On public writing / writing for the public

(In January 2018, I found this in my drafts folder from August 2016; I’m posting it now)

I’m currently in the midst of reading Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics, and I just finished Sina Queyras’ contribution – “Public Poet, Private Life: 20 Riffs on the Dream of a Communal Self”. I really like it. It’s vulnerable and defiant, a quasi-autobiographical account of her struggles with engaging with a public voice. It touched a chord in me.

I haven’t been updating. Yeah, I’ve been busy, but everyone is busy these days, even when we’re very much not: we’re busy not being busy. It’s not really much of an excuse. Or rather, it’s a convenient smokescreen. Real talk time: I have been tailoring my online contributions for fear of what others will say – that I switch about too much, that I just jump from one thing to another, that I am inconsistent. Over the course of the past decade, I’ve had two personal LJ accounts (plus several others), a presence on two different forums, three Blogger/Blogspot blogs, I think I signed up for Xanga once and used it maybe a few times, three WordPress blogs including this one, a Twitter account, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, FourSquare, several Tumblrs, Instagram, Facebook, oh and then another WordPress account as an editor for Paper Droids. Also now I’m involved in managing three Facebook groups for larger organizations. There are a few I’m not remembering now.

I think I just need to get over it and realize that the plethora of platforms does not matter because 1) tons of poets have done the same and, more importantly, 2) I’ve been living in a time of rapidly changing technology and rapidly changing self – I have been multiple selves over this past decade and it each self has reached out, tried to be public and private at the same time; I am consistent in the fact that I am writing out, reaching out, and the changing platform really doesn’t have a lot to do with personal choice but with the tools at hand.

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