“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” – Kurt Vonnegut
“The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.” – Kurt Vonnegut
This blogging business can be a grind if you think about it the wrong way. I try not to think about it the wrong way. Still, it pops up in my head in certain moments. What the hell am I writing for? I don’t actively accumulate followers and don’t chase likes. Nor will this site be monetized. So what’s the point?
The writing is a discipline; a routine of consequence. A practice of art carrying me towards who I fancy myself to be, and I chase it down relentlessly every day. And though I wonder sometimes at what the point of it all really is, I already know the answer. It’s simply to write.
Kurt Vonnegut was one of those people whom I’d have around that dinner table, along with a cast of characters larger than life through their practice of being what they pretended to be… and thus became. Then again, I hang out with them all the time through their contribution. Or at least the character I think them to be. For they were just people like us, who chipped away at their work until they built something of consequence.
And there’s that word again: consequence. What are we building in our daily work? Followers, or our souls? I may not ever meet my great-grandchildren if they should ever debut in the world, but I fancy them someday knowing something about me from the way I stack words together… just… so.
The crew of SV Delos (Brian and Karin) had a live stream conversation on Mother’s Day. For those who don’t know, they sail around the world and post videos on YouTube. They’ve been cranking out videos for years, first as a way to share experiences with family and friends and later as an income stream as it became apparent that plenty of people were interested in what they were doing. Watching their 300+ videos helped me get through the void of travel-less lockdown during the pandemic.
One thing Brian said caught my ear. He spoke about people who keep working on their boats, project after project, waiting for things to be perfect for them to set out on their own passage. And of course that day never comes because nothing is ever perfect. The point being to just go when things are ready enough.
On a much smaller scale, blogging is the same sort of passage that Delos is on. You chip away at it, maybe picking up a follower or two along the way (thank you) and see where the passage takes you. And maybe that’s enough. Then again, maybe there’s more.