Just another mad poet, who upon a time has been a ghostwriter in disguise. . . I’m supposed to be a poet, others told me so long before I let it go to my head and claimed so myself. Now I have the degree to prove it: I am a master—not a mere journeyman, mind you, but a master—of this fine art. And I have a poetic license too. And yet I don’t write. Writing is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. So many things that are “more important.” So many reasons why I shouldn’t. So many voices telling me that what I’m doing now, this very minute, punching these keys, is an exercise of the ego, an exercise in “hey, look at me,” and that mature well-rounded grown-ups don’t call attention to themselves this way. . . This blog is an act of defiance. I will not be mature and well-rounded, if that’s what it means. I will let my ego thrash against the sky, if that’s what it takes. I’ll be mad. But not silent.
Oh, yes, “About” me . . . Nick Vittum has been a farmer, veterinary technician, mental health worker, mental health case, gardner, electrician, builder, mailman, teacher, graphic designer. . . No, let’s start over. Nick Vittum (that’s me) has done all these things, and more, and earned a living doing most of them (sometimes a pretty meager living). But the only thing Nick Vittum has ever tried to “be” were a poet, and a student of shamanism. In this blog, I try to give voice to the former, and also to explore the notion that writing is by nature a shamanic art. (more on this)
Since I’ve acquired this site, I’ve done a lot of questioning (and researching): What is a blog? Why is a blog? What is it good for, how can it be used as a tool to develop good writing, who is a blog’s audience? And so much more.
Blog: derives from “web log.”
- thin, silken material spun by spiders.
- something formed by or as if by weaving or interweaving.
- something resembling woven material, esp. something having an interlaced or lattice-like appearance.
- an intricate set or pattern of circumstances, facts, etc.
- something (like a spider web) that snares or entangles; a trap.
Log: 1. any of various records, made in rough or finished form, concerning a trip made by a ship or aircraft and dealing with particulars of navigation, weather, engine performance, discipline, and other pertinent details; logbook.
2. Motion Pictures. an account describing or denoting each shot as it is taken, written down during production and referred to in editing the film.
3. a register of the operation of a machine.
I do not agree to be a machine, but perhaps my life is (a) a motion picture, or (b) a journey, as one made by a ship or airship. I think I prefer (b). And by extension of the poor belabored metaphor, this journal becomes a register of my life’s operations.
Whatever I and my life are, we are: caught in a snare or entanglement of fine, silken (did the dictionary neglect to mention “sticky?”) filaments that are interwoven, interlaced, and that create an intricate pattern of facts and circumstances. . .
You, by reading this, become one of the strands of that web. Every person whose life has intersected yours in some way becomes another strand, by the mere act of your reading this.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the past couple of weeks browsing the web pages and blogs of writers and would-be writers like myself, hoping for ideas about what this medium is, and why I should be doing this. What has been most striking is how many blogs there are out there. And that’s a relief, it seems. What it means is that its not very likely anyone’s reading most of these blogs unless they’re a fan of that writer, or a friend whose been invited to read the blog. That’s a permission of sorts. I don’t have fans (hah!) so unless I invite someone, no one’s likely to be reading here. So I can use this as a place to experiment, to write anything I feel like writing, with the illusion that I’m doing so publicly, but the underlying reassurance that what I write or do here is virtually private. It’s more log than web, shall we say. . .