Return to the core

At the end of the 4th year of my blog, this is my 200th post. Had I kept the weekly posting up for the past months, I’d have had an average of a post per week. I’m just short of that now, but that’s fine.

When I started this blog, early 2012, I intended to write a pathway into my own subconscious. Digging into darkness and light, expressing it by doing. I also intended to experiment with writing, get myself into the flow. Try out some styles, do interviews, poems, ramblings, short stories and testimonies of my adventures in life.

As I wrote about love, hate, social injustice and the limitations of the mind, as I condemned superficiality and took part in it, the desire to be recognized grew. I could see viewer and follower statistics. I discovered tricks that increased my readership and secretly hoped that one day, independent blogging might become my livelihood. But tricks result in temporary pulses, and Sailing on Dreams did not gradually expand in the way I hoped it would. This became a struggle, I put an effort in making the content more interesting, but discovered that joining trends had more effect. The amount of people who read my blog seemed unrelated to the quality of my articles as I perceived it, but far more linked to the effort I put in attraction. That was, possibly still is, the strongest disillusion I have had as a blogger.

Assuming that good work promotes itself, I started to wonder if my work was good enough. Is the blog’s title too pretentious? Does it miss the match with what I actually write about? Does it work against my words? Do I create the impression of being ungrounded? Is the work itself ungrounded? Not developed enough? Are the topics boring? Am I using bad English? Have I milked myself too far? Am I wrong?

Meanwhile, the lack of real breakthrough in my career and some concerning geopolitical developments grew onto me as a darkening cloud. Some of the stories became darker, too. And who wants to read sad, negative recountings? I usually don’t. But yes, I did get positive feedback from dear friends, and even from strangers. Also a single quite painfully negative one from a friend. Still, it seems as if some people were touched by some of my work. And I did realise that it were never the numbers that mattered, but the motion when touching each others’ souls.

I stopped using that word. Soul. What does it mean, after all? Its smurf-intensity is gi-normous. And it turned into cliché. Trying to be original, I have learned to despise repetition. But repetition gives structure. Stability. Accountability. And the sound of the word soul is good. It comes from deep. It hits breath-bottom.

Perhaps I forgot to find the magic in my words. Judged their enchantment as something self-centred, narcissistic. Perhaps I saw through my own marketing, and lost the capacity to convince myself.  The capacity to surrender to the dreams I sail. In attracting the invisible you, I sometimes forgot about  me.

As I did before in this time of year, now, for my 200th post, I find it time to return to the original intention of this blog. To recalibrate. I still think that in its spark, this blog has the right aim. Some of the series I wrote, such as the words for emotions, tuned into that well. The desire for readership fundamentally does not match that intention, and yet I could not ignore it. The expansion of the original intention towards ‘persociety’, as an attempt to dive into our collective subconscious was also good, as it possibly made the texts more relevant. But the fact that the collective subconscious of the modern west hides some very dark aspects is clearly not popular. I can imagine that exploring it that way, even if playfully, could feel like an accusation of the innocent public. But if that’s where I want to go, then that’s where I will be. Digging tunnels, in the cavities of the internet, sharing happily with those few souls I meet down here.

Thirty years ahead in life, 200 posts on my blog. On the threshold of 2016. You can divide that number by two for five times. Where this year will lead I don’t know. For what it’s worth, it will not stop me from rambling.

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13 thoughts on “Return to the core”

  1. “Perhaps I forgot to find the magic in my words. Judged their enchantment as something self-centred, narcissistic. Perhaps I saw through my own marketing, and lost the capacity to convince myself. The capacity to surrender to the dreams I sail. In attracting the invisible you, I sometimes forgot about me.”

    And yet, you’ll be perfectly fine.
    Just don’t lose yourself in the digging either!

  2. Hang in there, Gilles. I don’t read many blogs, but I’m always eager to read yours, because you look at the World through new eyes. What you’re doing is what the World needs, whether it makes them uncomfortable or not, or rather, *because* it does, as Colonialism comes home to roost. Keep up the Good Work!

  3. As odd as it may sound, try not to please. Anything that is not coming from your true core will, by nature, sound pretentious. I, for one, really like your writing. I find it has depth, even smurf-depth, and those are things that really count. The superficial never grabs. It may lead to sympathy votes, but has no real impact. But when it is coming from the core of who we are, it is projected out into the world as important. That is something we can all grow with.

    Cheers!

  4. Congrats on your 200 post! Some of the more high profile content creators I follow advise to stop checking numbers all together. So hard to do. Your writing is great and at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that your proud of what you put out.

  5. I can relate to what you write here Giles.
    I also want to say I really enjoy your writing and getting to know a bit of you through it.
    I feel as you do that touching one person with my words is really what matters more than the number of Likes or followers. The psychology behind the whole wanting more Likes and followers is very interesting though.
    I’m glad you keep coming back to the screen and sharing with the world. It really is an amazing thing. : )

    1. Yes, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with screens. I’m more silent in real life because I feel it takes time to properly express yourself. Screens don’t speak back, but they do tire you. Oh yes that’s why I write in booklets first. Thanks!

  6. I just started blogging this year. I never expected to get swept up in tracking the numbers. It’s so difficult to keep your eye on your intention when watching your statistics. I read your posts all the way through. I can’t say that for many blogs. Here’s to new explorations in 2016.

  7. Congrats on your 200 post! Do not stop rambling. I always enjoy your writing. I agree with Suzanne that what matters is to truly touch one person’s heart. And you do it. And much more considering comments from others. As for me, I like it, I enjoy it and I think that it would be sad if you would follow anything else but that what you are. And your writing is you without marketing compromises or standards, but therefore personaly autenthic. And that is what true writing should be.Because yours is like that I respect you and love you.

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