15 February 2010

Why I write

It is now four years to the day since I launched this blog. In the beginning it existed purely as a mechanism for learning about the marvelous world of online advertising. While far from being a neo-luddite, the thought of sharing my own thoughts and ideas with the random flotsam of an online audience seemed alien and incomprehensible. This blog was created to learn basic coding and form an understanding of web marketing and that wonderful dance that is search engine optimization. It was empty, hollow and devoid of any spark of personalization, or that sense of self that comes when the author's voice rings out true and loud.

Over time it has grown and evolved, as I found my voice and began to inject more of my own self into its pages. My opinions, beliefs, thoughts and fears all started to take more and more of a position of prominence as the post count slowly increased. With the transformation of my life that occurred as I jettisoned the shackles of corporate enslavement and set out into the uncharted wilderness of underemployment, my online voice grew stronger and bolder still, untethered by the fear of unconsciously generating a career limiting move within the paragraphs of a particularly passionate post, until at last it grew so strong that at times it threatened to overshadow my own offline voice in both tone and volume.

With any anniversary comes a period of reflection and on this day, with an understanding of where this blog has come from, it is worth taking the time to reflect on why I continue to write, and what purpose it serves.

I write to express myself. I am not Unkie Dave, though Unkie Dave is definitely a part of me. I do not consider that I write anonymously, my presence on the web is always linked back to here and my picture looms larger than life over all that I write. But I do adopt a literary persona as I write, for the liberation that comes with exaggeration. Unkie Dave is louder, grumpier, more bombastic, reactionary, caustic and opinionated than I could ever be in real life, or at least ever be and hope to retain a circle of supportive friends. At times as I write Unkie Dave has a little too much control, and the normal care and attention that I would display for the thoughts and feelings of those around me are hurled majestically out the window in an orgy of sarcastic fenestration. This is unfortunate, for I do not believe that there is ever an acceptable level of collateral damage.

I write to understand. Many of the thoughts and ideas that end up posted here are not as formed as I would like them to be, though hopefully they are all more cognizant at the end of the post than they appear to be at the start. When I am feeling at odds with the world around me, I attempt to place order on my physical space through a frenzy of tidying, construction/reconstruction, and general all-round rearranging of the deck-chairs on my own personal Titanic. When I feel at odds with the metaphysical world around me I blog, and many of my posts provide an altogether too intimate illustration of my own thought processes. My blog is my whiteboard, albeit one with successive formulae written onto and around previous iterations that no doubt are confusing to the chance observer who sees a single post as a snapshot rather than as part of a greater whole.

I write to collaborate. I am hauntingly aware of my own limitations as a thinker and after an eighteen month period of unfocused yet frenzied research into a disorganized and uncategorised jumble of topics the only thing that I can say with any degree of certainty is that I now have a much clearer knowledge of the scale of that which I do not know. My ignorance can now be measured in geological scales. I write publicly in the hope that others more knowledgeable or passionate than I will correct me, guide me or affirm that I am on the right course. I am not trying to provide answers nor do I expect others to do likewise, though I am ever hopeful that a genuine dialogue will erupt to the betterment and benefit of my own self-awareness and knowledge base.

I write to create. I am not a craftsman, I am not an artist and despite vague and halfhearted attempts to prove otherwise I am not really a musician. Writing fills a need in me to feel that I am capable of creating something separate to myself, something that can stand apart from me and be experienced in its own right by those who have no other connection to me than the words that I write. This is different to the desire to express myself, for that is about engendering an understanding of me in the other. Creation is my desire to bring into existence something that is not me, but still exists in the other.

I write to feel happiness. I enjoy writing, for all the reasons above and many more that I do not have the words to express. A completed post puts a smile on my face and an embered glow of warm positivity in my belly, whether from the satisfaction of a finished thought or delight in the final shape that completed thought took I do not know, all I do know is that writing is good for me and I need to do it more.

With all this in mind I thank you, reader, collaborator, guide and friend for sharing this journey through my life, mind and soul over the last four years and I hope you will stick around for the next four.

Unkie Dave

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At 12:16 pm, Blogger g man said...

Welcome back. I feel I may be a guide dog, a labrador with a keen nose for lamposts. A dog who lends his nasal cavaties to good purpose and can leed you across the discourse of zebra crossings.

At 12:28 pm, Blogger Niall Murphy said...

Lovely picture! Is it H* or some rooftop garden?

At 12:49 pm, Blogger Unkie Dave said...

Picture is from the mountaintop town of San Cristobal De Las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, possibly the last place I can remember experiencing an uninterrupted sense of calm and well-being.

well, interrupted only by the local churches setting off a series of fireworks every hour on the hour between sunset and sunrise.

but in between those whiz-bangy moments it was altogether rather calm and tranquil.

At 10:56 pm, Blogger 2BiT said...

Well you still look grumpy....

An a happy Blogday to ya!

At 10:14 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

This seems apt: "There can be be no very black misery to him who lives in the midst of nature and has his senses still" Henry David Thoreau

Ye even share the same name! I'm sure nature can be the natural world but also one's own nature. . .

Hippity blogblips :D

Yes, a friend gave me a little books of positives, so my intention is to share them here and there, hope ya don't mind.


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