Unexpected gift from 7 years of blogging


I started this blog seven years ago today. It has only had one profound change on my life. A change I see as an unexpected gift. Perhaps it is a reward of developing a regular writing habit without really trying.

The “gift” is the ability to enjoy reading my own writing. Which has turned reading my old blog posts into an unfamiliar pleasure. Proof that blogging has taken me a long way from the mindset when I couldn’t read my writing without cringing.

Doing any long term human “cultural” activity will change anyone. So maybe after seven years, my ego has inflated itself to the point where I enjoy my drivel. Or the voodoo of turning voices in the head into words has had a beneficial side effect. It will make the writing process bearable than it used to be.

The compulsion to write has always been as powerful as the need to defecate. I have come to understand my writing as an output of the experience of living. The voices in my head play the role of digestive fluids. Typing out the words is the act of excreting the processed life experiences. Leading to a burst of temporary relief when the words splash on a screen and are flushed into the blogosphere.

Yes I have overused this metaphor with tedious frequency. A hackneyed variation is a comparison to vomiting, which is the wrong metaphor. Vomiting is a form of rejection. An involuntary expulsion of inputs that the body has failed to process. That is never the case with my writing. Nothing comes out until it is fully processed. Even if it takes years.

I am not comparing the noble act of writing to shitting. It’s just a crude metaphor that most accurately describes how I experience writing via the medium of blogging. The last 7 years has only strengthened this understanding (which some of you might find odious). The fact that quite a bit of my writing/editing happens while on the porcelain throne is fitting symbolism.

The compulsion to write has its many downsides. Specially given the demands on my time. My writing is scattered across the available minutes of the day. It is done mostly on the phone which makes me seem like one of those social media addicted jerks. Toilet writing has annoyed Mrs C more times than I can count. There is always one more edit or a phrase that insists on a few more seconds which expand into minutes.

I try to limit the damage by being more efficient with my writing. I mentally edit sentences while stuck in traffic, at red lights, the shower, or brushing fangs. I have also made peace with the fact that a post which takes four minutes to read will take months to “finish” (typos and all).

These gyrations are attempts to accommodate the need to write into the daily grind. If I stop writing, the voices in my head will drown me in their chatter. Perhaps there are medications or surgical procedures to stop this. If these worked, the end result would be a lobotomy (which Mrs C sometimes thinks has already happened).

I can’t escape the intuitive feeling that typing out the words of these voices is part of my humanity. It gives me some sort of intuitive understanding of my experience of life (deep thought no?). Which makes writing via this blog, unlike the porcelain throne, more than just an “outlet”.

The blog is also an informal evolving education in writing. A vital part of which are the readers. Specifically the generous ones who put up with the stench of my words, take the time to comment, link back and even talk about my writing. Their blog posts have also inspired me in more ways than I can count. If I try to list all of them, this blog will look like a link farm. For the sake of brevity, here is a few of the multitudes I want to thank:

  • Chavie for his heaps of interesting posts, supportive comments, and vexillological talents
  • kirigalpoththa and Magerata
  • Chamira, and Half Doc both of whose blogs are sadly no more
  • Jack Point whose blog continues to keep me terrified after these years (it will take a long post to explain why)
  • The late Kalusudda for his unique positive energy
  • Maf who inspired me to the possibilities of writing with a single masterpiece of satire. He is according to my stats, one of the top commenters on my blog as well.
  • Published authors like David Blacker for their occasional unpretentious grunts of approval. These made me consider the crazy idea that some of my writing might not be awful as I thought
  • His Rhythmic excellency who helped the evolution of this blog and my writing. I don’t know where to begin describing how
  • kottu.org for delivering a river of diverse voices that I would have never found

Since my first blog post, a goal of mine was not to making predictions about which way this blog thing will go. In this my 687th post, I’m I setting a goal for myself to put out at least one post a month. Right now that’s quite a challenge but its going somewhere.

I started writing this blog for myself. Never expected anyone would bother a glance. Aside from the people looking to build radars, I am stilled baffled that there are people who like what I write. Even though I have finally joined their ranks, I can’t understand why I enjoy reading this stuff. If you have a clue the comment box awaits. One day I might figure it out. Till then and beyond, thank you – for reading and the conversations.

11 comments

  1. Congratulations, Cerno! Even during these times of relative lull in the blogosphere, it’s heartening to see the greats march on.😀

    Thank you for the mention.🙂 I think it’s safe to say that a LOT of us were (and still are – the recent discovery of your post about SLAF crashes etc.) inspired by your amazingly detailed and well-researched writing. Keep at it, and feed/keep the voices happy!😀

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    • Thank you🙂 have to admit I don’t see my self as a “great” – just one of the “oldies”! It’s good to hear that something I wrote triggered ideas inside other heads. What’s the post about SLAF crashes you mentioned? Is it the Jet Provost thing ?

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  2. Congratulations Cerno. I was trying to post a comment earlier but work is hectic now, there are a few odd moments when I find some free time but a lot of the time I’m like a dog chasing its own tail.

    This is a new job and one thing that did impress my boss (and incidentally, even impressed my horrible old boss at the last place) was my ability to write. Drafting complex, sometimes difficult letters and memo’s comes fairly easily now, thanks in part to the skills developed in blogging.

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    • It’s telling that I’ve taken nearly 2 weeks to reply!

      Yes it’s the hectic nature of the digital world that’s making things like blogging difficult. But like you say, I think it makes the need for good writing even more urgent. And that takes practice.

      I think you do a far better job of practicing that than I do🙂

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  3. How sad i finally come here to make a comment after almost two months after the post. i blame the idiot politicians for making life so hard that one has to work even harder. congrats on the 7 years and keeping on pecking away. you are an inspiration to the rest of us…

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    • Thank you🙂 I know the feeling. Though the fatalist in me keeps thinking the the politicians are never done w making things worse. Keeps blogging an outlet even if a most takes mo than a moth to write.

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