| by Flemming Funch|
Every time I haven't blogged for a while, I feel the urge to get philosophical about it. Maybe just some kind of defense mechanism, because I feel guilty, I don't know.
Anyway, the thing I like about blogging is that I can write whatever comes to mind, and I don't have to stay with any given theme or agenda.
Because at some point I discovered that this is the only way I can write. I absolutely hate if somebody asks me to write an article on a certain subject, on a deadline. I don't do that, and if I try, the result isn't great. Rather, it works if it is some kind of channeling, where something comes to me, and I write it. And later I maybe discover that there's some kind of thread through what I've written, and some of it is pretty clever. But if I had had to plan it, I'd have screwed it up.
Now, blogging isn't entirely perfect, but it is the closest thing I know at the moment that fits what makes me write. What isn't perfect about is is that after having had a blog for a while, one develops some idea of who the audience is, and one suddenly feels obligated to write something that suits that audience. Which doesn't work well for me. I prefer to write for myself, and then, as an afterthought, maybe share it with others. But on a blog, what I write sort of goes out right away. So I can't easily forget the fact that somebody will read it shortly after I write it, and that makes me be more selective than I maybe should be.
Maybe the answer is to not publish in real time, I don't know. In the past I've written whole books by writing just for myself, as notes or a diary, and then only choosing to share it later. I suppose I could blog like that too.
Whether I blog or not is to some degree a function of whether I'm awake. I have something to say if I'm paying attention, if I'm mindful. There's a certain mode of being, where life is a continous process of discovery. If I didn't have to work, I would happily stay in that state all day long, and I'd have a lot to say. But if I have things to do, deadlines, work, stress, too few hours in the day, it is a little hard to get back into it.
I sometimes, rarely, wake up (in the middle of the day), shocked that I haven't been conscious for a while. From that perspective I feel like a stone skipping across the ocean. You know, suddenly realizing that it is 10 years or 20 years since one last paid attention to some particular thing, a smell, a thought, a memory, a feeling. And it is like, I can do that about 6 or 8 times, and I'm already old or dead. A bit of a waste, of life. Where, in principle, every day could be a full conscious experience, being alive, paying attention, experiencing it all. Which is what I'd like to do. But lots of stuff gets in the way, like work, that makes me dive into things for long periods of time, that aren't even all that interesting, and that are somewhat a waste of life. And only once in a while do I come out, shocked that it has been so long since I found myself.
But blogging is actually one of the things that remind me that I need to pay attention. Sure, I could just automatically repost what other people are writing, without paying much attention. But I'm talking about the type of blogging where I actualy say something, like right now. I hope.
It is not quite the perfect medium, though. A perfect medium would be one where I can express whatever I'm exploring, experiencing, thinking, without worrying about whether it will play well, or whether it is consistent with what I normally say, or with what the audience expects. OK, maybe that's a diary, and not a blog. But the interesting part is how something very personal might be shared, and might add value to a social network.
When I'm not blogging, it isn't just that I'm not paying attention, it might also be that I'm paying attention to things that follow different themes than what I normally write about. So instead of just writing about whatever interests me at the moment, I suppose I censor myself, and I don't write before I'm back to a recognizable theme.
But I think I'd be more happy with an information appliance I could write into, no matter the subject, and then afterwards decide where to channel it. Some stuff might be my private notes, other things would be suitable for publishing, but maybe to different channels. Although the input method in principle could be any text editing program, it somehow isn't quite right for me. I need some sort of life blogging thing, with categorization ability, and choice of whether and if to publish things afterwards. I should maybe make such a software myself that suits me, if I didn't have too many other things to do.
Anyway, I just wanted to mention that I was paying attention. Exactly to what, I'm not sure, but paying attention is a good start.