Well, it’s official, guys: I have jumped on the blogging bandwagon. More like the blogging caravan, actually, because everyone and their mother has a blog these days, and thus everyone and their mother shouts with one accord into the voiceless void that is the internet, hoping to be heard. I have long resisted the temptation to join the chorus mostly for that reason: I am but one voice in a sea of millions, how could I possibly be heard? And is it not self-glorifying, the ultimate act of writerly pretentiousness, to write about one’s own life and one’s own opinions on a weekly basis merely for the sake of (potential) readership? Then again, isn’t it human nature to seek an outlet of self-expression, and thereby feel connected to others, or allow others to connect to them, whether through the written word or otherwise? Isn’t that how people communicate ideas and share experiences? Does that in itself make one pretentious?! Where do we draw the line?!?
You will learn this quickly about me: I tend to overthink things. In fact, my Creative Fiction professor told me last year (after I had lamented about a badly-written story of mine… not the first nor the last, either) that I needed to stop trying to write a good story and just write.
It was some of the best advice I’d ever been given.
As you may have noticed, that last paragraph implied some more things about myself that do not help my current situation: yes, I am a college student, and yes, I am an English major. I’ll add a third: I’m an aspiring (but wholly unpublished) writer. Voilà! The blogger cliché trifecta is complete! *Cue fanfare*
Alright, enough theatrics. Honestly, I’m fed up with worrying about not being heard, or coming off pretentious, or living a cliché. If I never say anything, I rob myself of the opportunity to ever be heard. And even if I do end up falling into one of my aforementioned pitfalls, if I never put myself out there, how will I ever learn? I know this is pretty rudimentary stuff I’m spewing here, the ever-familiar “you’ll never know unless you try” mentality. But it’s real, and it’s life, and it’s part of my motivation for starting a blog. But it’s not the whole story.
First off, I need to hold myself more accountable as a writer-in-training. This is another common rationale for blogging, but it’s a pretty legitimate one. If I have a weekly deadline (say, every Friday), then I have a reason to write, and a reason to think about writing. Something other than working on my current writing project alone in my room or writing in my journal, which are both fruitful endeavors (ahem… most of the time); something that people might actually read, something on which I could potentially get feedback. My college writing classes have functioned this way too, but I don’t have any of those this semester (nor do I have room to take any more… I’m tapped out on English electives) and that was a format I got used to; this is not.
Secondly, I need to read more. One of my goals for this blog is to use it as a platform for book reviews, probably on a monthly or 6-week basis (alas, I’m a slow reader). Of course, the reviews may be more conversational and… how do you say?.. “bloggy” than your more professional varieties, but they will be well-informed and academic… or at least that’s my intention. We’ll see how well that holds out in practice.
So here it is. I may be entirely unoriginal, another Writer With A Dream™ who thinks her ideas are special and her writing delectably witty when, in fact, there are thousands of others with ideas twice as special and writing thrice as witty as hers could ever hope to be (and whose ironic self-deprecation is not nearly as charming as she thinks it is) but by golly, I’m going to try anyway. Because this I know: no writer, author, blogger, etc. ever got anywhere by withholding her voice from the void.