At one point in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Mr. Wednesday states that America is the only country that worries about what it is. I do have some disagreements with that statement. You will notice it is not so much that America supposedly doesn’t know what it is, but it seems like it is concerned with what it is, where it came from, and what it might be becoming.
It isn’t uncommon for me to start off a piece of writing, or conversation, with a tangent and slowly try to lead into some kind of relevance. I know there have been many times when I’ve annoyed friends and loved ones with this roundabout way of getting to the point. But I’ll tell you.
I have forty-three Blog entries so far talking about a variety of different, but somewhat related things and it’s only after I deleted a forty-fourth one that I have actually started to get really self-conscious about what I’m writing on here. I’m concerned about what this Blog is and what I want it for. The question is not whether or not I want to continue it, because I obviously do.
The best way to explain it is that I thought I found my voice and–in fact–I sometimes still think I do. My tone and voice is a tenuous mixture of the formal and the profane: heightened diction, like my professors liked to call it, and slang. I focus on writing and the creative process while sometimes I do write a little about my feelings on those matters. It’s a strange alchemical mixture: and a lens through I feel I’m making to engage in information and issues beyond myself.
A little while ago on Facebook, I put as my status that I felt like I was playing Hermann Hesse’s Glass-Bead Game and utterly enjoying it. The Glass-Bead Game was something that was never really described except as something of a creative outline but–from what I understand–it was a game which people would take lore from different sciences and arts to create some kind of very intricate and beautiful interactive pattern. One example that Hesse’s novel likes to use is how some players combine certain kinds of music and historical lore together: to show how they relate to each other even if they are in different forms.
I wish I could explain it more, but basically this is how I feel when I write an entry here. I feel like I am engaging the massive amount of human knowledge that the Internet has, while knowing it comes in different forms of experience, and somehow trying to express their relations and differences in an entry. I obviously choose things that interest me or make me feel passionate. At the same time, I feel sometimes that each entry builds on a theme or an overall structure that I can’t really explain beyond that.
This Blog is important to me. The issue I had with the Blog entry that I deleted–the first entry I deleted–is that I tried to combine two general and personal ideas like I usually do and it didn’t … fit into this Blog. It just stood out in a jarring sort of way. In my review of Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Habibi, I mention how the rhythm was just off and this was a similar situation. I tried editing it, but I realized that it just didn’t fit and–worse–to me it just sounded asinine. I saved it for myself–because I do think there is some personal value in it that might come back here again in some way or form–but it was the wrong way of trying to communicate something. Really, it was a result of me trying to be too damned clever: something that you certainly need to watch out for when you are a writer of any kind because the temptation is definitely there.
Of course, I also realized that–for me–deleting a post would set a precedent for myself here and I began to wonder where to draw the line. Should I delete every post that has an emotion in it? Would anyone read something is simply information? Where do you draw that line?
Of course there are other considerations like thinking about how many times I repeat myself without thinking about it. I think what really bothered me about the post I deleted–which my attempt to combine an examination of money as an extension of the human ritual of exchange, and my decision to eventually affiliate this Blog with Amazon Associates–is that it did sound asinine and I tried to make the fact that I need money more grandiose than it is.
The fact is, I am going to get personal to a degree here. That is a fact. The title of this Blog says as much. The question is: what is the purpose of this Blog? And I will say this right now. It is to get me out there. It is for people to notice what I can do as a writer of fiction and articles. I also want it to supplement my ultimate goal: which is to get paid for my work and to do something that I frankly love. I also want this Blog to point people out to books, films, comics, video games and other things that I like and maybe even encourage them to get them as well.
One thing I was concerned with is that by affiliating myself with Amazon–even though I’ve written reviews for them many times and love their services–is that somehow I’d be selling out: even for a very small amount of income. But the thing is I want to get to the point where I can support myself with what I do and I feel that this is the beginning of that process. So I will make my affiliation with Amazon. Getting money or the potential of that is a bonus to what I want to do here for me and that is exactly what I am going to do in the way that best suits me.
In fact, one of the major reasons I started this Blog was because I know now–and I’ve always known–is that I have to do things in my own way. This obviously not the “be all, end all” for what I want to do, but I really look forward to seeing what I can do with this Blog, with what I write in it, with the connections I can make with it, and beyond all of that. So right now, that is what this Blog is: a companion and aide in discovering what it is I can do after years of studying and writing things here and there.
I’m also going to try to pace myself in what I write here, but just keep writing because I enjoy it and I am so glad that there are people out there that are interested in what I have to say. Sometimes it does feel like the Glass-Bead Game the way I see it in my head: like writing here is one great interactive game of information-shifting, manipulation, and combination.
I said that this Blog and the premise behind it was a promise to myself to keep going and that is exactly what I am going to do. So I hope that you will continue to Follow me, that more of you will Follow me, that maybe sometimes you will click on a highlighted link on a book, film, or video game title here to see if you might want to read or play them, and that you can watch what I do to the best of my ability. Take care everyone.