Blogging & Writing · Culture & Society · Faith & Spirituality · Recollections & Reflections

An ode to blogging

One of the things that really just irritates me is when I have a blog post pretty much ready to publish, but then life gets in the way (boo, life!), and then when I get the opportunity to finally publish the post, I feel differently about it and then end up trashing it.

As I wrote in yesterday’s now-trashed post, I feel beholden to the idea of real-time blogging. This is something a friend of mine mentioned a few weeks ago about why she hesitates to start: she doesn’t want to make public record stances and opinions that might later change. I think that’s a valid concern. I could and might share this view; and yet I think the fact that we have this textual evidence of how fluctuating we all really are, this can be quite humbling. If we can recognize the vagaries of time and that most of us (including ourselves) are all struggling to figure things out.

But that’s the thing. Many of us never can imagine that our perspective is just one among billions of other perspectives. To think what we hold to be true now is the only way of seeing things is comforting. Because if we’re in a constant state of doubt, can we ever truly know anything? Skeptics might think themselves as the only people who truly “get it.” But it really depends on your epistemological foundations. We all have an epistemology, whether we know it or not. While I do believe there is the ultimate Truth (in a word, Islam), there are also other truths – like my personal truths – that I have to discover on my own.

Blogging allows me to do this. But in so doing, I come to realize that my truths are a continuum. They always will be, as will other peoples’ personal truths. To think we are static beings who will always feel the same way about things is limiting not only ourselves, but in my opinion, the omnipotence of God. Now if you don’t believe in God, what I write will probably seem naive to you. But like I said, we all have our own perspectives. I can believe I am right. You can believe you are right. It all depends on our foundations.

So, where was I going with that meandering of a paragraph? I honestly don’t know. I just let myself get into a pseudo-philosophical musing because, well, I can and wanted to.

Blogging is an interesting beast. There are no conventions I need to follow. I don’t need the approval of an editor before I decide to hit publish. That’s not to say that I think bunking all writing conventions is cool. I obviously don’t. There are times when we do need the opinions of others (and sometimes even in blogging). But what I love about blogging is that it is where I feel the most free (not truly free, because I don’t believe that’s ever possible, but I won’t get into that now). Where I don’t have to sit with stereotypes. Where in some sense I can be the pariah I desperately want to be at times.

I am not actually a pariah. In “real” life, I follow a lot of conventions. I willingly subject myself to different modes of authority. We need that in order to function in a society. I mean, I was just thinking about this the other day: What if we all decided to not obey traffic signals? Chaos. And on a personal level, I willingly subject myself to what I believe to be the ultimate authority (i.e God) as best I can, although I am far from perfect.

Islam permeates my life wherever I go, whether it be in real life (due to my “ostensible religious symbol,” to quote the French, that is the headscarf) or in my writing. I wouldn’t want it any other way. But in my writing, I get to transcend — in a modest fashion, of course! — others’ expectations of me. I can write almost whatever I want. And the things I could/would/should not write about are probably best to not have out there in public.

Barring surveillance, modesty, and privacy though, I am like a bird (if cows could fly, I would have said “cow”). I don’t have to have a cohesive theme. I don’t have to explain my methodology, unless I want to. I don’t have to demonstrate what use my writing will have for others. All this and more is why I come back to blogging as my preferred mode of writing. I don’t mind dabbling from time to time in other forms, as I have done and hope to continue to do. But blogging is almost ineffable in what it means to me.

It’s kinda pathetic how many of my posts have been about blogging over the years. I can’t guarantee this one will be the last.

To anyone reading: What is blogging for you? Why did you start? Why do continue? And if you don’t, why not?

Happy Sunday!

4 thoughts on “An ode to blogging

  1. Blogging with the intention of showcasing a never changing, well rounded perspective is naive. Our perspectives are always changing.

    That’s why I think people struggle less with blogging, and writing in general, when they go into it acknowledging that it’ll be a journey of growth and development. You’ve gotta think about the fact that your posts this month might be very different to what you post next year. You might consider your old posts or opinions wrong. But the beauty is in seeing that growth from one post to another. Seeing where you were then and appreciating where you are now.

    I really like your writing and word choice in this one, Rafia. :]

    Liked by 1 person

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