Putting the self on display – and Writing about Writing

There is something strange about keeping a blog like this, where so much of my life has been put on display to read. I shrunk from linking it on facebook until recently and when I did (and got a surge in hits) I felt a strange sense of shame, as if I’d suddenly had something intimate more widely exposed. Would the people I had written about read what I had written? Would they think I was some self obsessed idiot, or be surprised at my neuroticism?

We live in a world where the way in which people “write” has fundamentally changed. If you wish to get your writing out there, you must create a blog. One common aim is to generate traffic and eventually monetize. More and more novels are commissioned from bloggers. Moreover, blogging has become an important avenue of marketing. Much of what in a previous era would have been called “copywriting”, is now known as “travel blogging”, “beauty blogging”, and “lifestyle blogging”.

Sensing that I would need some supplementary income in the months to come (my stipend in Germany will cover my living expenses, but with not a lot of room to manoeuvre), I created this blog as an attempt to dip my toe into this rather cynical world. The personal effect of the mixing of personality and blogging “technique” is still something I am adjusting to. I am not sure I ever will, or if it would be natural to.

It was argued by Herbert Marcuse in the 60s that technological development would increasingly interpellate individuals as one-dimensional (and I know I am horribly simplifying here). I have never fully swallowed new-leftist thought but it is strange to feel conscious of oneself as voluntarily participating in such an experience, of putting a constructed, marketized self on display; at times it feels alienating (and certainly moreso than more mundane use of technology, e.g. social media).

Perhaps creative output has always involved a bit of self-marketing. Examples of this can be certainly found in the classical world at least (as anyone who has read any Cicero can testify to). At any rate, please have a look at some of my previous posts, e.g. Why I am Accepting Minimalism or Deutsche Sprache, Schwere Sprache, and remember to like, comment and share!



One thought on “Putting the self on display – and Writing about Writing

  1. nikita2829

    I understand completely. I can’t bring myself to share many of my posts on FB, and they’re not even that personal, mainly travel and book reviews. I also know that I’d get a lot more traffic if I did share it, or create a FB page for my blog, but it feels too personal somehow, maybe I still haven’t figured out how to pitch it properly. Oh, and my family often ask me why I don’t “make any money” from my blog, as if all WordPress blogs automatically start generating serious income :’)

    Liked by 1 person

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