Adventures in (Post) Gradland

Thoughts on life after the PhD

Stuck

I’m kind of stuck right now.

I have a lot of ideas for posts in my head, some that I’ve actually written lengthy drafts of. But I find it a lot harder to hit “publish” these days.

Maybe it’s because Internet culture depresses me. So many online conversations about meaningful topics seem to degenerate into personal attacks, to the point where I tend to avoid any and all comment threads for fear of wanting to crawl into bed for a week. I write something, and then I imagine the kinds of attacks it might generate, and I curl up into a cowardly little ball and don’t share it.

Which is really kind of silly, because I know this blog doesn’t see a huge amount of traffic. (Interestingly, my most popular post remains one I did ages ago on the history of vibrators, though I think a lot of people click on it assuming it’s porn. Same with my posts on Japanese child pornography laws and hostess clubs.) I know that the majority of my readers are people I know. But I have this fear of a post going viral–which would be cool, actually, because I like the thought of a lot of people reading what I write–but at the same time it would be terrifying, because it would open me up to the kind of Internet mob attacks that seem all too commonplace for people who write about sex, gender, feminism, or really any topic that moves beyond the realm of  “stuff we all love.”

So I’m going to try to just write stuff for a bit. Feel free to ignore the posts that don’t interest you, especially if you’re subscribed to my blog. I can’t promise that I’ll follow through on this, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to just write and publish things and not dwell too much on how they might be received. Rest assured that not all of it will be navel-gazing. I really hope none of it will be navel-gazing–if I’m bored by something I don’t enjoy writing it, so the one reason that I *will* refrain from publishing something is if I’m bored by it.

Ganbarou. Clicking. Publish. Now.

2 comments on “Stuck

  1. Mike
    July 9, 2012

    Do it. I am still proud of the 75% virulently negative responses I got to an article I wrote for the Globe and Mail a few years back–I am proud both because a response existed, and because they were highly literate responses.

    I wrote a piece on the riots in Vancouver about a year ago that got some tricky responses from a blogger I criticized (http://www.thekanert.com/2011/06/22/vancouver-riot-watchers/). I seldom feel obliged to speak up, but I do try to adhere to Solzhenitsyn’s rule from his 1970 Nobel speech regarding the responsibility of art and literature:

    “Who will create for mankind one system of interpretation, valid for good and evil deeds, for the unbearable and the bearable, as they are differentiated today? Who will make clear to mankind what is really heavy and intolerable and what only grazes the skin locally? Who will direct the anger to that which is most terrible and not to that which is nearer?… Propaganda, constraint, scientific proof – all are useless. But fortunately there does exist such a means in our world! That means is art. That means is literature.

    “They can perform a miracle: they can overcome man’s detrimental peculiarity of learning only from personal experience so that the experience of other people passes him by in vain. From man to man, as he completes his brief spell on Earth, art transfers the whole weight of an unfamiliar, lifelong experience with all its burdens, its colours, its sap of life; it recreates in the flesh an unknown experience and allows us to possess it as our own.”

  2. furo-chan
    July 9, 2012

    very much looking forward to future posts! been waiting for an update for a while :) am in a really similar situation where there are so many things to write about.. and .. yeah, you know the rest. ganbare—

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Anne McKnight

writing•translation•scholarship on Japan (and a few other things)

A Modern Girl / モダンガール

tales of travel, research, and life

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