What Do I Know?

Michel de Montaigne

Some of you may be aware that I am in the process of writing a book. I was one day struck by the notion that many of the choices we make with regards to our identity are essentially binary. However, this simple either/or invariably conceals many other, perhaps more nuanced, decisions that must also be made. The consequences may be unforeseen and the impact they have on your life unpredictable.

An example of this, and the one I chose to use as my subject, is vegetarianism. With this in mind, the original title of the book was ‘On Becoming a Vegetarian’. Once I got started on the writing I found that tying the subject down to a specific example was too limiting and what I was actually describing was more generic in terms of how we identify ourselves. I changed the title to ‘Who Do I Say That I Am?’. I was happy with this for a while but the subject just kept expanding and I was no longer writing about identity pronouncements but the actual creation of who I was. I changed the title again, the book was now called ‘The Making of Me’ and it was split into two parts. The first, Part 1 as it became known, was built around big ideas of self and identity whilst in the second, Part 2 (I know), I discarded these grand notions and, using a series of essays, attempted to explain myself through smaller actions, attitudes and activities.

The 16th Century French Philosopher Michel de Montaigne published his work in a similar style to this using anecdotes and episodes from his life to try to build an understanding of the world and his place in it. I, of course, was influenced by this approach although I have built this web site on what was a blog I kept a few years ago so the second part of the book is as much an extension of that as any homage to Lord of Montaigne.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well I have decided to do 2 things:

  1. I am to start again with the book and return to the original idea and title.
  2. I am going to publish each of the essays from part 2 of the book on here on a semi-regular basis.

There are points in life where you just have to admit that something isn’t working for you any more and move away from it. I have tried in the later part of my life to live in this way and it is for this reason that I have to leave ‘The Making of Me’ and turn my creativity in a slightly different direction. This is an exciting point – it always is when you make a decision like this I find.

I did not set out to write a book called ‘The Making of Me’ and I haven’t done so but in the process of attempting to I have actually made something of this thing I call ‘Me’.

It is a work in progress and I know not of what I will become but I am excited to see what happens and it is my sincere wish that you will be a part of it.