‘The most personal is the most creative’

I didn’t realize until my birthday two weeks ago, when a friend pointed it out, that I haven’t published much lately. brent talking was posted on March 31 and there has been exactly one blogpost since.

Time has flied and I haven’t noticed. But also, drafts have been piling up since the last week of April. I just never get to publishing anything.

I have a favorite author whose blogs I love. She interweaves personal anecdotes into her own original stories (or at least used to), brought to life by her wonderful way with words. Crisp sarees and perfect toast, she says.

There is a certain sense of belonging that emanates from reading somebody’s work over extended periods of time. That in some way, you know bits of their life and thereby, bits of them. So when my favorite writer doesn’t update her site for a while, I feel wronged – that I’ve unfairly lost access. Yet when her writing seems botched up, I feel wronged again, like with her  latest articles (which is why I’m not linking her here). That the creator I formerly loved has stopped writing the stories I looked forward to, or that she one day decided to change her genre from creative writing to personal essays that in my opinion she isn’t as good at.

It’s probably none of my business, but it is what it is, and as a reader I’m allowed to have my opinions however brutal they maybe.

Once upon a time, I believed that my dance was more personal than my published writing. Because with blogging you first make a draft. Then you edit, publish. You can be as careful or as careless as you wish. And when you expose your articles, you’re less vulnerable than when you let them see you dance.

I was so very wrong.

Because I always danced for myself and none of it was ever privy to a public eye. It has always been impulsive, I’ve never finished or considered finishing pieces because I am happy with what is.

But like someone said, any thing you create is a piece of you that’s out there. Others may gaze at it, run their fingers through it, pass judgment, but it’s a piece of you that you decided to let out into the world and nothing can take that away.
You choose what you let the world see, the world chooses what it wants to see. And this is something I’m grappling with at the moment.

I guess there comes a point when your unfiltered thoughts as always seep into your writing, and trying to hack at them, to censor them, to make them appear palatable takes away from your work all that gave it meaning, all that you considered the life in it. The result is I have drafts that are replete with emotion and personal thoughts that have never seen the light of day and probably never will. Yet that is a lesser crime than sharing something stripped of any genuineness.

Of course this wariness stems from the knowledge (or presumption) that I have an audience – people who know me, that may know some things about me, to whom I could be handing over pieces to form a full picture, and that is something I can no longer stand.

What I mean by that, I guess, is privacy. I’ve always been a rather private person, like most people I know. But more importantly, the thoughts that make way into my writing are of an increasingly personal nature, perhaps the kind you do not want to see up in your personal blog even. George tells me it’s probably a phase. That’s an input you can give anyone before even listening to their problem. It’s versatile, it won’t do, it doesn’t help.

But I do understand I’m in a phase where looking back at things while writing, the epiphanies and thoughts that ensue are always out-of-bounds stuff. Like when I wrote about a Modern Love episode and ended up talking about the evolution of daddy issues in my life and realized I wasn’t ready to publish that. I do not know if or what people gain from my blog, most of it is useless if you do not know me in person, but I find it further impressive when it succeeds to be useless even otherwise – writing about nothing is a gift.

Somehow my ability to write about nothing has waned, I do not find it indulging anymore.

Yet so has the ability to lay bare bits from my life, and inhibitions that I never thought I’d deal with have crept in. I guess erratic publishing might be here to stay. What I do know is I hate middle grounds based on compromise, it’ll be one or the other.

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