Monday, June 27, 2011


blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked, got up at 5am to write. nepa went off just as i realized i hadn't boiled water for tea to wake me up. stared at my screen and dozed between words. finally curled up on the couch with my feet on two stacked bound volumes of newspapers and my head in the deep hole in my couch and slept off with my laptop blinking and purring beside me. (thank God for my investment in an inverter and battery). woke up and decided to read a few more documents from the censorship board, three chapters for the ur-text on northern nigerian cinema culture by B.L. 11:42am haven't written anything. wishing i could do everything everyone wants me to do for them, wishing i could do everything i want to do, no duties, and instead doing nothing but read. sometimes reading helps me start writing. in this case, it just makes me wonder if i can ever write anything so long and so elegant and so beautifully cited, with theory interwoven throughout the historical detail.

i try to remind myself of the sermon in hausa i heard yesterday, "perfect love drives out fear." yesterday it was comforting, inspiring, left me with a glow throughout the day. now i just feel guilty. i do not love [this topic? myself? God? my lost love? my department? my friends whom i am disappointing by refusing to go out and visit?] perfectly, therefore i fear. i fear writing. i fear disappointing. i fear not meeting a deadline.


i do not fear writing. i love writing--this sort of meandering spiel, for example--the reason i started this blog back when i was writing my (awful) masters thesis. i can naval gaze through typing all day long and gain a lot of insight from it. i fear academic writing. the necessary perfection of it. the craft of it. the "jobness" of it. if this article were a blog post, I would be done with it by now, and with a million links and photos too. And probably hundreds of more people would read it than will read this book chapter.

enough kvetching, i've wound out some of the tension in my head. back to the article.

it's on censorship. and perhaps i should try getting myself to write by just not censoring myself. this is not an article for publication, i will lie to myself, it is a blog post that people can google at midnight. i can edit it out later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blogger Nostalgia

I spent more time than I really had this evening reading back over old blog posts from this blog. I miss it. I miss writing everything that I am thinking in diary fashion, a lot of which was boring but which sometimes turned up jewels of observation and description. I miss working through my thesis and my thoughts on this blog as if it were a workbook. I miss writing about random walks, the sleepless nights before travelling, about my childhood and my friends. I miss the blogging community and the other bloggers who would often leave comments here: Christian Writer, Teju, Texter, Toks-boy, Jeremy, even the gadfly Fred, and all the others. I miss the satisfaction that this blog brought, and the feeling that even if I was procrastinating something by writing here, that I was building up an archive that I could look back on, in dry spells, for inspiration. And I was right. It has been.

My attention has been taken over by my professional blog, with my real name. I can't write that one off the top of my head with little editing as I did this one (I've let it go too long without an update too, because I can't stand the thought of the hours it will take to properly update), and the damnable addiction of facebook, which has grown too large and too demanding and too invasive--yet i still can't leave it alone. Both forums lack the intimacy and playfulness of this blog that I began in the days when the Nigerian blogging community was just beginning and was still small and affectionate and not as glossy as it is now.

This is the way our lives progress. I now write for money, and am beginning (the key word is *beginning* here) to crank out academic publications. People now write my public email address with comments on my writing and "like" (I blush) my public facebook page. These things, too, are satisfying, but perhaps just as temporal as this blog. The next hurdle on my horizon is finishing the dissertation (in partial requirement for the PhD), which should have been done last year, or now, and perhaps I should return more frequently here as I try to write, much as I did when I was writing my MA thesis.

I miss anonymity. That is, perhaps, the major reason I do not write here as often. This blog has become too visible. Too linked to my public persona. I would say "I can't just kvetch here anymore" but I suppose that is what I am doing. Kvetching. Publically. Some would say "whining." For no good reason.

Many of my blogging friends from the days when I was regularly keeping this up have taken down their blogs, others let them lie fallow. Some of them have become famous authors, who have gotten rave reviews in world presses and nominated for major awards. Others write, now, for money too. But I can't bear to take this blog down. I let it remain, an archive, the place I file youtube videos I like, and my occasional outlet to write things that are not academic and are not professional--to write little rants and creative bits and bobs that fit nowhere else but here.

This space comforts me. I think I will come back more often.