It’s evening, and the streets below that are typically bustling with people have fallen silent, if not for the patter of a light rain and the occasional whoosh of a car through surface water. This dark and damp state of affairs has persisted throughout the evening, and so you’ve retreated into bed with your laptop perched at an angle atop your bent legs. The bleakness has stunted any plans you might have had that evening, so you’ve decided to write.
After an hour or so of bashing indiscriminately at your computer keyboard you’re left with a few pages, a thousand words of content. You feel a warm sense of satisfaction having accomplished something on an otherwise defeated day. Glossing through your creation, you’re critical of everything. Every other sentence is deconstructed – ‘should this be a comma?’, to the point of madness. The string of words into which you poured your soul transfigure, becoming increasingly distant until the sentence, its meaning, has dissolved in front of you. Attempts at humour elicit a wince, your symbols appear stilted, superficial. That sense of satisfaction soon erodes as you’re exposed to the degree of your failure, your idiocy. Shutting the lid of your laptop with a disgruntled force, the piece leaves your mind almost immediately and is left to rot amongst bytes and bits, forgotten.
Inherently, we are our own worst critics. What might be decent to some is invariably our worst work and, honestly, any author whose ego is buoyed by the apparent masterpiece before them is probably misguided, and the work itself as hollow as their sense of accomplishment. If you ask me, a piece of writing should be self-reflective, and the author always critical. But more importantly, the best reflect the author’s own voice, not an emulation of another’s, and don’t attempt to garnish with any superficial profundity. In short, the most intriguing voices are those that are genuine.
This blog exists to give me a voice, in a world in which an individual’s presence online is less a voice than a few clipped utterances in the form of Tweets and Statuses. I started Jiffy Posts because I don’t believe these platforms are truly capable of capturing the depth of the human experience. This is not to pretentiously claim the higher meaning of my experiences – Jiffy Posts was never intended to be a personal blog, though that’s how it started, and how it’s been.
I’m lucky enough to have connections in many parts of the world. I’ve made countless connections during my 2015 foray around the globe, throughout my time in China this summer, here in Birmingham and, of course, in South Wales, my home. Connections take the form of acquaintances, family, friends and colleagues and some, naturally, are more nurtured than others.
But as I ascend further and further into my twenties the world begins to move at a disorientating pace, leaving disarray and distance between my connections, dampening some of the voices that have been such an influence to me – a thought that recurs more and more, as I start on the final stretch of my time at the University of Birmingham.
I want this space to be more than a personal blog, but (and I’m wary of sounding like a complete cheese), a community of voices, written voices, of the connections I’ve lost, maintain and am yet to make. I want Jiffy Posts to be a space in which everybody and anybody can express themselves, and I mean truly express themselves – beyond the bi-monthly Facebook post or existentialist meme.
There’ll be no content prescription or editing – I want you to write whatever the fuck you want: non-fiction, fiction, political commentary, movie reviews, music reviews, poetry, scripts, romance – literally, anything that is the product of your creativity, your voice. And trust me, I get how anxiety-inducing it can be to bare your effort for all the digital world to see (Jiffy Posts gets no views anyway so it’s chill), but there’s no criticism here, we’re all amateurs. All I want are genuine voices, in one place, without the pretentious editing bullshit – whatever you have to offer is gold.
I’m aware that this is big talk for a small personal blog, and I know that submissions will likely be few and far between, but that’s okay, I’m hardly expecting an influx. Write under your own name, or a pseudonym, it’s your call. I just ask that if you find yourself rattling about on a wet winter’s day, and decide to bash out some words, you give a second thought before shutting your laptop. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt: whatever you write should be of value to you, and, at the very least, it will be of value to me.
Please feel free to submit anything, in any way you’d like, Inbox, E-mail, telegram etc.