Writing about difficult thingsThursday, Mar 20, 2014 · 700 words · approx 4 mins to read
I haven’t published a blog post in 2014 yet, but it’s not through lack of trying. I’ve started several in the last few months but I’ve either had problems tying them up at the end, or the topics themselves are difficult to write about.
When I say difficult to write about, I really mean difficult for the reader to take in. When I put fingers to keyboard for long-form writing like this, I tend to want to make it neutral in balance, non-threatening, and very straightforward. That lets you see where I’m coming from, even if it’s a polarised topic and there’s a bit of bite to and animation in what I’m saying, without you thinking I’ve lost my mind.
The topics I’ve tried to write about recently are the kind of thing that are hard to write without me constantly reevaluating after every word whether you’ll think I’ve lost it. Especially because I don’t have any idea who you are or how you think. You could be anybody who takes what I’m saying any which way. My words need to help you get it.
So, what kind of topics do I mean? Well, just as a gentle introduction to the list, I’m fairly convinced that abolishing all money, globally, is the best thing humanity can do for itself today. But how the hell do I write that down and have you come away thinking that I have at least some kind of cohesive point.
Then there’s my views on assisted suicide, equality and equal rights, management now that I’ve got some real management experience under my belt, forced relationships through the structure of family, the incompetence of modern democracy, taking drugs, an immediate and total ban on alcohol, religion being a manifestation of legitimate mental illness, truly open borders between countries; the list is long, but I can’t seem to publish anything I write down.
I’ve thought about why, and it’s because the issues are so intrinsic to the way I, and I’m guessing the majority of people who stumble across this blog, live. They’re so polarising and so binary in nature. For example, it’s hard to write a clear and balanced view of why I believe I should be able to kill my dad at the end of his life to stop him suffering, with or without his support. Even if it was clear and balanced, would you still be able to take my point and reason about it, given that I’m talking about ending the life of someone in my family whether they can consent or not. That’s murder today in every country I could research the law on.
Yet I believe very strongly that it shouldn’t be, and I want to be able to write down why so everyone who reads it understands my position, but I can’t seem to. What if someone at work reads it and it causes problems? I’m not a famous journalist with the weight of a grand and respected newspaper to put behind an opinion piece like that. Would I even want to talk about it out loud with anyone in meatspace, even if I had the courage to write it down and publish it on the Internet. It’s terrifying to think about.
Yet, I don’t want to just blog about technology all the time. What to do.
I’m hoping that publishing this little essay will give me the courage to write about what I’m writing about. That writing a difficult piece about writing difficult pieces will help me figure it all out.
Whenever I think about it, and thinking about it happens regularly, my mind turns to truly anonymous publishing. Maybe that’s the way forward, especially because I find thinking about the technology behind a truly anonymous publishing platform fascinating. But I also want people to read the pieces in the context of everything else I write publicly. It helps you understand more about me and why I’d take the positions I want to take.
So, if the rest of 2014 is as barren here as the beginning of the year has been, now you know why.