Starting out blogging
Despite being an avid consumer of content I had never thought of becoming a creator of it myself until now. I had always felt that I had nothing to say of interest to others and that I lacked any area of particular knowledge and most of all I think I saw the practice as being rather “American”. I realise that to generalise (and yes I do intend to use UK spelling throughout) any practice as being common to nearly 320m people of almost every race, religion, and background is misguided in the extreme. However, it is exactly these types of preconceptions, that moving to New York, helped me to cast aside.
Ironically I had always considered myself to be well travelled and in large part because of those experiences devoid of prejudice (at least to the extent anyone can be). Yet America for some reason had always been somewhat of an outlier for me. I blame George Bush! But I won’t get into that here. Some of the misguided impressions I held of Americans painted them as arrogant and at times fake for example. Traits that I now understand are far better represented as self-belief and genuine warmth. I relay this simply for context. The context that I am a convert to this country, its people and now it seems apparently to blogging.
So what about my other two roadblocks to blogging. Well I realised these are inconsequential. I still have no deep knowledge in a specific area. But there are a lot topics which I feel very passionately about. And while I would certainly love to engage others in conversations on these topics, ultimately I am writing because I care and because through blogging I hope to deepen my knowledge in these areas.
While I have always been very opinionated (so I’m told), for some reason I’ve found that living as a foreigner in this country has made me even more so. One reason for this I believe is that it is easier to see things from a different perspective when you are an outsider with fewer preconceived notions. Yes I see the irony. OK so perhaps different preconceived notions is more accurate in this case. I could easily pick at the many faults and challenges of my home country, the UK, and sometimes I will. However, my focus will be the US for two reasons. For one, it is where I am based and so through proximity I feel closer to the issues. Secondly, I believe that the perspective of an outsider is potentially more interesting….potentially.
So what topics will I write about? Well for now I think I’ll start with some easy uncontroversial ones, such as the fallacy of the American dream, the broken political system, the disease of religion, the broken immigration system, the impending implosion of the healthcare system, and the warped thinking on gun control! To be clear I am not picking topics at random or simply to court controversy. Rather it is because these are some of the issues that I feel will ultimately define how this country will be judged by history.
Some disclosures upfront. I am prone to ranting and am fully aware of this. I mean not to offend and write purely in the spirit of attempting to further the conversation on these issues. I will try my best to always get the facts right. However, there will be times I don’t. I apologise in advance and would value your help in setting me straight.
I very much look forward to the challenges that blogging will entail and would greatly appreciate any feedback and comments that will help me improve as I go.
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(this post originally appeared at www.nickcrosthwaite.com)