My online writing

I thought I should explain the detail and separation between Patreon, my blog and Tumblr.

Patreon

My page says:

“If I’m inviting you to do anything, it’s to look in a different direction and come to terms with what it means to live in a thought-induced world (i.e. inside-out, not outside-in). The reason: if you master this ticket, they’ll be no need to invest your time and emotional labour in any more get rich schemes, let alone the quackery that pervades the personal development world.”

That’s a bold claim, isn’t it?

In fact, it’s supremely arrogant to suggest that my little ol’ Patreon page is going to trump your interest in personal development, let alone make a difference in your life.

Perhaps I should dial down the hyperbole, but it’s still my fundamental belief — you might call it my religion — that if we examine the unexamined life (i.e. the inner landscape) we’re more likely to see the world as it truly is; namely:

“If we are nothing, there is nothing at all to serve as a barrier to our boundless expression of love. Being nothing in this way, we are also, inevitably, everything. ‘Everything’ does not mean self-aggrandizement, but a decisive recognition of interconnection; we are not separate. Both the clear, open space of ‘nothing’ and the interconnected mess of ‘everything’ awakens us to our true nature.” ― Sharon Salzberg, Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

I accept for many people that that’s not what their seeking: they want answers!

But that’s a fool’s errand.

There are no answers — absolute or otherwise. There are only better questions. And when I say better, I mean they can’t be easily annihilated with a hackneyed answer, if at all.

And please understand I don’t say that out of any sense of righteousness but simply because, after a lifetime of trying one success formula after another, I recognise how ineffective they all are. Worse still, they subsume the unlived part of you — true self.

How I see Patreon working is offering material that isn’t always available publicly. This will include early releases of my poetry, books and Patron-only podcasts/monologues. It also means, if you want to reach out, you can connect with me either for a Zoom call or perhaps a personal coaching session depending on geography. Also, it’s my intention to invite a few people to gather around a monthly call on Zoom or better still to get together in person near to where I live in Devon.

You’ll see also that I’ve started a Ko-fi page. This links perfectly to my Patreon offering save that you don’t have to create a Patreon account to follow my work and can, if you feel inclined, make a one-off donation.

Like all these things, particularly with something as fluid as Patreon, I’m quite sure that I’ll need to review the landscape again, but I’d love for you to consider signing up to receive my written posts and podcasts as and when they’re published.

My blog

In many ways, my blog is an expanded version of my Patreon page, and in time will house my published material.

Right now, I’m still working through the Very Clear Ideas process but I did Tweet this the other day:

“Come join me on @patreon for spiritual reflections, marrying soul with role and sharing in the joy of doing something that speaks loudest to your heart”

and, actually, that seems equally apposite for my blog as for Patreon.

What I’m really trying to do is to start a meaningful conversation in the workplace and in our lives about why it is we’re so unfulfilled, underappreciated and unloved.

I’m not suggesting the answer, as so many have opined, is to seek better external conditions, but, instead, to understand our relationship with our incessant thinking.

In short, if I can get you to look in a different direction, not in a narcissistic or nihilistic way then hopefully from there we can develop a new narrative about who you truly are:

“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tumblr

This was built at the same time as my blog. You’ll see it’s similarly minimalist. I intended to write poetry and nothing more. I did for a while. And then I stopped. When I did start again, it was hit and miss, and for a time I defaulted to blogging instead of using my blog. (I’ve had a few hosting issues over the years, and as well as Tumblr, I still maintain accounts with Livejournal, WordPress.com and Blogger; I don’t post to them.)

I’m writing a regular poem to Tumblr — not quite daily but not far off. They’re all spontaneous. If I’m honest, despite the ease with which the words flow, they’re not particularly well crafted.

How do I address this?

(A) post less regularly;

(B) rewrite them or at least edit more assiduously; and

(c) get better — and that won’t happen unless I read more poetry and work my arse off.

Right now, I don’t have a ‘style’ but I do have an unerring sense of wanting to write something that crosses the divide between straight poetry, aphorisms and something close to rap. I’ve experimented with Haiku but it didn’t feel right and so I stopped.

One thing I’m acutely aware of is reading too much of one particular poet (or writer) and then writing in their style. Charles (Hank) Bukowski comes to mind. Whilst I’m not saying that reading others is a bad thing, I know that it’s unhelpful in allowing me to develop my style.

In terms of themes, work, nature and self-enquiry is most definitely in the mix. But I suppose most of my work is autobiographical, even if it’s sometimes written in such a way as to obscure the story that I’m trying to convey. That has to change.

It’s no accident that having listened recently to Kate Tempest read her latest book of poetry, I immediately recognised that it’s possible to write in a more fulsome, short-story way and not default to the clipped style that defines my work.

I did say, and I stand by it, that I would write poetry to Patreon. I’m still not sure how that will look; it might be intrinsic to my written pieces — I’m thinking of David Whyte — or standalone, but I don’t want to haemorrhage my work from Tumblr or offline unless there’s a strong calling.

Anyhow, I hope you might consider following me on Tumblr even if you don’t intend to write your own material on the platform.

Going forward

Am I doing too much online with these platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and trying to write a memoir?

Yes, of course.

It’s way too ambitious.

But then again, it also feels right.

Deep down though — deeper perhaps than the immediate satisfaction I get from writing and sharing online — I know that I don’t want to end up in a position of not having anything substantive — i.e. published works — to my name.

I could curate a book of my written pieces but that feels like a cheat.

The truth is I will have to scale back my online writing but I’m not yet ready to do so. I still have more to share around the theme of true self.

I realise it’s a lot to ask if you decide to follow any one of my sites — very few people are as prolific as me — but at least now you’ve got a better idea of my online writing.

Blessings and big love.

Julian