So I guess one could say I am not doing so well at this blog-every-day effort. I was going great guns there at first, but honestly the political ranting is not something that I want to engage in on a full-time basis–or rather, 100% of my blog’s time; I do not do anything on a “full time” basis as traditionaly understood in the US–but I kind of got myself cornered into it because it is easy to react to just about any politically oriented piece I read on the internet, making said reactions sort of a natural blogging genre if one is looking to throw together easy-bake arguments in fifteen minutes a day.
But I was hoping to vary my routine a little more than that. And I wanted to make this neither a diary nor a daily rant. And now I am wondering whether blogging every single day is necessary, or even good, for me. There is a difference between, say, writing a little bit on your book/thesis/dissertation every day and finding a topic to go on about in public every day, making it something that you can give a “treatment” to in ten paragraphs or less. How crucial is it that I think of something coherent but compact to say about a single, varied topic every day?
I am not sure.
I would like to blog more often than, say, once a month. And I would like to be able to feel like when I have something to say about something, be it linear or nonlinear or even nonverbal, that I can find the wherewithal to go on and say it, do it, perform it–whatever is necessary to externalize it in a way that is satisfactory to me.
But every day?
By stroke of free-associative internet luck, a few minutes ago I was reading an amazon.com user review of a book I had never heard of, Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money. I got there via a link from an Atlantic Monthly essay on introversion, “Caring For Your Introvert,” which is a short and, to me, ultimately frustrating piece on how it is that introverts are a misunderstood minority, at least in North American culture. It is a column, and so meant to be entertaining and somewhat light, so I do not think I should have expected too much from it, but ultimately it ends up saying the same thing as every piece I have ever read on the topic of how introverts have to find ways to get along in an overwhelmingly extroverted society: there are not enough of us to really change our culture so that it takes care, or even notice, of our needs, and so the best we really can hope for is to find ways to adapt when possible and to suffer in silence the rest of the time.
There is a link here with what I was saying at first. Bear with me.
But so this user review of Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money is a favorable review, written by an introvert who is happy that the book “enables self-acceptance while at the same time encourages and guides toward change.” Upon reading this I thought “What?? Why should we be the ones who have to change?”
This is so often the approach taken in self-help books for introverts–how to adapt to an extroverted culture that is not at all interested in adapting to us–that every time I see this sort of advice given I die a little bit. Honestly. It is not that I have no sense of humor, and it is not that I am unwilling to compromise with the world; in fact I spent the first 20 years of my own life compromising in every aspect imaginable with the demands that were thrown my way by a family and community that had no earthly idea what to make of me nor what was wrong with me. But they knew that something was, and that it needed to be rooted out and worked over until I was willing to believe, willing to speak, and willing to accept that I was defective to the point of needing a divine miracle to set me aright.
So. I do not do that anymore. Or that is, I am trying to learn how to accept what it is that makes my own neurological processes somewhat unique, or unique enough that they often feel at odds with the majority of those around them. And I am trying to learn how to create a space in the world where I can live without shame or constant self-approbation.
Even writing that out gives me some pause, as though I am not entitled to anything of the kind and need to go back to the sort of compromises I once made, which, among other things, required that I spend most of my waking hours dissociated and that I defer, indefinitely, doing the kind of work that I find most important and most necessary, because that kind of work is not generally valued or even considered work in most instances.
But I have been told, more lately than, say, 1982, that it is not necessary so much to cure myself as to be myself. Now, there is much I could say on the topic of “myself,” but for now I am going to let the word stand in for the processes and events that constitute this idea that I might even approximate a self to which I could be authentic or not. These processes and events, though, are not up for judgment as to whether they unfurl in the correct way so much as to what sort of effects they have. As they are, the only suffering they cause is that which they themselves undergo. Thus, even to the extent that they function so as to be thought of as introverted, as contrasted with extroverted, there is nothing about them that needs to change in order to be made more acceptable according to any external principle.
What does this have to do with blogging every day? Generally I find that it takes time before I can come up with something that I think is an adequate response to a given question or thought or issue, and, unlike the extroverts among whom I have to make some kind of peace, I do not find it useful to air my thought processes in public, unless I am specifically trying to expose those processes themselves as a topic in itself. Which I sometimes do: writing about writing, thinking about thinking–l’art pour l’art, in a way. But whether I am meta-writing or not, it still can take some time before I think I actually have something to put out there. Whether or not it happens every day is not as important to me as whether or not I can let it happen as it happens whenever it happens. The whole point of my undertaking the goal of blogging daily was to make it a device for lifting the veil of self-censorship, which is closely connected to shame and which keeps me from speaking up in the ways in which I do speak, when I speak.
Thus whether I have something to say every day is of less matter to me than that I be able to make time to write when it is time to write, which is a question with variable answers, all of which are unpredictable. What I want is to be ready and able to write whenever it seems necessary or valuable. So that is how I am going to finish out the month, and that is how I am going to continue not to stop myself from writing but not force myself into writing, either. That seems fair enough.