I wish I could happily report on what progress I’ve made with Of Opinions – the book. But, I haven’t touched it in weeks. Some of you may have expected it, given by my frequent lack of motivation that I write about just as frequently here. I am not embarrassed, not in this case. Because, I am sure that it was not material, or a doubt in myself for conveying that material, that I have lacked in the past few weeks. I have been preoccupied with other things, though anybody who’s ever read a how-to-write essay on the internet knows that’s not a good enough excuse. And so, I will give you what I believe is a good enough excuse – I am not sure of my ambitions with this blog.
I am sure of my ambitions as a writer, make no mistake about that. But, even this blog, with a seemingly large scope for subject, has its limitations. These limitations are of my own make, and also what my readers have come to expect from me. No one has imposed these on me, except me and the course this blog has taken. Like any event in your life, big or small, it’s not only the immediate parties who are wholly responsible for it. This blog has grown, maybe not as much as what I or any other regular blogger expects it to grow. Some may think me too ambitious, to crave more attention for my blog than it deserves to get, while some may have, very kindly, opinions at the opposite end. Either way, this blog is something, and continues to change and evolve ever so slightly, in ways that are unforeseeable to me who is making it, and you, who help me in making it.
But, turning it into something in long-form, more self-important, very much part and representative of it, and yet coveting affection outside it, seems to be violating the basic principles this blog was built on. Think of my posts – those awkward, rambling, 800-word essays. Pitch them to someone who is in the trade of words – social media publicist, book publisher etc – and it doesn’t exactly scream like the next The Fault in Our Stars. Which I am absolutely fine with. I can’t imagine having the ambition to write something like that. But, these posts are representative of what’s to come, except, comparatively, they feel like highly entertaining 30-second commercials to the 20-minute one-off episodes I hope to turn them into. I know I can manage a lively little conversation that lasts for 3 minutes (as WordPress has been telling me lately), but can I give you something more with the same tools I have?
“Something more” would have made a more appropriate title for this post. Of Opinions has, unexpectedly, occupied so much of my time and my life in the past year. It doesn’t look as professional as other blogs which have thrived for so long with, similarly, regular posts. There are two comments I often get from readers. One, that they find it remarkable how regularly I post and two, that despite my constant searching for making this blog better, I should only stick to making it whatever I want to.
But, I want to make it good. I am highly ambitious for it. I don’t ever see it as turning into a job, or even a part-time source of income, as many dedicated bloggers have managed to make theirs. Nothing I can make for it can generate any revenue in that sense. One ambition of mine is to make it a platform to promote writers, artists, sources for mental health awareness etc. But, all that requires the kind of professionalism I don’t find myself possessive of at this moment. To be completely naked about my feelings, I am afraid of acting on some of the aspirations I have for this blog, mere ideas, but which may, in the event of a failure, even put me off doing what I have done right so far.
And I don’t want to stop doing that. I like having these conversations a few times a week. I am this kind of an essayist. This works for me, whereas the social media promotion and being a traditional writer (i.e., the kind that writes books) will take some work. There are no end to ambitions once you start dreaming them up, but it’s also good to be sure of what you have.
Do you have ambitions for your blog? It would be lovely if you could share them.