Saturday, March 10, 2007

What Am I Doing Here?

No, it's not just the title of a song by Blue Rodeo, nor is it merely a product of boilerplate existential angst. It's a legitimate query, asked over brunch no less, so you know how seriously I'm taking it. What's at stake might seem minor now, but I'd rather have a little sense of the path I'll be taking before I invest several years' worth of time and energy into taking it.

Bloggers must read other blogs to decide what they want to become, in the same way children model on adults until they develop the qualities they prefer and that best suit them, so that's what I've been doing. Some of the blogs I regularly read (Towleroad is a good example) are trying to emulate the best news sites, albeit with a twist (ie: an entirely gay focus). Some are sheer entertainment (Lady Bunny is the best of these). The rest fall somewhere between these two, with greater or lesser success, and most are little more than an online diary (which can be just as revelatory or transcendent as the greatest works of art).

Naturally, providing information and entertainment are two of my earliest stated aims. My zeal to please will often lead me to be outrageous when I should be compassionate, and vice versa. Being a centrist doesn't mean I can't also be a reactionary, and my desire to be everything to everyone may end up making me nothing to no one.

I suppose it's a risk I'm willing to take, since most people don't find out what they really meant to others until they're being eulogised, at which point it doesn't matter. I am, as are most people, complex, subject to moods, and entirely a product of my past. That I can't change the past pisses me off; that I can change the present so that years from now I'm looking back on a more pleasant past is what keeps me going.

Part of this process of inquiry is designed to add efficiency to my ambition; if I disguise it as a tendency to kiss my readers' ass, that is my prerogative. Mostly, though, I am serious when I say that when I decide to do a thing I want to do it better than it's ever been done before. Otherwise, why bother?

After each new milestone like the recent one I go back to the beginning and reread the whole thing, every single word. I enjoy a brief moment in which I feel proud of myself for having done what others have done every two seconds for the past two years - that is, to start a blog. Then, before I start to get an ego about it (or worse, complacent) I set about how I can do it better, reach more people, and use this as a vehicle to achieve my own life's goals.

In some cases, I have already identified my niches. I may discover others, or tire of the ones I've got, but the time for change is now, at the start of the learning curve, rather than later, when the brand is well-established.

That means I've decided to stay in Vancouver. Not only is Vancouver underserved by things such as this, none of the ones I've read even bother to put Vancouver into its correct world context, which I am willing to do. Also, there's no other city in the world where I would be so ignored by so many people so much of the time that I would be able to sublimate myself to the degree necessary to make this undertaking successful.
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