December 22, 2015

Why I Write: A Prospective

Why I Write: A Prospective

Here's what I'm working toward.
My website has three elements. The first is a record of my adventures, the second is a literary journal, and the third is a blog. I mostly write although I also have some photography and soon some videography will add some breadth to what I produce.

As it stands the adventure site is primarily documentary. But it already helps to characterize me, the writer of the other two elements. This is how I should come to view the adventure site, although it needn't be restricted to adventure. I document for a reason, to help characterize myself, to add some detail to an otherwise faceless name.

In order to connect the elements of my work I need my blog to be more then just a critique of ideas, it needs to always be personal. It bridges the gap between explicit characterization (the personal pages) and creation (the literary journal). The reason is simple: it has to have a different kind of content than the journal. The journal is more anonymous because it includes essays and stories by and for anyone. So the blog should never present itself as objective analysis or anonymous writing in the style of a journal. I always have to include "I" and it always needs to address my own story. This is why I shouldn't analyze politics or literary theory unless it has direct personal significance. I'll reserve that for my journal.

The blog is more like a diary the journal like a magazine. The rest of the site, what I've previously called the adventure site, will add some character to me as the author. This will help me produce three different forms of content each of which helps to reinforce the others.

But why am I writing in the first place? My motive is two-fold: creative and educational.

First, I want to create something moving. I first realized this while reading Middlemarch by George Eliot. I was nearing the end of the novel when I realized that it was as close to perfect as anything I'd ever read. I'd so seldom thought this highly of a novel. I decided at that moment, lying on the bottom of my tent near Hay-On-Wye, England, that I want to add something to the pantheon of great literature.

My educational motivation to write isn't unrelated even thought my interest in education is about more then just writing but audio-visual media as well. Regardless, both are about creation which is the core issue here.

I believe deeply that education is the answer to most of the world's problems. I'm not overstating, I really believe that. Education is about self-improvement within a community. As opposed to war and politics which is about improving other people according to the dictates of my own will to power. (It's impossible for me to write that without wondering about the power elements inherent in education and community. Nonetheless...)

Educationtrue education, rather than propagandais liberating. True education isn't concerned with finding (certainly not with dictating!) a definitive answer, instead it's always about seeking. It embodies the proverb, "it's the journey not the destination." Answers come along the way but in education answers are always tentative. If your answer is absolute then you've retired from education and adopted dogma. It's easy to slip from one into the other but they're radically opposed. We're told to be content with dogma, and then it comes naturally with age (when the impulse to stop developing stagnates our minds into a state of complacency). However, neither authority nor age need defeat us. My passion for education comes from my desire to learn and to assist others with the same dream, no matter who or where. This is my best hope for the liberation of the oppressedto offer ideas to others in order to aid their own pursuit of self-improvement.

My plan for education is apparent in my life motto: explore, study, create, share, & inspire. I call this the circle of discovery. The first step encourages breadth of experience, the second cultivates depth of understanding, the third synthesizes what we've discovered in the world within the context of who we already are, the fourth step delivers something new to the world for others to explore and study, and the fifth, an inevitable consequence of the first four steps, calls others and ourselves to repeat the process of discovery, creation, and expression.

These is my brief answer to the question, "why do I want to write." It's worth asking yourself the same question about whatever drives your own life.