After 484 days I finally start writing my 100th blog post. In fact, it's my 105th blog post, "but who's counting"! On the 537th day, I finally edited, translated and published it. Everything takes longer than you think.
This blog is my very own writing workshop. Writing is not a hobby, it never was. I have never written a diary for more than a week (except six months in Marmande, France), never produced poetry, invented lyrics, or turned my innermost outward in any way. Why should I? Who would be interested? The simple answer is, it interests ME. I want to put my thoughts on paper, record what's happening in my head. My head doesn't work the way I would like. Most of the time memories make me feel embarrassed...
Photography allows me to heighten memories, to emphasise the positive, to capture the beauty that relativises too quickly in my head. The written word enables me to record the relativity of that creation. Together I come closer to what fascinates me about the world and myself: the balancing act between security and danger, beauty and disgust, love and hate. Slowly I become more consistent; sometimes I am even good. Sometimes I reread blog posts, others I forget entirely. Every time I try to express something I experienced. I try to be subjective, selective. As always, sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't.
At the moment, writing is not art, but part of my journey, because everything I want to achieve in my life requires me to put my perspective into words. The text is the basis. It is an imperfect, very void, simplified base, but it's the only foundation I can create. I have no god given talent for writing. But I love to deal with the written word. That's better than talent. I have many skills I didn't work for, most of them I have no interest in pursuing. I have no interest to underpin that natural ability with the craftsmanship that it needs to share it with other people. I feel like we should delete the word talent from our vocabulary. It's a waste of time. A gap filler people use when they don't understand where someone has learned something. Replace the word talent with inclination, and you are much closer to the truth. I had an early fascination with texts. The longest time I have spent believing that writers are people struck by genius. Nothing is further from the truth. I wish my teachers had taught or even understood this. Instead, they used nonsense rules in an attempt to educate us. They claimed: this is what good texts look like. I never understood anything they were on about, because even though I didn't get what they were trying to do, I knew pretty well, that that statement was bullshit. It's like showing Picasso's picture of a dove and saying, that's what a dove looks like. It could not be further from reality. Only those who see a dove, who hear and watch her, know what a dove looks like. Everyone else knows what a dove looks like when Picasso reduces it to its basics. It doesn't diminish the value of the picture. On the contrary, after all, Picasso has done his job and created something that is universally understood. A big achievement. But if you want to do the job of Picasso, you have to watch the pigeons see what Picasso didn't notice. And that's what I'm doing right now. I try to look at the world. Of course, I will fail, but this isn't about winning. Art is about failure. I will fail until others think I am winning.
In Dehli I'm lucky to hear a talk about blogging. It's a welcome reminder of the founding rules of this kind of publishing. Even if none of what is said is new to me, I look at my work and my decisions with fresh eyes. Early on, I decided not to give my blog a financial goal. I don't want to advertise or collaborate with companies. In the process, I lost sight of the fact that every person who writes a blog sells something. It doesn't always have to be a product or a monetary exchange, but nobody calls into the forest without listening for a reverb. I have to think about what I am selling here. Because I have no idea. Maybe you guys have an idea? It's easier to see from the outside than from the inside. In an ideal world, I would write for every kind of person. Of course, especially for people like me. Women who are not sure if they can do it alone. But at the same time for people who don't intend to travel around the world but are interested in the experiences of others. People who like to read.
Those who have read this blog from the beginning know that I am always switching between texts in the present and the past tense. I try to change that. It should be present. It's always present. I now stipulate I will write in the present tense. It's set for eternity. (Not for the first time, after all, art is failing.)