Sich Auskotzen, Berlin, 2010
I just read an article on Wikipedia about something called hypergraphia. It means an overwhelming urge to write. I don't think I'd quite qualify—and, in fact, I think it says something about our society that there is such a diagnosis.
Nevertheless, I do have an urge to write. I've been trying to make sense of that urge.
First and foremost, I write to make sense of my own thoughts and feelings. I deal with painful stuff by writing about it. I deal with pleasurable stuff by writing about it. If I'm trying to learn something new, I write down whatever it is I think I've learned. When it comes to pain and pleasure, writing helps me face whatever it is, make sense of it, and eventually let it go and move on. When it comes to things I'm interested in, I find that I only really learn anything once I try to explain it to someone else—by writing it down.
Writing online has been a part of my life since the early 1990's. Since then, I've been active in four on-line communities. I eventually drifted off each of them. As of this writing, I'm without one. That makes this blog the main outlet for my urge to write.
Yet, I've never been able to write without having someone or something in mind to write for. I have attempted diaries, but they always peter out in a few days. There's a lot of stuff sitting around my computer and even some cardboard boxes somewhere, but even that has always been written for somebody. I enjoyed writing essays at school as much as I enjoyed writing letters, or posts at an Internet forum, or my old photography website, or now this blog.
My relationship with the social aspect of writing is conflicted. I need someone to write for, yet I resent the feeling of pressure that inevitably comes with it. Without someone to write to, or for, writing feels pointless and masturbatory; there's no focus, no structure to shape my words around. Yet, at the same time, any real public puts pressure on me. I feel like I should write what I imagine they want to read, avoid writing things I imagine they don't want to read. I hate that feeling, and it brings out the worst in me. I don't want write in a vacuum, nor do I want to write in order to get readers, or only to entertain the readers I may have. So I try to find a balance. Put another way, I try to minimize the attachments that come with writing for a public.
Ultimately, I don't really know what I want to do with this blog, beyond having it serve as an outlet for my urge to write. I do know that I enjoy connecting with people with whom I find the same wavelength, even if they have the poor taste to hold opinions different from mine. I guess that would make it a secondary goal of mine. Beyond that, I have no idea. Not much of a mission statement, this, but that's the best I can do.
If you've read this far, welcome. If you find what you see here interesting, great. If not, thanks for passing by, and best wishes finding whatever it is you're looking for, both here and in life in general.
That is all.