Writing is a relatively new passion of mine – only about a year old – so it was difficult for me to relate to Orwell’s progression as writer. Where Orwell knew from the age of five or six that he was destined to become a writer, I was determined from a similar age to make sure that my destiny was anything other than a writer. I always saw the discipline as fuzzy and insubstantial, and didn’t understand the beauty that can come from putting words on a page.
Once I started to gain an affinity for writing, my mindset was similar to Didion’s, although I had no idea who she was at the time. My primary interest in writing has been somewhat vain in the fact that I love to write about myself, but it is about more than self-promotion. Similar to how Didion says she “writes entirely to find out what I’m thinking”, I often write for the purpose of self-understanding and clarity. Taking things one step further, I find it very cathartic to synthesize mistakes that I may have made in the past.
Orwell stated that good writing should have political purpose, and for the most part, I agree with his statement. For that reason, blogging is something that I don’t feel 100% comfortable doing. My political ideals are constantly evolving and developing, and it is scary to think that after clicking “Publish”, a specific thought of mine is frozen in time for anyone with internet access to see. For instance, Sullivan talks about how he was blogging about 9/11 in real time, an activity that if I was intellectually mature enough at the time, I would have never done. My thoughts in one specific moment can radically change a few days later, and I would never want to put close-minded or potentially erroneous opinions out on the Internet for the world to see. Sullivan describes this feeling as if it’s a good thing, but I find it to be the polar opposite. All that being said, I kept a travel blog a few summers ago and enjoyed it tremendously, but to combine the freewheeling nature of blogging and Orwell’s ideology of writing for political purpose is a daunting premise.
When submitting written pieces in class for example, I am generally very confident in my work. I have strived to create a valuable product and I know exactly who is going to read it. That feeling provides me with comfort. Creating a blog though is tremendously different. Even with a seemingly docile entry like this one, I am very hesitant when clicking the “Publish” button.