September 29, 2006

To Blog

More epiphanies last night. A lot, strangely, had to do with this blog. My ego’s really tied up in it. In a way it’s a lot easier to work on a novel or story. With a blog you’re writing and then posting it five minutes later. With a novel, you live with it for a long time. By the time you get to 150, you might change page 5. You get used to what you’re expressing. With an article or story, you might have an editor who takes some of the blame if the story’s not well-received. With a blog, it’s just me against the world. A lot of the time I think, what the fuck did I just write? I think way too much about what other people think, these strangers whose faces I’ve never even seen.

I’ve written as much here before. I’ve stopped the blog because I thought I invested too much energy in it. I think because I have a number of cyber relationships with people, that I’m conversing with the world through this blog, I’m less inspired to meet real live people. I have this tether to the computer. It takes away from the time and energy I have to work on fiction. It takes way more of my will to write this blog than it should.

There’s also a lot that I can’t write about, personal stuff and so I end up writing these philosophical posts trying to seem impressive. Man, I hated this blog last night. I was trying to reconcile how much of my ego goes into this blog and fiction. Buddhist thought talks about separating from the ego and I’ve always wondered how this is reconciled with artists who are 100% ego, trying to create something that makes their ego unique—even if we’re all connected. I don’t really have an answer.

I’d love to write about my wife who’s one of the best bloggers out there, but she writes some stuff that she doesn’t want everyone reading. We’ve been through some really hard times in the past few years and I’ve written about almost none of it. Maybe this could be like a political or litblog, writing about stuff out in the world without getting too personal. But that’s not really my style.

Even this entry makes me nervous. This is better suited to a personal journal. I mean, shit, do I really want to be that naked? I counter it by saying people aren’t that invested—they’ll read a couple of paragraphs, maybe, and then move on. But I’m invested, so that’s what matters. Sometime in my distant past made me continually judge the shit out of myself. I’m not sure what it was.

I was in Paris listening to John Coltrane with a friend of mine. It was a 1965 concert with Eric Dolphy, when he got a lot more dissonant. My friend said to me, “No one should be that naked,” and turned it off. I thought, immediately, that was wrong, even though this guy was a mentor, taught me a lot about music, what it is to be a writer. To create anything you do have to be that naked, you have to get down to everything. Then I think I’m trying to prove something again—show people, here’s a guy who lived in Paris, who listens to Coltrane, who writes, ain’t he grand? I need to own what I know along with my opinions.

I doubt I’ll kill the blog. I never do. If writing comes from someplace honest, it doesn’t exactly matter what’s expressed. Or if someone doesn’t like it. So that’s what this entry’s about.


hoboscholar said...

Thanks Henry. I come and warm my hands and feet by your blog often, as I am sure many others do. I hope you keep the fire burning.

Henry Baum said...

Thanks, man. Means a lot that you like it here.

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