Back on Blogging

I’ve been saying that I want to blog for quite some time now. First, it started with a desire to record my thoughts in a more deliberate fashion rather than simply journaling or writing my thoughts down in my moleskin the old fashioned diary way. I wanted to methodologically sift through my thoughts and find clarity. To discover new opinions and burnish old ones, thus cultivating nascent ideas and refurbishing “un-problematized” perspectives rather than apathetically recording what happened throughout the day. Moreover, I thought of blogging as an opportunity to improve my writing skills, or as my English 101 teacher’s grading would indicate: my lack thereof. So last year, right around this time, I released my first entry but a few entries later I stopped blogging and resorted to saying that I want to blog. I began to make excuse after excuse as to why I hadn’t written an entry as I had so passionately advertised to my closest friends. Notable ‘reasons’ were: because my competitive debate involvements were too time-consuming, or because I had research commitments over the summer, or as a junior philosophy major trying to attend graduate school in a few years I had a slew of upper division philosophy courses that were kicking my ass this semester. All of these ‘reasons’ were true, but they were not the reason I hadn’t written.

By this point, you probably think that this entry’s big takeaway is not to be lazy and to manage your time better. And If that’s what you take from this post, fine, however, laziness wasn’t my problem — perfectionism was. Just as I wrestled through JSTOR article after JSTOR article in my philosophy courses and ultimately requested that my professors give me an Incomplete because I wanted to perfect their required term papers, perfectionism too crippled me from actually writing and blogging as I desired. For example, I listened to the Trump’s inauguration speech and carefully investigated it’s worded text in hopes of adding to a piece I was working on entitled “We Gon’ be Alright: The Political Optimism of Black People.” But perfectionism struck again. I texted Bruce saying “I wrote an intro to the blog entry I’m working on… and now I have to change it.” I scratched the intro and the 400 plus words that accompanied it because I didn’t like it. Perfectionism disarmed me. I don’t have the answers to overcoming this incapacitating perfectionism. Hell, all I can do is take steps in the right direction. As such, I put my timer on 25 minutes and said I would post this entry whether I liked it or not. Maybe I’ll do the same for future posts; maybe not. But I want to think about what black history month actually means to me, how gentrification has a discursive logic that parallels Native American displacement, or what, as an aspiring scholar-activist, scholar activism practically looks like. And perfectionism won’t paralyze me from writing these thoughts down and sharing them with you. So, in short, I’m back on blogging!

-Keith Matier

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