The pensieve

On a personal level, writing has traditionally been a source of catharsis for me, allowing me to take all the things out of my head and lay them before me for examination, clarification. Like Dumbledore’s ‘pensieve’ in Harry Potter, as a friend once pointed out.

On a practical level, I was skilled at the academic-style writing required at university, and at the journalistic writing I did at Honduras This week. But that impersonal style is not what the blog calls for; it asks for something a little more intimate, something from the pensieve, taking me into an uncomfortable arena…

Blogging is inherently personal, but I am not inclined to sharing information from the inside – not even with close friends, unless provoked. Since my current audience is likely only people I know, how much should I let you in?

The narcissism of it bothers me as well. How arrogant to think that anyone should care to know me or what I have to say? But then, that surely has to be an accepted truth of any writing. Blogging is merely an amplification of this in the post-modern culture of ephemera and individualism (are we still in the post-modern era? Have we moved on? I’m not sure).

Being given to perfectionism, in other spheres of writing spending days on a paragraph alone, or weeks editing a piece (there is always swathes of gumph to be deleted), the blog is again anathema, it’s ephemeral, unperfected nature like some over-confident teenager. But I must remember it is just that – ephemera, and whatever imperfections I post will soon be lost and forgotten…

If I am to improve and explore as a writer, I must overcome these anxieties. If I am to temper my tendency for introspection, my over-enthusiasm for the comma, my often unnecessary wordiness, I have to put things out there, test them.

Welcome to my pensieve…

  1. Wow, great point.
    I do the same thing and writing has gotten me through some tough times. Didn’t know I had my own muggle-pensive 🙂

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