Value Propositioning

Tell me, why are you reading this blog?

Why should anyone?

Very basic questions, these, ones I touched on in my second and sixth posts, in an attempt to justify inflicting one more blog upon an already-saturated Internet in this Too-Much-Information Age. However, those early posts focused on what I want to get out of Write Learning, what I hope to accomplish, not why people who aren’t me might choose to take time out of their days to read my words.

Today, I want to ask a question that’s been lurking about the corners of my mind, one I should have trained a spotlight on weeks ago: When it comes to Write Learning, what’s in it for you?

In terms of my core topics, it’s certainly plausible that if you’re curious about Sudbury schooling or Zen, you might appreciate accounts of my life as a Sudbury veteran and a Zen novice. In particular, if—like me—you seek genuine educational alternatives, you may find CASE‘s efforts to promote the visibility and viability of Sudbury schools to be of some interest.

Speaking as a quasi-published writer, of course I’d also like to believe that the quality of the poems, essays, and stories shared in this blog will make following it worth your while. (Having been complimented and compensated for my writing plenty of times, you might think I’d have grown past relying on positive feedback to sustain me. Yet for now, at least, that level of confidence remains more aspiration than reality.)

I don’t want any of us wasting our time here. There is far too much to be done, important and enjoyable activities, for us to distract ourselves swimming in a sea of silly words. So I suppose what this all comes down to is the following:  my fervent wish to find a nice, healthy overlap between my passions and those of others. In order for me to make a decent living promoting Sudbury and indulging my love of writing, exploring the meaning of my recent moves and assessing my current status and direction—well, as I said, you readers have to be gaining something as well (and not just something, but enough of it).

In order to know what that something might be, I need to know—or at least, reasonably surmise—something about you.

If I’m lucky, you’re the kind of person who appreciates a thoughtful, slightly offbeat perspective. Perhaps you’re someone for whom coloring inside society’s lines and swimming with the cultural mainstream doesn’t quite work. Perhaps, then, you can identify with or relate to this leap I’ve taken: perhaps you can empathize with my going out on a limb to pursue a life of viable creativity, meaningful and sustainable work.

Imagining my prospective audience, I’m reminded of the many times when people, on learning of my recent move, called it a brave step. This leads me to suspect that we all have a need to follow the stories of those who do bold things—especially the ordinarily bold: those daunting yet mundane steps, like changing one’s home or career, that require courage. It might be that many of us wish we were in a position to dramatically alter our own situation, or that we want to study the leaps of others in case we should someday find ourselves poised over a precipice of our own.

This might be an awkward metaphor, but sometimes I see writing and reading as the verbal space where exhibitionism meets voyeurism. Assuming the comparison is relatively accurate, I should have no trouble upholding my end of this exchange. I will keep baring my soul, sharing observations from this often wondrous, frequently nerve-wracking path of creating a sustainable life of choice and meaning.

For your part, to the extent that you’re entertained or enlightened, engaged or inspired by what I post, you can cheer me on in my struggles to make sense of what I’ve done with my life, what I’m doing now, and where I’m headed. If you find yourself getting something out of this, then you’ll have reason enough to keep reading and to support me by commenting and sharing what you read with others.

What do you say? Do we have a deal?

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6 Comments

Filed under My Quest

6 responses to “Value Propositioning

  1. I like how you are like Thoreau, exploring living as a thing unto itself.

    • Thanks, Kim; I’m flattered by the comparison. Thoreau’s long been something of a role model, what with his talk of living deliberately, marching to a different drummer, striking at the root, etc. In fact, I toyed with Thoreauesque names for this blog before I stumbled upon Write Learning.

      So maybe I should go build myself a cabin by a pond, eh?

  2. Small Girl Big World

    To be honest, I have always loved your writing in whatever form, and you are a friend of mine and former AVS staff member, so why wouldn’t I keep up with what you’re doing in your life? 🙂

    • Aw, thanks for saying that! I don’t want to think of myself as “former,” though, since I’ve still got a contract and am doing such work as I can from 900 miles away. But it has been a long time since that old Creative Writing class, hasn’t it?

  3. A reader from across the Atlantic

    I’m following your blog since I stumbled across it a few weeks ago. I’m grateful how you share your life with the world. Oftentimes I feel a connection between the two of us because you phase a certain doubt just as I might have. Oh, and I’m also very curious how things evolve with CASE, and your blog seems to give as much detail on it as is publicly available. Do you need any help with CASE, btw? Oh, and one more thing: I’m contemplating whether to start a blog or not, and so I appreciate following your live grappling with this question.
    All in all, thanks!

    • Thanks so much for the feedback and support! It helps a lot to know that the reason I’m putting all this out there is resonating with people. (I mean, one can imagine such things, but to have it confirmed means a lot.)

      Regarding CASE, you remind me that I should probably write an update on that. Hopefully before long there will in fact be ways that anyone who’s interested can help us out.

      Thanks again for the comment!

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