Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Public Secret

I had thought that I could be casual about telling people about this blog . . . it always seemed a mite pretentious to announce to everyone in your address book that "I've got a blog!" It only draws attention to the usual hubris associated with self-publishing. Couldn't I just, you know, just let people find it, or maybe leak it out slowly, forwarding posts to people I have reason to believe would actually be interested . . . ?

How silly . . . I had forgotten how much people dislike finding out secrets about their friends and family, especially secrets that feel so profoundly public as a blog. When someone discovers that someone they know has a blog, and they weren't told about it, they don't exactly know how to react: "Did they intend to keep this a secret from me? Why didn't they tell me? Were they writing about me? Or is this a part of some secret life that I didn't know about?" And, of course everyone assumes that they were the last person to know, even if they happen to be the first person that you tell.

Nor is blogger himself left out of the guessing game, since he has no idea which of his friends or family are reading his posts.

I'm starting to realize how odd, maybe even unique, the blog is as a mode of writing. Where else can you simultaneously open up your innermost thoughts, and at the same time leave people feeling like you were hiding and shutting them out?


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