, I have been thinking quite a lot about writing. (Actually, I have been thinking about writing for years now…) I spend time considering my connection to philosophy, writing, the role of writing, and writing/philosophy as a practice of self-development. Philosophically, then, writing is central to the work that I do, read, and write about. I also have been thinking about writing as something that I want to do more of. I would like to dedicate “writing time” at least once a week. Yes this is professional recommendation from some of my mentors, but I can also feel the need to be doing more of it for my own sake. I would love to be able to exercise the muscles and reflexes in my fingertips, to train my mind to think at a pace at which I can also type, and to develop the synapses and connections that are engaged in the whole process of writing. My good friend, Jim, asked me to co-author his paper/book with him. Some of my students and friends have been asking if/when I might actually writing a book. And now it is time for me to do “public philosophy” for an fellowship that I have with the Rock Ethics Institute. I also need to start writing in ways that will be intended for sharing with others–conference papers, articles, etc. And very soon down the road, I will have to take on another big writing project: my dissertation. I have also been thinking of blogging for the sake of saying the things that are on my mind that I actually want to share with people in a less formal way than publishing a book. Only those who are very close to me know my most sneaky schemes, but they involve getting heard in some way. 🙂 blog. vlog. takeover.
Most of this sounds very professional and externally motivated, but again, writing has always been very important to me. But since the days of being deep in spoken word and slam poetry and my more recent philosophical investigations into the nature of writing, writing has become even more of a central focus for me.
Thus, I have been thinking that I need to write more. And not just in my notebooks. And not just for myself. And I am seeing that “writing” and “copying what I have written” are two different things. They are different for good reasons, and they serve different purposes. In light of these considerations, I hope to relinquish my initial intent behind this blog, which was to select and share my philosophical and poetic writings that related to my life. Ironically, and more precisely rather, I wish to more fully embrace the core motivation for this blog, which was to highlight and share how philosophy is intimately enmeshed with my life, and how philosophy and life can both be lived, experienced, and pursued as a practice, as poetry, as a work of art.