Recently a friend suggested that in revamping my blog I should use my name as the title, thereby branding myself. He said he could give me a dozen examples right off the bat of other editor-writers who have branded themselves in this way. Although I would like my blog to garner me private-client editing and writing work, it has never been the main reason why I became a blogger. I have been writing for twenty-six years now, and at its core, it has always been an act of self-expression for me, of giving a voice and space to my thoughts and emotions. Only after I graduated from college did it also become a means of educating others.
Alongside this twofold truth concerning why I write there is the more deeply rooted personality trait that has been present in my character and shadowed and scarred my life from birth. I have always been an example of the Other by virtue of my homosexuality; this in itself automatically brands me a nonconformist, a sinner, fit for exile or execution in the eyes of many. This understanding of myself as different from the mass of mainstream society led me to becoming a writer and believing wholeheartedly in a clear line between a private and public self. Couple this with the mystic foundation of my spiritual vision and experience of the world, which decenters the self and claims the ego is an illusion and the source of what others deem sin and evil, and you get a sense of who I am. All of this is to say that I do not fit in even in the blogosphere or on social media.
When I was in college I was young, naïve, and lived for being theatrical and having people notice me. For almost two decades now I have preferred not to draw attention to myself if I can help it. Yes, to a degree, writing inadvertently points to the self even when it is not the direct subject of the text, but my poetry is about making readers feel, react, even if “I” may be the subject of the poem. My essays may use me as a starting-off point (based on some experience or other) and my “I” may intrude when and where it will, but my writing is meant to aid others in the journey of self-awareness and development of an individual identity. I write to discover the truth and share it with those who wish to gain knowledge.
Blogging is not about making money for me, or finding fame through social media. I have nothing to sell; I am not a product. I cannot and will not be a party to the global commodification of the individual. I wish to keep my personal life private. For me this is the way it should be. Anyone I do not know personally need know anything about my daily life, nor do I think even for a moment that they care. For me, blogging is about expressing ideas, about enlightening and liberating readers, and leading the human race to a revolution in which freedom, equality, and justice for all go from being the dreamer’s ideals to a reality, though one must understand the real is always ever a pale reflection of the ideal.
This is why I cannot brand myself, because I have no real desire to be known, but to share my knowledge, my reflections, with those who want to discover themselves and the world, through politics and history, through language and literature, through art, philosophy, and religion. If anything, my brand is the tagline of my blog: Enlightenment, Liberation, Revolution. For it is in these three experiences, these three realities that my hope and interest lie.