Field Notes #005

After so many years of writing with a very specific audience in mind, it’s time for me to spend some time writing (and publishing) whatever the hell I feel like, at least for a few weeks.

But the truth is, I don’t know how to do that anymore. I’m so used to testing my ideas, so used to curating them around a theme, so used to actively researching my intended audience that nearly everything I write feels like a staged performance.

For the longest time, I believed that was the Right Way to present yourself in public. Start from your authentic values and views, then sand them down and polish them up so that everything you put out there in the world is this finely crafted thing which fits neatly on the shelf next to all the other neatly curated bits and bobs that you produced in a similar fashion.

These days, I’m not so sure. The polar opposite (“Just spewing out whatever random shit you feel like”) is still deeply unattractive to me, even if it is literally the default on social media . I am also skeptical of chronic oversharing from people who take themselves too seriously but seem to want to come across as carefree and authentic by being quirky and emotionally vulnerable in public.

The thing I am in search of is some sort of happy middle ground.

The question of whether that can exist in public is one that I don’t know the answer to. Maybe the solution is to publish but neither read the comments nor monitor the analytics. Just share from within yourself, and don’t think much about what the world has to say in response.

I feel conflicted about that idea, but I think I’ll try it out and see how it goes.