I’m in the middle of reading this book:
It’s The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. Basically, Pessoa sat back, and observed his life and narrated it in his journals. This book is a compilation of his journaling.
What is remarkable about this book, is that Pessoa seems to believe that it isn’t what you do with your life that counts; it’s what you have to say about it.
Experience, I suppose, is only one dimension of understanding. We must also process the experience and be able to explain it to others, as well as hear it told and explained in order to get the full view of the actual experience.
By talking, or writing, about one’s experiences, we allow ourselves to fully understand our lives through creating a discourse around it. Pretty deep stuff.
Anyway, Pessoa has me thinking. Why blog? Especially why blog when I purposefully keep the blog hidden from my friends and family?
Maybe it is the grand narcissistic delusion that by writing, I, or at least my story, will live forever. But, although I am interesting and special, I don’t believe I am that special.
On the other hand, maybe it’s to try and connect with people I can’t connect with in ordinary ways. All writers are trying to connect, trying to make an impact somewhere on someone. By narrating my life, here in this blog, maybe I am hopeful that someone will read it, relate to it, and start a dialogue with me about our experiences, proving that I’m not alone in this void.
To be honest, I write because I have words bouncing around inside my head and talking just doesn’t let them out completely. Talking happens so fleetingly, how can you get out exactly what you want to say, perfectly and completely without the ability to go back and revise? It’s impossible.
Someone once told me that writing is a reflection of the writer in your mind’s eye. When you write you are producing something that is very personal and vulnerable. It’s a brand new creation that has never before existed in this way until the moment it’s written down. Maybe I write to let you see me, for me. In my life, I have to be strong and solid; maybe this is the only place I feel comfortable enough to be open and vulnerable. Maybe I can expose the vulnerability because I have the ability to edit and revise before the moment of exposure.
But why the need to share my experiences? Maybe I’m self-indulgently seeking validation. Maybe I’m hoping that someone will discover my “natural talent” as a writer and offer me a book deal. Maybe I’m just full of sh*t.
All I know is that I’m happy narrating my life for you. And without you actively giving me anything, the fact that you come and read gives me a lot. I selfishly feel proud when I see that I have new followers, or even that my hits count has gone up for the day. I write to inform, entertain, and to move you. And if I’ve accomplished nothing else but providing you with a few moments of mental respite from work, that’s fine too.