I’m Talking To You.

photoFor me, the creative act is about conversation.  Whether I am directing a piece of theatre, writing a poem, taking a photograph, crafting a blog post or reading a book aloud to my kids, conversation of some sort is always the desired end result.  I like to define conversation as “the energy produced by the combustion of emotion and relatability.”  Conversations can be both internal or external, spoken or written, or (in the case of the fine arts) expressed in image, sound or movement.  However defined, I believe that conversation is at the heart of both creative exchange and of human interaction in general.

I designed The Perpetual Shave as a kind of necessary and evolving record of what it feels like to be a flawed, ordinary and often overwhelmed father in overwhelming times.  This is not a how-to/advice blog or a product guide nor a journalistic blog.  These are personal reflections.  Snapshots.  But, personal as they may be, The Perpetual Shave is not exactly a diary.  A diary is meant to be an indulgent dumping grounds for the clutter of the mind and spirit, most likely not to be read by anyone ever again.  Diaries have little gold locks and are hidden on crowded bookshelves or deep within underwear drawers.  I have shelves full of these kinds of little black notebooks.  Reading some of them now is an exasperating exercise in spiritual facepalming.

Personal blogging is weird.  Blog posts often feel like journal entries, and posting them on a website is akin to leaving a diary unlocked and laying open on the bedcovers, or on a corner table in a Doctor’s Office.  And yet for me, blogging is a deeply creative exercise that has a desired result: connection, interaction and conversation.

In otherwords, I may be writing about myself, but I am actually talking to you.

The Shave is quickly approaching its second full year and I think its time I checked in with you and see how this relationship is going.  If you are still reading this post, then you probably read most of what I write here and since I have your interest and attention let me say THANK YOU.  A thousand times THANK YOU.  You are why I write this.  Truly.

Secondly, as a nearly two-year-old blog, I think it is high time I asked for your feedback.  I need your feedback in order to get better (I’m still a newb blogger) and to keep your interest.  So here we go:

  • What keeps you reading this blog?  What kinds of pieces do you respond to?  What have I done correctly to hold your attention over the past two years?
  • What would you like to see more of on these pages?  What might you like to see less of?  What can I do better?
  • Do I write too many posts?  Too few?

In exchange for your feedback, and to make sure we are on the same page, I want to re-state a few intentions; re-clarify the “mission” of this little endeavor:

  • The Perpetual Shave is a reflective blog.  This simply means that most posts are the result of “creative processing” of recent personal experiences.  Most of the posts are born of me thinking about something that happened in the recent past, and filtering it through the lens of time and using creative (i.e. non-journalistic) writing to bring them to life as a narrative, with fatherhood as the unifying theme.
  • Most of the posts on the Shave are long-form creative non-fiction.  Instead of posting short pieces every day or so, I prefer to write longer pieces that are published three to four times a month.  I hope to write pieces that you like to spend some quiet time with, rather than consume rapidly in succession with other social media tidbits.  I value the idea of longer narratives in our soundbyte culture, and I hope you can see the value in it too.
  • Conversation is key.  I hope that my writings speak to you, or move you, or entertain you, or stir something up.  I won’t pretend to think that every post will do one or any of these things, but if one of them does speak to you, please talk to me about it!  Leave a comment at the end of the post that spoke to you.  Start a discussion!  Blogs develop and thrive in proportion to the discussion they inspire and the community they build, and the discussions in the comments often inspire new posts.  Also: I would love a chance to get to know you better!

April 8th will be this blog’s 2nd Anniversary.  I could not have come this far without your loyalty and support.  I hope that this blog and its community continues to evolve with meaning and grace and integrity.  Thank you for sticking around this far.

Let’s keep talking.