Public declaration of mediocrity

Look, I’m blogging! Syd says I’m not allowed to keep blogging about how I’m going to blog more, so if she is reading this over your shoulder, please skip down to the next fourth paragraph. 

I finally took up carrying my notebook around again; I usually bring my journal around if I know I’m going to have down time and could conceivably want to write, but it’s kind of conspicuous to pull out in public. My pocket notebook — because it is pocket-sized — gets much more use, because I can pull it out and write all stealthy-like. I realized that I keep thinking of things I feel like blogging and/or poeming about, but not writing anything down. (Also, having the work iPad around all the time makes me much less inclined to turn on my laptop, and the WordPress app isn’t exactly enticing.)

So. Now I am carrying a notebook, and filling it with such profound notes as: “accepting imperfection / Jeopardy quote / imperfection becomes an excuse for inaction / resumes + cover letters / copy edit, please / scheduling time for writing / chapbook deadline / Anna D. Smith / free things / community / media representation.”

Ugh, I used to lecture Daily Bruin columnists all the time about using the first third of their columns to describe how they come up with the topic of their posts (generally a series of non sequiturs and descriptions of college kids doing laundry and thumb-twiddling in front of computer monitors. But now I’m doing it! Yay! I’ve been basking in live poetry and music for the past few weeks, and it’s made me want to write and create things and dance through downtown singing off-key.

I realized, however, that I have become one of those people who needs to start putting everything on a calendar if I ever want it to happen. Le sigh. But now I have Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons blocked out for writing, which means I will be doing this (thanks, Miranda July! h/t HBR):

So top of the rambling list of notes: “accepting imperfection.” That was my New Year’s resolution, which I kind of forgot about, until my friend Jessica reminded me a few weeks back. (But I don’t feel bad about forgetting, suckaz! I am busy, and sometimes I forget shit, get over it.) I don’t know how you actively accept imperfection, so it’s a kind of recursive, self-informed imperfect resolution. I was reminded of it last week when meeting with my boss’s boss, and we started talking about Jeopardy (which naturally comes up in any good discussion about fundraising, duh). Boss’s boss said she would never go on Jeopardy because she doesn’t want to be on television where people she knows could see her getting answers wrong. As I’ve said before, my co-workers are both crazy supportive and crazy competitive. But there was a level of intensity in boss’s boss’s comment that caught even me off-guard. I actually think she would win, a lot, but I guess we’ll never get to see that.

I was talking to Syd and Lorena about blogging this weekend, and I realized that part of the reason I post so sporadically is because I don’t want random half-formulated thoughts all over the Internet. But, hey, too late! Years of copy editing die hard. But I also realized during Writers Workshop that I was posting a bunch of really mediocre fiction, but on good days, I also wrote things I liked. So, you  know, writing is a process — bet no one ever had that realization before.

I suppose this post is a manifesto for the stunning potential of mediocrity (as a transitional phase). I’m getting back into the habit of writing, and I accept that it will be a messy, imperfect process. And soon there will be messy, imperfect posts about free things and community and chapbook deadlines.

Digital thought blueprint

First, a bit of irony: I got so excited about launching this blog that I started a new (print) journal so I could write about being excited about how excited I was to be writing. Actually, that last sentence is probably a pretty good indicator of

Why I’m starting this blog:
If meta-cognition were tactile, I would high-five it, then go online, post about it, and +1 my own post. I’m also interested in the ways in which technology, social media and the Internet (along with myriad associated software, hardware, theory, post-structuralist/materialist/post-everything/Web 2.0/open-source musings) changes/has changed the way that we — and I — think, interact and view community, time, ethics, learning and identity. I’m exploring those shifts* by tracking my own thoughts back to “original” sources and influences.

What this blog is:
OK, so, like, essentially, I’m trying to create a digital archive of my brain (read: experience of consciousness and society), in über-hyperlinked blog form. At this moment, I’m envisioning a mix of posts on: social media, digital communities, anthropology, digital ethics, theory, participatory culture and identity formation. I might also repost content from other social media networks, tapping into whatever scattered digital archive of myself already exists.

What I’d like from you:
Comments and permission to comment on your comments. As much as this is an exercise in navel-gazing (digital native-gazing?), I’m also kind of doing my friends a favor, since people’s eyes tend to glaze over when I drool while talking initiate conversations about some of these topics. Blogging is my concession to the people I care about; now you can opt in to these conversations.

Also-ran titles and taglines:**

  • “idea potluck” —> “idea smorgasbord” –> “thoughtluck
  • digital native-gazing
  • wikiMEdia

* (self-indulgently, narcissistically, solipsistically, yes, this is a blog, remember?)
** Just kidding, but I’m not above bad puns and portmanteaus.***
*** While you’re down here, you should know that I also love footnotes. I might try to work in mouse-over text instead, though.