Monday, June 1, 2009

About This Blog

In This Light is a blog about the influence of images on writers and writing. The genesis of my fiction and essays is most often connected to an image -- almost as though an inner shutter in my brain goes “click” and freezes a visual memory. That image could be something that I witness in reality, or something as ethereal as a thought or dream fragment. My real photographs, the ones I take with my camera, are never as good as the ones I capture with that viewfinder in my brain. But that’s okay since this blog is not about photographic technique. This blog is about images, about trying to understand the things I see and trying to make sense of the world around me, to see how things look through the light of words.

I have often toyed with the idea of starting a blog, but always talked myself out of it because I was afraid that time spent blogging would be time taken away from my writing projects. There was also hesitation because I liked keeping my life private and I wasn’t sure I wanted to put myself out there in the more public life of bloggers. Writers tend to live in their heads. By its very nature, writing can be isolating, even though we spend our days surrounded with characters, real or imagined, in our world of words. Photographers also experience this sense of separation from the world they are trying to capture. There is something about raising the camera to our eye that serves to separate us, that creates a barrier. In order to observe, we tend to take a step back, physically and emotionally, to remove ourselves slightly, to disengage. I’ve always felt most comfortable observing from the edge and prefer to locate myself on the periphery. But, the act of clicking the shutter or arranging the words on the page are not enough in and of themselves, and to have true meaning they should be shared.

Think of this blog as a place where imagery joins narrative. My purpose is to take a risk by placing my work in public view, to gain confidence by stepping away from the edge and toward the center, and to force myself to write in a more focused way by posting an image and accompanying narrative each week. If it’s true that writing generates more writing, this blog will serve to fuel my other writing projects instead of becoming a distraction, and that’s a goal any writer would write toward.