I remember still, though it was nearly fifty years ago, Dinger Bell, my English teacher, telling us never to write without having the intended audience firmly in mind. Who, then, do I hold in mind when I’m writing on this blog?
Some of the time, it’s my students, those preparing themselves to teach, in particular (though not always) those who will teach secondary English. I was a secondary English teacher myself, and my other blog (Birds Fly, Fish Swim) was written during the final years of that part of my professional life.
But mostly I’m writing for myself. There’s a character in one of David Malouf’s novels (The Great World) who is dizzied by the complexity of the world, and there’s so much that dizzies me. Writing helps me to understand things better. Most of my posts come out of a feeling of not knowing enough about something, of having some kind of half-formed intuition or some unsettled feeling or some inadequate grasp of an idea. Writing gives me a sense (an illusion?) of coming to see a thing more clearly. So, in that sense, I’m writing for myself.
The more I write, the more I’m becoming attached to one of the ideas I keep coming back to in this blog: that to write is an attempt to know more, that writing can be a scholarly methodology, and that the kind of writing valued by English teachers, the mythopoetic, has a particular (too often devalued) part to play in helping us understand and connect with the worlds (external and internal) in which we move and have our being.
I’ve written more about this (together with an invitation for others to join some projects I’ve got under way) at my website Mythopoetic research communities.