Paypabak recently posted an article about the driving force that compels one to blog. Like Pay, the outpourings on these pages aren’t aimed towards family, friends or colleagues; my audience is far more nebulous and vague than that, and that has sometimes unexpected outcomes!
Much of the what she says resonates strongly with me… Some of the words she uses in her short, but insightful post strike a chord within me. Words like momentum, consuming, and refining; expressions like, ‘finding turns of phrase that make me smile’, ‘then let it go’, and, ‘that’s as good as it needs to be’ – all fascinating insights into how I’m sure many of us members of that weird species called bloggers think and feel.
The other word Pay mentions is passion, and here I have to stop. And, think.
Am I passionate about blogging? Am I passionate about SL? Is it passion that drives me to constantly and continually subject you, and myself, to the endless stream of mental Diarrhoea that flows across the pages of this blog?
And, perhaps surprisingly, the only answer I find myself coming up with is ‘probably not’.
I am not a particularly passionate person. Instead, I’d consider myself to be rational, analytical, sometimes acerbic, pragmatic and somewhat unflappable – I do at times think there really should be more passion in my life, but then again, that takes an emotional commitment, something I avoid if at all possible. I have, at times, paid serious consideration to whether I have the mindset to be a serial killer or assassin, and come to the rational conclusion that – in a strictly clinical sense – I could indeed have a psychopathically wired brain. Consequently, it should really come as no surprise that I find it hard to be passionate about writing, even though I get an enormous buzz from it and a real thrill from the whole process of putting words together in a creative way. I thoroughly enjoy writing of all sorts, formal, academic, fiction, poetry and prose, to the extent that I always have some means of getting the ideas out from my head and into tangible form, no matter where or when I am.
Even so, I couldn’t say that any of the above is the result of passion, neither is SL. I enjoy SL and I find it can be an enormously fulfilling environment; I’ve made some wonderful friends in the virtual world and I love the challenges it presents, the creativity it unlocks and the surprises it can spring… but I am by no means passionate about Second Life.
Neither writing, nor SL are a passion, they are just something I do, although like so many other things in my life, I pursue them with a single-minded determination that will encompass and subsume every aspect of the subject matter at hand. I know the Latin names of my houseplants, and the grape varieties and provenance of every bottle of wine in the rack, I can tell you exactly how a PC works, strip it down and rebuild it from scratch – that’s just the way I am. To a certain extent, I have a logically eidetic memory, although I am hopeless at remembering anything with an emotional context – I’ll recognise you in the street, but will struggle to remember your name. I have a dangerously obsessive character, but it is not compulsive – my DVD collection is in no particular order and I have food in my fridge that has practically evolved into new life forms.
So is writing an obsession? Is Second Life an obsession?
Truthfully, I don’t think so. I don’t need either to function, neither do I need my daily fix of one or the other, without which I’d get the shakes, go into a decline and eventually shut down… If the internet died today and writing was banned, I’d just find something else to fill my time. (OK, that was a little bit of a white lie – I’d still write, because the subversive, non-conformist, anti-establishment part of me would insist that I did!)
Why then does so much of me revolve around writing, Second Life, and writing about Second Life?
I dunno. Perhaps there’s just something inside me that needs release – something that needs to get out there and do something creative, subversive and different – all things that lie at the very heart of both writing, and immersing oneself in SL. Maybe that’s it, maybe not.
This post has been a very odd experience to write – not what I planned or expected. Hmm…
This is my church
This is where I heal my hurts
Faithless – God Is A DJ