It's my intention to use this space to expand and further investigate the ideas expressed in the collection of essays I have called Persist. Subtitled "In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad with Commerce," the book examines the predicament of creative people of all kinds (artists, writers, musicians, actors...) in today's cultural environment, which is too often dominated by money and celebrity. The book is already enjoying more "success" than anything I have previously written--and by success, I don't mean that I'm getting rich and famous; I mean rather that the book is clearly speaking to people in a language they understand about ideas they can relate to.
Persist: The Blog offers something different. I have written blogs before. The Bush Diaries was my first. It started right after the 2004 presidential election, a generally light-hearted and irreverent look at an administration that dismayed me--along with a vast number of like-minded others. That blog morphed, a couple of years later, into The Buddha Diaries, in which I have been making almost daily entries for several years, and continue to do so.
Through these two blogs, I have discovered to my great pleasure that the blogosphere opens up the possibility of a global readership, and I launch Persist: The Blog in the hope of creating a space for world-wide discussion of what I believe to be a commonly shared predicament. There are literally millions of creative people, like myself, who confront the familiar obstacles of a highly commercialized marketplace and who yet need to find reasons and strategies to "persist" in the work they see themselves given to do in their lives.
Persist the Blog is intended, then, as a discussion forum. I'm hoping that it will be a place where questions are asked and experiences shared; where readers will feel free to send in reports of their own challenges and doubts, as well as their coping strategies, their own triumphs and successes, large and small. The invitation is open. It will be posted on the sidebar, along with a link to a Persist: The Blog email address and, for the time being at least, I will act as editor and responder-in-chief. In the words of the wonderfully imaginative Maurice Sendak, "Let the wild rumpus start."