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i don't pretend

Thursday, November 5, 2015

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How does one become what they feel they should be? In fact, how should a person be? A question that is also the title of a book I love by Sheila Heti (here is a link, buy it, read it, thank me later) – you see I believe I could be certain things but lack the confidence to say that they are what I am. My passions in life are few but fierce, I have followed the same handful of pursuits since I was a kid. It always impresses me how easily people can adopt creative pursuits as their own, claiming passions where I don’t see a scrap of dedication. At parties, I meet people making all kinds of creative claims, such as  ‘oh yes I’m a photographer’ or ‘I write every weekend’ – yet when pressed about what lens they prefer to shoot on or their top 3 favourite books, they hilariously and oh so quickly fall silent. I love my passions too zealously to talk about them with any confidence. They humble me, I am a slave to them. They leave me unsettled, dissatisfied and always, always wanting to do better.

All I have ever wanted was to write really well and take photos that a few people might want to hang on their walls. And I have never genuinely believed I was good at either of these things, I doubt I ever will. But it is this doubt that keeps me on fire, propelling me to move forward and keep trying. Now, very generally speaking, I don’t find blogging to be a creative industry anymore. It has become too commercial, too image-orientated. I see bloggers referring to  things like their brand image or digital footprint,  this makes me nauseous.  It seems as the industry has expanded, the traits that made blogging so refreshing are being buffed away. Personality. Creativity. Passion. A story. These are the qualities that I feel are being forgotten.  I don’t see Frassy as an image I am ‘curating’ – this is just a slice of my life that I want to share. This is why I disagree with Essena O’Neill and her childish claim that all social media is a lie. Mine isn’t. Nothing I put online is a lie. But rather, a big clumsy chaotic mess I began 8 years ago.

This is simply a story, I don’t worry about the repercussions of speaking candidly here. This is me talking to you, as a friend while practicing the two pursuits I love more than anything: writing and photography. But the problem in question here is, I feel like I have more to give, more to offer creatively and yet I don’t admire blogging as an outlet like I used to. Besides, believe it or not, I do get terribly tired of being the subject of all my photographs. At the very worst of times, I am quite embarrassed to confess that my career is ‘full time blogger’. A title so heavy of so many things I am not; self-indulgence, selfies, shopping obsessed and so on. All I want is for people to click on here and hopefully think of me as quite creative. But is creativity still celebrated in this industry? Or is it more like the people I meet at parties; a feigned priority, a pretend passion all for the sake of image?


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