‘I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.’
This is from Walden by Henry David Thoreau, and it’s probably recycled in the land of bloggy-goodness to an extent that will make my cheeks burn with so-last-blog shame when I discover this. But for now, it’s dewy and fresh and just how I feel about blogging (except for all the men, men, men-ness, which is historical and can’t be remedied). I think this paragraph would actually read a bit punk if Henry were setting it down now. I think he would have blogged too – probably in the cabineer genre. It’s also a little Dave Eggers circa Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius in terms of the egalitarian approach of its raw, unadulterated me-ness. The exotic ‘distant land’ that is every person’s unique existence – the thrill it is to travel there. It says come on in, mind the mess, oh that? I think it was a present, I’m not sure where it came from, it’s sorta cool but…would you like tea? There’s no milk, um, yeah, sure, ask away, no question is too personal.
I’m committed to truthiness. All I have is me and you can have it. No, not sure what that’s worth – maybe eBay can decide? Vintage girl/woman, a few major repairs, label reads Australian but established origin part Syrian, part Anglo-Irish, good used condition, complex care label, suggest closer inspection before bidding. ‘As is’ condition. No returns.
So welcome to sarahjanedoe. As the writer of a couple of physical books labeled NonFic/Memoir/Travel/Humour, I’m excited that the interwebs means personal writing is now so widespread and accessible you no longer need to make whole damn books about the things and ways you find and like and live. Immediacy is intoxicating. I want to play too. Meanwhile, I am travelling the world and writing fiction, while the man I love (who has always been referred to as ‘the Boy’ in my books) is at home in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy North where we live in our tiny old Victorian house called Alfred Cottage, watch too much downloaded television and talk a lot about his Phd, my thousandfold obsessions, and our shared longing for many cats and other predictable things.