What I have loved most about this blog is the feeling that I could transmit an experience to someone else: show them something new, help them see everyday things in a new way, or understand someone they didn’t before. Receiving comments about my writing being an “eye-opening” experience, or that “it made me think” have been so rewarding. This is why The Air People and The Center Everywhere are the posts I’m most proud of; not only did I enjoy writing them, I loved the feedback and attention they got.
I’ve also loved how this blog has helped me to improve my writing. Although I’m proud of all the work I’ve done, I no longer write like I did before. For a start, my paragraphs were too long and wordy, I had much to learn in the art of suspense and pacing, and my drilled schooling in classical literature, heavily steeped in the English Romantics, often showed through, garbling my “authentic” voice—basically anything that could sound a li’l more current.
So, as much as I have loved this blog, my writing has changed. But I’ve learned a lot, and I continue to learn and grow, and continue to fall flat on my face occasionally too.
Sharing my art and writing on the internet has been an overall positive experience for me—something I actually did not expect coming into this. We’ve all heard horror stories of trolling, seen all the ways a post could backfire or get misinterpreted. When I decided to share my work on this public platform for the first time in 2017, I did not know (as I do now) that I was part of a statistic. A droplet in a wave of people who became more vocal on the internet after the 2016 election. And I’m happy to be part of that.
But I’m under no delusion that the internet or sharing will continue to be all that great. I know that it is much easier to criticize someone, to reduce them to simple labels: “negative”, “liberal”, “complainer”, than to have a nuanced, careful discussion or thought piece—on anything, be it cats or politics. Heck, I’ve even seen wholesome content being used to shame or silence those who’ve shared the not-so-wholesome parts of humanity—aspects which are also important. I’ve seen this most often with marginalized creators being pitted against each other, as if one is the “main character” by entertaining people, while the other is stuck in a minor role by sharing their struggles, when both aspects are valid. I would never want my work to be used in that way.
Social media’s promise has always been more appealing than its reality and I strive to contribute to those two disparate things one day crossing paths. One day, scrolling through our feeds will no longer feel depressing and original content creators will have more support. One day, there’ll be separate tabs for celebrities, news and shopping. One day, quality content of your choosing, such as indie art and writing, will take precedence. Who am I kidding, right? There’s this thing called capitalism, you know.
But dreamers gotta dream. So, I’ll dream on and continue to share those dreams. This platform has helped me gain a stronger sense who I am, what I want and what’s possible. And soon, hopefully very soon, I’ll ask you to join me as I fly to other places and mediums. I know there are many possible futures, but I have my sights on the brightest one.
Text and pictures by Pauline Baecker 2022.
2 thoughts on “Why Then? Why Here? And What Now? ”
Any update on your dreams 🙂 Miss your writing, and wishing you a great year of the rabbit.
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Thank you! I’m bursting with news, but can’t share until I finally bring it to completion! So fingers crossed that this year of the rabbit is a fulfilling one! Here’s to a great year for you too! Cheers!