Paul Valéry has cured me of blogblock
I stopped blogging when I noticed how my blog was of a lower quality than those of my Internet heroes. Good blogs stay on topic, and avoid personal things. I wanted to have a high-quality blog too, so I tried doing that. Instead, I ended up with no blog.
No, that account is wrong. I thought I was envious of the quality of impersonal, focused blogs; but several blogs I admired at the time (say, Momus’ or Steve Yegge’s) were both highly personal and highly ecletic. In fact, what I was envious of was the fact that these guys appeared not to be ashamed of their early writings. If I write anything at all, after about a fortnight I’m horribly ashamed of it. I’m particularly sensitive about stupid things I’ve commented on forums and on blogs I admire, and now I can’t delete them. Just thinking about it makes me feel self-counscious.
But I was moved by Valéry attitude with regard to his cahiers. After all, why should we be ashamed of our earlier selves, when every notion of a permanent essence is fantasy? In all ways that count I’m not the same person as younger me—I don’t even exist in the same reality as him—and it’s perfectly reasonable to identify more with the thought of someone else (say, Paul Valéry) than with “my own” past thinking.
I want try letting go of the attachment to my idea of self; I want to be a “series of snapshots” too. So I’ll try to blog freely, and in the future, rather than be ashamed, laugh about it.