So, this week, for my tenth reflection post (and 30th total post), I decided to write a reflection post about my reflection posts. This may seem like some kind of recursive paradox, but I think it may be an interesting topic to discuss.
I originally wanted my blog to just become a place for me to publish some of my short stories and poems, but after a couple months went by, I realized I would run out of stories rather quickly if I just kept posting new ones every week, yet if I don’t post often enough, I may end up forgetting about the blog. This was when I realized that I need to post something else as well.
I also realized that this is supposed to be a blog, not simply a repository for stories. A blogger has to put himself out there, so I decided to do these reflection posts. I knew I could talk about my writing experiences, my writing process, and discuss a few of my favorite storytelling tropes (I have a neat reflection about Chekhov’s Gun planned). These are topics I very much like talking about, in conversation, but am generally afraid to bring them up. How many people like to discuss the intricacies of fiction? Not to mention the fact that I can really go on and on about these things, so I fear I might end up boring people.
It’s kind of strange; I’m usually a quiet person, but when you bring up the topic of writing, or the details of my stories, you can have trouble getting me to stop talking.
I wrote my first reflection piece, confidence and criticism, hoping to put myself out there a bit more. It was written as an extension to my about page, in a way, where I talked about the history of my writing of stories, my issues with confidence and criticism, and basically the events leading up to my starting the blog. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? It’s right here! I’m weird in that I generally don’t like talking about myself, but who’s going to follow a blog by some stranger people know absolutely nothing about?
Normally, I really hate writing nonfiction – and I mean that very strongly. Sticking within the bounds of reality makes the writing process become a lot more boring for me. You already have a pre-defined beginning, middle, and end, none of which can be changed, and you can’t embellish on the details as much, and there’s less room for spontaneity. Plus, you certainly can’t write about cool stuff, like science fiction or supernatural themes. It just makes nonfiction writing little more than work to me.
In order to get around that, with these reflections, I decided to be informal, make it more like I’m just talking rather than trying to write a nonfiction story. I wrote the reflections to be just like I’m having a conversation with my followers, hoping that they are interested in the intricacies of fiction, and how I apply them to my writing, to teach them something about fiction, or give other writers a few pointers through tales of my own experience. I don’t plan too much in advance, and just write about whatever I feel like writing about that week. I’m not trying to write something publishable, just say what’s on my mind.
Sure, I edit the reflections, of course, but mostly for grammar, spelling, and making sure that nothing’s confusingly written. I do occasionally get a bit carried away, though. The difference between communicating through electronic writing and talking is that when you talk, you say it, and it’s said and can’t be unsaid, but when you write, you put the words on paper, and can see what they looks like, and review it extensively before sending it.
So by having the reflection posts on this blog, I can talk about writing, and not worry about boring people with it. By keeping it informal, it also becomes much easier to ensure that I always have something ready for posting for my Monday reflections. Of course, that’s not always the case (for crying out loud, this particular reflection was a bit delayed).
By the way, I do take requests for topics of reflection posts. If you’ve got one, send it on my contact page, or just leave a comment. Anyway, I have to go. White Rakogis will see you Friday (well, I actually won’t see you at all as this is just text, but you get the idea)!