Writing on, and about, an island

Not Using Images

In Writing on January 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I’d always thought it was a given that I would use images on my blog.

This comes not just from personal persuasion – I am drawn to anything aesthetically interesting – but also from ‘training’ in the publishing environment. Words and pictures must go together. One without the other is a risk. And it’s the done thing with blogs, right?

But this year, I’ve decided, is a year where I’m going to rediscover my natural tendency to question the status quo. (Who says X is the way things should be?) And also free myself from obligation (in 2011, I was massively over-obligated, with full-time work and freelance work, and volunteering and family and…). So, I have made the decision to not upload images.

It goes against everything I think I should be doing. And everything I’ve been taught is convention.

But, I also know that my perfectionist values will insist that I produce the perfect image for each particular blog post. I actually tried adding images with a few posts, and it didn’t inspire me… it hindered me – I procrastinated about writing because I felt obligated to create a corresponding image. I am so sick of feeling obligated.

It also didn’t feel completely honest. With my days spent creating things for other people – things that are not of my voice – I started this blog so I could speak freely and unencumbered by expectations (mine or other people’s).

There will always be a battle between my puritan side and my bohemian side. Sometimes I love visual clutter. But there is enduring elegance in simplicity – whether it’s a blog or the decor of your living room.

Writing without images means I have to mentally and visually focus on the words, with no distractions. Writing in itself is visual – seeing stories in your mind… and the actual shape of the letters and the words is a visual experience in itself. The white space allows your imagination to fill in the gaps.

So, no pictures. For now. I guess I may change my mind one day.

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