Whenever I begin a new project, my mind is typically absorbed with thoughts about the project itself. Elements of the project itself as a result tend to sneak into the content of the project. An exciting venture into writing results in me writing a piece about writing. A profound interest in modern journalism and its role in society inspires me to become a journalist that reports on journalism and democracy. It always makes sense too. What better way to master a craft than to practice it in both form and content? It would certainly be a shame though if the most talented writers only wrote about writing and the most daring journalists only reported on journalism. So the reference of content to its own form is limited in interest, and I reserve it only for my first blog post.
My self-referential first blog post is self-referential because it is the first. Sitting down in front of a blank page next to a blank website, my attention helplessly runs from my subject to my form: Alright what am I doing here? What is this blog post for and how should this effect my approach and style?
Apparently I have begun writing such a blog post before having answered these questions. Perhaps these are questions I would have had to answer before even beginning the writing process. This brings me to a positive assertion about what a blog post is: They are not entirely planned in advance. They are real-time, unfolding pieces that grow from singular inspirations (experiences and thoughts). A blog post is therefore in many ways expressive; not intensively planned nor intensively kept to a pre-ordained track in its development.
Oh no. We have a paradoxical problem of sorts. Maybe it’s not a paradox, but some kind of problematic twisted-ness. I claim that a blog post is not intensively kept on track in the writing process, yet holding myself to such a rule while writing a post would be to keep myself on such a track. What happens if some sort of structure were to spontaneously materialize in my vision during the writing process? Can I not allow myself to run with it?! Ruminating over such article-breaking questions during the writing process is precisely what I do not want. Each post will regulate itself.
What have I then established? What will become of my blog and what can readers expect? Maybe it is better to understand my upcoming blog as it is situated in my life as a blogger. I understand the blog as an intermediary between the blogger and the reader. It is a sort of superficial level of connection where the blogger’s personal style of thinking is meshed with an infinite field of subjects. Unlike non-blog articles, a blog post does not claim to stand for anything but the personal style of its writer. At least my blog posts.
This loose structure of blogging nicely allows me room to break the fourth wall one more time and tell you this: I no longer understand what’s going on with my first blog post. I made some edits, deleted a paragraph, and its lack of unity disturbs me. Yet what disturbs me more is my inability to answer the question: By what criteria could I establish the unity of any writing? Inevitably writing must be published with some level of uncertainty about it. But this first blog post? Is it not especially reckless, disorienting, impossible to understand? Or is that precisely its greatness?
Writing and re-writing must stop at some point if a blog is to be posted. Thinking and re-thinking must stop at some point if anything is to be written. The problem is that re-thinking is how I think. This first blog post will therefore be brought to press by the sweaty and shaking hands of a re-thinking addict. Writing a paragraph defies instincts ten times writing a sentence, and pushing the publish button ten times more. But sometimes such anxiety is justified, especially in the case that your blog post is garbage. My last hope is that this illustrates my manner of thinking, and I am comforted, because how could it not?
I can tell you how. The difference between writing and thinking is a three-minute-read that takes an hour to write. The forces of thinking that mold a piece of writing cannot be contained entirely in its words. You can only count on my first blog post as an illustration of my writing. The problem is that my first blog post ended up being about thinking, so I extend my apologies to the reader for this late warning, but I’m beginning to think this first blog post was not written for you, but for me.