My friend Madzia has started a blog. She has begun by asking herself “who is it for?” and “what do I hope from it?”
One might ask the same questions of any form of writing or indeed any creative endeavor (photographing, painting, playing a violin, knitting a scarf, baking a cake, raising a child….) Who is it for, and what do I hope from it by doing it? My own sense is that for any individual, these questions will lead to so many possible answers at any time, and in so many combinations of will and expectation, that trying to settle on a definitive answer is like trying to collect moonlight in a jar.
And why publish on a blog (or indeed, anywhere?) rather than writing privately and keeping it to oneself? My friend S has called blogging “a new way of sharing the experience of being human.” Isn’t sharing the experience of being human behind all communication, artistic expression, and the building of relationships? So you might just as well ask the same questions every time you communicate with someone else, and of every relationship in your life, from your most intimate circle of family and friends, to the shop clerk on the till with whom you exchange perhaps only a few trite words. Who is this for, and what do I hope from it?
I think that the value lies in the insights that these questions encourage. The questions are only worthwhile if they remain held in one’s mind – serving as an internal lens like those referred to by Anhrefn – rather than holding one’s mind. The peril lies in their very real potential to demand certainty of purpose and outcome, and to become the proverbial tail wagging the dog.
I’m delighted that Madzia is exploring this new way of sharing her experience of being human, whoever it is for, and whatever she hopes from it. I will bask in her moonlight with no jar in my hand.