Wabi-Sabi: What Is This Blog Even?

Image courtesy Jan Erik Waider

I realize that I have been blogging wrong.

I have kept a blog off and on since the early 2000s, and I have recently realized I have been doing it wrong the whole time.

I have spent more time making the layout pretty than writing posts.

I have spent more time trying to come up with ideas instead of hammering out the ideas I already had.

I have been waiting for a muse or for motivation to strike, instead of remembering that motivation thrives from action.

I have been seeking perfection instead of seeking completion.

What all of this means is that for long streaks of time, I have NOT been blogging.

Two pieces of media in particular have been instrumental in changing the way I think about writing and sharing lately. The first is the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I have written extensively about this book already, but the most basic gist is that the only way to get better at writing is to do a lot of writing, and specifically, to write without concern or fear of looking bad fade away.

The second inspiration is the stand-up special Three Mics with Neal Brennan. In it, Brennan divides his set into three distinct pieces: one-liners, traditional stand-up, and what he refers to as “emotional stuff,” raw, vulnerable monologues about himself and his childhood.

I’ve spent a large portion of my life trying to look good, trying to get things right, trying to be tough in the face of extreme sensitivity and empathy. Neal Brennan in particular has helped me realize that one of the best ways to heal from our past scars or sensitivities is to talk about them openly, so that we might help other people heal too.

So, I’m changing my approach to blogging. Instead of fully-formed essays with SEO-optimized keywords, I am taking a less rigid approach. My intention is to not let perfect be the enemy of complete. I am here to share with vulnerability and authenticity and to not worry about getting things right or making myself look good.

Wabi-sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese art about finding beauty in the imperfections of objects. It is cracks in a clay vase, or yellowed edges on a hand-embroidered handkerchief. For me, this blog is an experiment in improvisation. It is a blog about my life, my experiences, my observations and more. I promise not to take myself too seriously.