To Blog Or Not To Blog

He Speaks
Originally uploaded by piroozkalayeh.
In response to Jim Goar

I woke up this morning thinking about Sean's issue of Jim Goar not sounding like Jim Goar on his blog. Then I thought, "Well, what about premeditation? Does thinking about what you are going to write change what is being written? What if there was no filter?"

There may be something to this.

In a recent conversation with my brother, Paiman, he was describing to me his experience of "speaking truth." He believed that if he thought about what he was going to say before - let's say he was talking to a beautiful woman or his employer - it would not carry the same emotional integrity. He would be too busy judging himself or the other person to truly be present, and give a genuine response.

I have tried to stop my mind in certain situations, or watched when it ran off during conversations. I noticed that I was quick to create something to say, when I may not have any response whatsoever. Is this an uncomfortability with silence? My own incapability to be a good listener? Or is this simply a matter of approval?

In Byron Katie's latest book, "I Need Your Love - Is That True?", she maps how it is natural for human beings to seek approval. We want to feel loved. We need to know that it is there waiting for us.

For Katie, The Work in reversing this pattern is to question that need.

"Is that true?" she would say. "Take it to inquiry."

The product being a reversal of outside love, to a stronger, internal love.

I have found this very difficult. There are countless times when I seek approval from others. I can think of countless examples: "Listen to this poem" or "No, I like your shirt. Really" or "Do you like my blog."

Of course, I am human. To reverse something that has been set into motion by my environment, my cultural upbringing, and my personal integration of the world around me, is a slow, heart-wrenching process.

I do catch myself though, and that is a great moment for me. I stop myself when I am looking for approval, and have now started asking, "Do I need it?"

I think Sean's question is rooted in this concept for me. I hear him when he says someone does not sound themselves while blogging. I also hear that I do not need his approval, nor anyone else's. I am doing this for my own personal satisfaction. I like being a part of the world. I enjoy drawing little pictures to accompany text. This is why I blog.

As far as the rest of the world, I am sure you have your own reasons.

This concept of unedited dialogue also brings up another point for me as a writer - Do I edit? Is there something to spontaneous prose? Is writing a different reality so it doesn't matter? Is it just premeditated and there's nothing I can do about it? Is writing more genuine than speaking?

I don't know. I do know that the only writing I value is the writing that comes from "being in the zone" as Jim calls it. It takes a while to get there, but when I'm there, everything falls away. It's just me. No one else. (Marlowe had an interesting quote about this. Hopefully, he will see this and post it.)

See. I just did it. I was hoping Marlowe would see this and post. I am not in the zone, or I could say, "I am not in the creative writing zone." If I was, there would be no filter. I wouldn't be thinking about anything. I would just write.

I am new to this though. I am going to give myself a break. I am also more interested in connecting with people, and having discussions, rather than read long passages of fiction or prose. I am interested to see who else is thinking along similar pages. I want to steal an idea here and there. I want to feel the pulse of the world.


Stacy Elaine said...

i think the characters I've always identified with were ones who made neurosis charming and never apologized for their stumblings. I'm thinking of Diane Keaton here especially. She's beautiful. Embracing her flaws and allowing these flaws to laugh.

JWG said...

There is something very different to blogging than to other sorts of writing. And like other sorts of writing, the more we blog, the easier it will be. Not that this is hard. mostly shits and giggles. However, there is always the, “what do I want to put out there?” There are things that I write to you, Pirooz, that I don’t want out there. They are just things that friends talk about. So what space does the blog fill? And the only way I see of answering that question is by continuing to blog, and what that blog becomes is what it becomes. Really, long as this stays fun, I will continue.

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

Yes, I hear you.

Mona Grayson said...

Doing The Work on the need for approval can take some time - I've experienced that, too. It's just one thought a time though. Then bringing it to those four questions and then trying out the turnarounds.

You said that it's a slow & heartwrenching process...

Do you find that it's more painful to look into those beliefs than it is to live your life seeking the love, approval, and appreciation?

Happy to find you this Sunday morning!