Archive for May, 2012

Hello Again, Narcissism!

Posted in General on May 4, 2012 by cegatchalian

I’ve returned to blogging after a five-month absence. I initially started this blog as a way to bring additional attention to the world premiere of my play Falling In Time, and openly expressed my reservations about the form as well as my doubts as to whether I would, or should, continue with it beyond the production.

My answer, after mulling it over, is yea, for the following reasons:

1. Narcissism. Let’s just put it out there. Blogging is narcissistic, and there’s no point denying it. But narcissism–or at least amour propre, the gentler and more positive incarnation of it–is in all of us and in moderate doses not unhealthy. We all desire the sight of our own reflections to confirm our existence, and in a world where the virtual has almost completely superseded the actual, a blog is as consoling a confirmation as any.

2. Practice. A writer must practice his craft, and I’ve begun to see blogging as an opportunity to do just that–to test ideas out and refine them, and test and refine my expression of them. Too often my ideas on a whole variety of things remain stuck in my head, and seeing them as black-and-white objects outside myself will, I hope, allow me to self-criticize more ably. (Perhaps some of my ideas will look so ludicrous when published that I’ll decide to discard them altogether.) Writing is difficult, grinding work and always, ultimately, only an approximation of the truth; but as writers it’s our task to get as close to it as possible, and only practice–whether it’s reading difficult books, or sculpting sentences in one’s diary or blog–can take us there.

3. Sharing. I am by nature a solitary person, and writing is a solitary act–that’s an awful lot of solitude, which one needs to balance with healthy doses of its opposite. Since I’m a relatively slow and not particularly prolific writer (perhaps a few poems published per year; a book or play once every few years–Falling In Time took seven years to develop, and is in fact still developing), a blog will allow me to share my ideas with people with a tad more frequency, and also to assure people who enjoy my work that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, or quit writing.

A caveat, though–my blogging will be quite sporadic compared to many other writers. My slow pace is something I won’t apologize for or change. Furthermore, there’s much too much writing out there already–with the ubiquity of blogging, everyone fashions oneself a writer these days–and I don’t see the need for me to further overload people with inane jottings about what I had for breakfast, what vitamins and minerals I’m taking or the virtues of wearing boxers as opposed to briefs. (That said,  if occasionally I find a good enough reason to blog about such minutiae, I will.) Also, despite my recent foray into confessional writing (see this brief piece I wrote about my “podplay” Authentic, which Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre commissioned me to write last year) and the current essay collection I’m working on which is, to a not-insignificant degree, an autobiography, I still consider myself fairly faithful to the Eliotian ideal of impersonality, so you won’t read much here that betrays too much of what I consider sacrosanct.  (Read: fodder for reality television. Yet again, if I find a solid enough reason to blog about my personal life, I will.)

So thank you, Gentle Reader, for taking an interest in my blog. As a nineteenth-century-style man of letters and unabashed devotee of Literature and Art (and I say this with nary an ounce of irony), I will do my best to ensure that the posts you read here are not a complete waste of your time.

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