Of the qualities that define me—certainly of those that characterize my intellect—my reflexivity is perhaps foremost among them. I revel in all that is "meta," secondary, gazing at itself ("navel-gazing," I call it when I'm feeling particularly sardonic). This is how my brain works: it thinks and all the while it thinks on what it's thinking, and how, tracking its own movements like a hunter uncovering prints of paw and hoof in the woods.
If at one point this habit began as a delight, it is now, at its worst, a runaway beast devouring its own tail; a burden and a compulsion, broken free of its reins. A glimpse into my personal life and its daily emotional tumult would reveal as much.
And so—given the burden of such self-consciousness, why not also harness it towards some good? To share its gleanings, or at least record them? I am the laboratory and the scientist. Let the hours clocked at the microscope yield fruit.
Melodramatic flair aside, this is an entry point into an announcement: I am writing. A book of sorts. And I will be documenting the writing journey as doggedly as I can.
I have been known to make promises—100 days of writing! 3 months of this. A month of that!—and promptly turn around to break them. In fact, for my impulsive temperament the surest way to sever my ties to a project may just be the very act of commitment itself. Especially if said declarations of fealty are made loudly and in public for all to hear—all the better to unceremoniously dump the hobby altogether, compelled by sudden and inexplicable aversion, making a mockery of my own capacity for follow-through.
So this time, a gentle promise. Not even: an intention. Let's see what can be done when there is a willingness to fall off the wagon a few times, what corpus can be at last produced when freed from the scrutiny and whip of the taskmaster who dares the flighty creative impulse to stay or else.
Why a writing journal?
Because the feeling of having something to put into writing and not being able to cleanly produce it is a torment. Exorcising the words of this book out of my gut is gory stuff. Elusive, too. The least I can do is to keep a steady rhythm in another kind of writing, one where I will always have something to say because there is, daily, an observation to be made about the book and its fragile development—even if it's to say that a given day was barren and fruitless. In other words, this ensures that I will always have something to say, if not always the thing I most want to say.
Also because: I love to post. It's as frequent and public (among my social media friends, at least) as I want it to be. And that has a nourishing and exhilarating pull all of its own.
I suppose I should mention what it is that I'm writing. I can't offer anything coherent except to say it's a book of fragments on self-love and trauma—nonfiction, hopefully more literary than self-help but straddling (as I do) the middle ground. Learning to tread this tightrope feels like risky and thrilling business, but here goes nothing.