I’ve been questioning my authenticity.
Recently, I decided I wanted to start an online magazine, or eZine. This was borne from a few factors; I used to make a little zine called Throwaway Literature, typed up and photocopied and distributed amongst friends, and I wondered how it might reach a larger audience. Then I stumbled across an online magazine…and from reading that I thought…’I could do this. Why not?’
So I set up an account at WordPress.com and went about writing articles, cajoling my friends to write for me, and looking into blogging advice. I discovered google reader and found hundreds upon hundreds of blogs. At first I read them for ‘research’, looking at what they were doing, how many comments and readers they had, and trying to take tips from them. I found Positivity blogs and Productivity blogs and advice blogs, all trying to teach me to be a better person, or a better blogger.
After not even having the internet in my house for a year, and definitely not utilising it to its fullest extent when I did have it, I realised I was a tiny drop in a giant, over-saturated ocean. So many people were already out there, posting their ideas, their advice, their thought-processes on…everything I thought about! What could I possibly add to this over-abundance of writing? Who was I to decide my voice deserved to be heard in this din? Why was what I had to say even worth it?
All these blogs were telling me that I had a unique voice, that I could have 100,000 subscribers in a year (or similar…), that it was so easy to start a blog, or eZine, and have a readership within minutes, and I felt completely overwhelmed.
I’d like to point out that I believe in my self-worth as a person, but when it came to the option of parading my thoughts, advice, explorations on the internet, I began to question why. I started to worry about being original and not just regurgitating ideas and advice which everyone has heard a hundred million times. I worried that my personality wouldn’t come across properly, and that maybe it wouldn’t matter if it did. I worried that anyone who did chance to read my ramblings (cleverly disguised as Articles) would disregard them, neither agree nor disagree, but merely glance across and never return.
I’m still unsure about the whole venture.
My original aim with Throwaway Literature, in its purest paper form, was just to write. I’ve written since I was four, doodling Coco The Clown and writing about his exploits at the circus. My Year Five teacher suggested my Mother buy me a nice notebook for all my scribblings. I aced Creative Writing at GCSE, A-level, and when I wasn’t doing it at school anymore, I started Throwaway Literature. The past year has been spent in a Creative Writing MA. I think it’s safe to say, I like to write. So that is what this is about. And that is what Throwaway Literature is about. I like to write.
I just have to quieten the part of me which says I have to be original, unique, witty, engaging in order to gain readers. Of course I want to gain readers, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting this on the internet, the great democracy, but not at the expense of my authenticity. I am not going to write for some imaginary audience member, pandering to their imaginary tastes. It transpires that rather than write for this imaginary audience member, I would rather not write at all. Which is stupid.
So here goes. Throwaway Literature is where you can find articles, by me, on topics ranging from veganism to making poi, moving house to cheeky travelling tips.
Here is where you can find my brain exploding over the internet, and pouring out thoughts on determination, jealousy, why blogging?, anarchism, the merits of getting with an 18 year old when you’re 22, and other interesting events from my daily life. Photos can be found here.
Thanks for listening.