Today I would like to introduce you to fellow blogger Mark William Jackson from Sydney, Australia. Mark’s blog showcases his unique style of poetry, but also short stories, reviews, art, and photography. Some of his posts can also be found lurking at the Overland literary journal.
He has publicly struggled with the addictive nature of blogging, but is currently off the wagon and well into imbibing of the blog juice 🙂 so I thought it was as good a moment as any to ask him a couple of questions.
Why do you blog?
I’ve been scribbling sporadically for 20 years. Throughout this time I’d write some poems, send one to an editor, receive a rejection and give up for a few years. I started my blog in 2009, firstly on blogger (now I think it’s called blogspot), then I migrated to wordpress. Initially it was just another phase in the sporadic writing cycle, but then I started receiving comments – for the first time people outside of my immediate family were reading my poetry. It was exhilarating (and addictive). It was this encouragement that gave me the drive to keep going, helped me to handle the rejections and work on my development.
What do you like best about blogging?
I have a relatively well documented love/hate relationship with my blog. I have built it up and broken it down three or four times now. Once it starts ‘rolling’ I find myself drawn into it too much, I become blinkered to all else and the tool becomes the product. And yet, when I’m not actively blogging I feel a lack of connection.
I like the interaction with other writers, the back and forth feedback, suggestions and interpretations of my work that I had never considered.
I like the blog to serve as a central online repository, a place where, if people are interested in my work, they can look through previously published poems, links to where I am currently being published and works created exclusively for the blog.
Thanks Mark 🙂
25 thoughts on “Guest Blogger – Mark William Jackson”
Thank you, Gabrielle, for the introduction. Wonderfully sensitive writing.
I am glad you popped over to Mark’s blog adeeyoyo – he is a sensitive poet (as are most of us I fear – our doing and our undoing 😉 )
Excellent! Don’t change your questions, Gabrielle, they work fine. So interesting to read Mark’s answers. I, too, have an ambivalent relationship with my blog, and Mark is spot on when he talks of the tool becoming the product, yet feeling a loss of connection when not actively blogging.
It’s a catch-22 – I have wanted to delete my blog too (or at least change it to an anonymous one) but thought better of it in the cold light of day.
I really enjoy Mark’s writings.
Thanks slpmartin for checking his blog out 🙂
don’t leave us Mark
(for too long a time).
Haha – breaks are fine, but save the blog 🙂 It is scary when a blog disappears completely without any notification – you don’t know what has happened to them (even if they are still alive) – so NOTE: anyone who does want to delete their blog – YOU HAVE TO GIVE US NOTICE – hahaha.
I first came to Mark’s blog by way of yours, Gabrielle, and think of you both as truly fine and inspirational poets
Thanks bluebee 🙂 ditto back at you – haha
MWJ is one of my favourites… always a healthy slap of inspiration when I visit his blog.
Agreed – thanks Graham 🙂
Glad to see Mark over here. One of the things I like about him best as a blogger is that he’s responsive and articulate – he’s been a part of many intriguing conversations over at mine and his own posts are always well considered (whether intentionally or not).
Thanks Maxine 🙂
Lovely post, Gabrielle. Fantastic to see Mark profiled here. I agree with Maxine’s comments. Plus he’s such an engaging participant in the on-line world.
Christ, I feel as if I’m writing a present-tense obituary.
Hahaha – thanks Nigel 🙂
Thanks for the opportunity Gabe. Thank you to everyone who commented above. When asked ‘why do I blog’ and ‘what do I like best about blogging’ the answers are in the above. Thank you.
Thanks again Mark 🙂
A wonderful writer, indeed. I can relate to that occasional finger hovering about the delete button. Sometimes it is such a close thing I have sweat pouring down my back afterwards. But if I did that I’d miss out on all the fabulous writers out there and the joy of that definitely counteracts any self-doubt I might have!
Hear, hear – thanks Selma 🙂
Mark has been (for me) a real source of inspiration, and an open-source of encouragement. I think the wonderful thing about the blogging platform is that it provides a space to create ourselves and be created – both by our work and by these connections that we can make with each other through the process. It’s also a place of violence and hell at times for the same reasons, and I don’t think it differs much* from so called ‘performance poetry’ spaces. It would be great to see the whys and wherefores of blogging in this community given the in-depth over-all treatment, and it’s posts like this that I guess point toward the importance of it. Then again, maybe it’s enough to say there’s no excuse for losing faith in our work in a world overflowing with instant constructive connections with people who are ready to openly share our moments of wonder and moments of hell, and can do so with one simple cut, paste, and click of a button. Thanks Mark – and thanks Gabrielle.**
*Please don’t get me started on making up any more academically inclined distinctions.
Thanks Brad for your thoughtful comment 🙂 Personally I don’t really feel that blogging is like the performance poetry space – I think you need a certain style of poetry if you want to perform live and have people enjoy the experience, and you need a certain type of person or ‘performer’ as well – I think a lot of written poetry is best experienced through reading and rereading and possible heard on top of that, but if you only hear something once in a performance, in needs a certain clarity and wow factor, often missing in poetry. Savouring the written poetic word is generally a slow process – especially if there are a number of layers – and performance poetry is by its nature fast paced.
Always interesting to learn what motives have drawn others to this unique medium. And always gladdening to hear that others find direction and encouragement from these notes in a bottle that we have all cast into the sea from our various islands ….
I love that Aletha – ‘notes in a bottle’ – it is a lot like that.