Monday, 8 November 2010

National Blog Posting Month

I’d never heard of National Blog Posting Month, until 24 hours after I set up Mind and Language. My first post went up on Halloween. I didn’t intend to post every day, but I was trying to figure out the best way to build the blog – at one post a week it would be a long time before it started looking healthily fleshed out.

Then serendipity brought me Nablopomo, and the perfect excuse to post every day. Now that I’ve managed a week, I feel ready to announce my commitment; I’m signed up for November and am duty bound to post daily for the rest of month.

I welcome the extra pressure, so far at least. It has set my mind whirring and forced me to make time to write. This habit will come in very useful in December when I can turn those blog-writing sessions over to my novel, which is already feeling neglected.

I am also finding my feelings towards this new blog intriguing. It felt like a big leap to start putting my thoughts into a public domain where they will stay, rather than be forgotten in the blur of an evening’s conversations. On the other hand, in Week One nobody was reading my blog, or at least it only had accidental visitors. Becoming impassioned as I wrote certain posts, I started to wonder whether I should save them up for a later time when they might actually get an audience.

This thought seemed to fly in the face of some as-yet-unidentified principle. I felt I shouldn’t be calculating about when to post certain content; instead I should let arguments and memories emerge on the day when they were also blooming inside my head. Given that the blogging process still feels self-indulgent in itself, I can hardly be precious about audience. At this stage it should be enough that my thoughts are out there.

The post I hesitated to write given the lack of audience was to be a kind of homage to a real person and their creativity. It seemed a disservice somehow to write about them and then effectively put those words in a bottle and toss it into the sea. There is something odd about the notion of privately, or secretly, paying tribute to a person or thing: perhaps the concept of paying tribute precludes this possibility.

So, for the rest of this gloomy, sodden month I will continue wheeling out unrehearsed arguments and ill-thought out explorations of writing, in the hope that a reader somewhere will disagree strongly enough to be moved to comment. After all, philosophy is about debate and in the long run that is what I hope to provoke. Worship in words will have to be saved up to embarrass its subjects later.

After a month of this, I suspect weekly mini-essays will feel like a treat; I hope, like all proper treats, they will also be richer and more satisfying than the daily bread.

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