About me

Without trying to come across as too pompous – yet somehow achieving just that – I would like to share a passage from the introduction to a “Condensation of Animal Farm” published by World Digest in January 1946 and in reference to the writings of George Orwell. It goes a little like this:

(Mr Orwell) does not hesitate to criticize persons and things of which he disapproves, He censures injustice, humbug, and falsification of ideals; gibes at appeasement, popular eulogy of the second-best, and the bleating in unison of the yes-men.

Orwell’s methodical and (mostly) reasoned approach to understanding and interpreting the world forms the core of what I’ve always wanted to achieve in my own writing. That is, taking a searching and critical attiude toward everything with which one is presented, as opposed to a complacency towards the trivial and an acceptance of the absurd. I was once told that being critical of everything will only deny a person the wonders of life. I politely disagree. A great many people, I have noticed, often confuse being critical with being cynical. To be critical is to be driven towards the truth, to the refinement of thought, to a clearer understanding of the world. Cynicism is a shying away from engagement, it is the poison of curiosity and founded on a closed-mindset. Any writer, or reader, would do well to consider these words from Christopher Hitchens:

Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.

I write because I’m compelled to do so, and I would wager that most writers follow a similar compulsion.  To communicate, to connect, to inform, to educate, to entertain, to let the world know I lived. That I didn’t follow the crowd. That I thought for myself and was able to share those thoughts with others.

86 Comments Add yours

  1. Pingback: Piggie's Place
  2. Ally says:

    Good morning, I’ve nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. Should you choose to accept, my post can be found here:
    I hope you have a lovely day 🙂

  3. I love your blog. I love your writing style and it brings into sharp focus how my writing still needs a lot of improvement. Thank you for your thoughtful blog posts.

  4. Awesome blog!Awesome work! Thank you so much for the follow! Needed to connect, but didn’t found your contact email! Kindly please drop your email id on painttheworldwithwords@gmail.com

  5. Internet_Kid says:

    I nominate you for the #mermaideffect challenge!
    Find the answer to the question given at the end of this article in the link and Further nominate five of your SMART FRIENDS ONLY to keep the chain going!!

  6. greenpete58 says:

    Your “About Me” is so me (does that make sense?). The Christopher Hitchens quote is spot-on, and I’m saving it for my own use somewhere, some day. Thanks again.

  7. solosocial says:

    “I write because I’m compelled to do so.”

    I can certainly relate to that–thank you for following my blog.

  8. I wanted to highlight nearly your whole post. It was excellent, thought provoking, and compelling. But, this part spoke to my heart, “To communicate, to connect, to inform, to educate, to entertain, to let the world know I lived. ”

    Thank you for stopping by the Cow Pasture and welcome to the fence jumpers. I look forward to reading your words both here and in the pasture.

  9. HJi Critical Dispatches. Great to meet you. Thank you for wanting to follow my poetry adventures. I too am compelled to write! Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

  10. I love your writing style ..its not at all pretentious yet stylish and to the point 🙂 . mostly i liked your collections of mural paintings , i myslef love to paint too and Thanks for the Follow .. hope you would like my posts 🙂

  11. owen-t says:

    Thank you for writing this – I wanted to read it again and again. It spoke to me with clarity.
    And thanks for the follow – and keep up the cynicism – people are all too willing to believe what they’re told without understanding what it means. Happy holidays!

  12. Scarlett79 says:

    Very nicely said…B O O M Love, “The grave will supply plenty of time for silence !!!” How true. I will put that quote into my writer’s notebook. Oh and BTB (by the by) you were my 100th follower B O O M !!! Blessings for 2016 <3

  13. I like the clarity and purpose of your writing!

  14. Being compelled to write is definitely a good reason to do so. It is always more important to have passion than none.

    Your photo of the Thames makes me nostalgic for my time there. Such a great city to live.

  15. ceayr says:

    Neatly expressed goals, sir, many of which I also strive towards.
    Good luck.

  16. Bob Mills says:

    You have created a fine blog here my friend.
    Just wanted to say hi and to thank you kindly for now following my own. I am very grateful.

  17. Awesome read, the last paragraph is the best description of why we write so far! Thank you for the follow 🙂

  18. spearfruit says:

    Great introduction, nice to meet you. Thank you for following my blog, I will certainly take the time to read yours. Hope your day is a happy one! 🙂

  19. owen-t says:

    Hi – I nominated you for the 3 Day Quote Challenge – hope you like the idea. Go to http://sensualism.me/2016/01/09/3-day-quote-challenge-day-1-2/ for more information. All the best and apologies for any ‘glitches.’

  20. Lee Redman says:

    What you said here, “I write because I’m compelled to do so. As I would wager most of the writers using WordPress – or any of the other blogging platforms – do. To communicate, to connect, to inform, to educate, to entertain, to let the world know I lived. That I didn’t follow the crowd, that I thought for myself and was able to share those thoughts with others” really resonated. I write for those same reasons, I haven’t made my blog fancy, monetized or anything, I just do it to share.

  21. ‘I write because I’m compelled to do so. As I would wager most of the writers using WordPress – or any of the other blogging platforms – do.’ Yes.

  22. Jack Crispy says:

    Thanks for the follow! I hope you enjoy reading my posts. 🙂

  23. Thank you very much for following my blog 🙂

  24. I was following you originally so clearly WP unfollowed on my behalf. Grr! Much thanks for following Rogues & Vagabonds.

  25. karencomics says:

    Hi — thanks for following Karen Gillmore Art! After reading your “About” page, I’m now very curious to read more (that *was* the plan, right?). Looking forward to it.

  26. -thanks for the response
    looking forward to checking out more of your site

  27. michelevenne says:

    Hi! Thanks for following my blog! I hope I offer other insightful posts. I love you last paragraph here. I always ask writers who attend a workshop I offer, why they write. I think it becomes a touchstone, something for us to go back to when life happens and writing sometimes gets derailed.

  28. Thank you for following my blog! I love how you have written your About page and I’m sure I would learn a lot from here.

  29. sakuraandme says:

    I love your about page. 🙂
    Have a great day. Hugs Paula xxx

  30. daisywillows says:

    I have just read ‘1984’ Orwell was a true radical and way ahead of his time. Never accept one person’s reality. Question! Question! criticise be ‘cynical’. I’m going through a reading the classics period in my life again. I have just nearly finished reading ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ -Harper Lee. Again, if no one ‘criticised’ and questioned societies prejudices and judgements no one would evolve!

  31. kbug66 says:

    I’m enjoying a tour of your blog posts this morning. Thanks for stopping by Simplymeandjeans and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

  32. Just had a lovely visit around your website. Looking forward to following in 2016.

  33. I love how you approach the world! Very fascinating! And yes it’s important to remind people that critical does not automatically mean cynical. It’s important to question what we are told and search for the truth of things while sharing with others. I also love how you share these excerpts. Very well written!

  34. Roos Ruse says:

    What an excellent introduction to an excellent blog. Following.

  35. Kyle Towns says:

    Nice pair of quotes 🙂 I definitely share your aims: to inspire, educate, and challenge, and of course, I hope to entertain while doing it!

    A friend of mine recently summed his life methodology in two bullet points and I believe they’re poignant:
    Life; if you’re not having fun, there’s no point
    If the world is not better for you being in it then you’re just being a burden.

    While I don’t wholly agree with the implication that we are obligated to be of assistance to the world, striving to be the proponent of positive change benefits everyone and improves a person’s life satisfaction.

    1. “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” ― Horace Mann.

  36. franklparker says:

    Thanks for the follow. I’m pleased that it allowed me to discover your blog. I’ll be back!

  37. randomcollab says:

    Great use of words for expression.. Completely relate to it.
    Thank for liking my initiative randomcollab. Wish to read more of interesting stuff from your blog.

  38. Julie says:

    Excellent “about me.” Yep, I’ll follow.

  39. Thank you for reaching out to my obscure corner of blogdom and deciding to follow me, regardless of the enormous costs to your reputation and credibility. I shall endeavour to be worthy, and reciprocate. Seriously? Very entertaining blog, excellent writing style, hideous taste in skyline. I shall enjoy my visits!

  40. You bring up much to ponder, so I shall. I write to find out who I am and what I think.

  41. Sonia says:

    Nice to meet you. 🙂

  42. “That I didn’t follow the crowd, that I thought for myself and was able to share those thoughts with others.” Yes! Thank you for writing wonderfully, and taking the time to stop by my blog. 🙂

  43. petchary says:

    Pompous or not, those are marvelous quotes. Like you, I don’t follow the crowd… Warm greetings from Jamaica!

  44. “That I didn’t follow the crowd, that I thought for myself and was able to share those thoughts with others.”

    Great way to put it. Its so easy nowadays to follow the crowd and think like everybody else. Keep being you. Thanks for following me 🙂

  45. The compulsion to write: Yes! I heartily agree with you . . . that’s the source and the fuel for this particular art form.

  46. Like you, Richard, and other bloggers surely, I too feel compelled to write. In my case, though, perhaps to let the world know HOW I lived.. 😉 Happy to stumble upon your blog!

  47. lovehappily says:

    I am pleased to meet you. You have a lovely blog, and I look forward to reading your posts.

  48. You are not at all pompous. Using smart and eloquent quotes can only enrich someone’s writing. Of course, when used in moderation and in a place and form they belong. As far as your idea goes — I couldn’t agree more!
    Can’t wait to read something of yours! Cheers!

  49. Celene A. says:

    I loved this: “…to let the world know I lived. That I didn’t follow the crowd, that I thought for myself and was able to share those thoughts with others.”

  50. It’s a pleasure to read your beautiful blog and interesting posts 🙂

  51. Bonjour, I guess we share common interest, looking forwazrd to read more ….. 🙂

  52. Cila Warncke says:

    You had me at Orwell. Thanks for connecting and sharing your words.

  53. Jam says:

    Thank you for stopping by my humble, fledgling blog.
    I look forward to exploring yours. You have a way with words ?

  54. Beautiful blog! Thank you for following me ?

  55. Nice battle cry! (For some reason your about page is a battle cry in the most positive sense of the word. Thank you for following my blog. I am greatly looking forward to following yours.)

  56. MOMENTS says:

    I like your blog very much. I want to include a page with links on my blog. Can I put a link to your blog?

    1. Hi, sure thing, absolutely. Thank you.

  57. MOMENTS says:

    You are welcome.

  58. Great blog! I love how you set it up and the variety of subjects and your take on them! I’ll be checking in often!

  59. rmcalzada says:

    Your take on criticism is well articulated and refreshing! I appreciate you describing yourself as a writer who pursues the truth and the root of our muse. It reminds me of the technique of confrontation in my graduate program; it should be direct but sensitive.

    Thank you for sharing! Also, thank you for choosing to follow my blog! I will be perusing your site more in the coming days.

  60. Alyson says:

    It was a huge day for me when you responded to my post and your reply made it more memorable. Thank you for following me. I look forward to reading your posts. 🙂

  61. From Jarbidge to the End of the Oregon Trail says:

    First – thank you for following me. Second, I think I shall return the favor. I browsed some of your posts and I like your style. Ok – maybe I just like the post on Greece. But if I like one post, I am sure to like more. – Jaci

  62. Yoshiko says:

    Thank you to follow my blog and like my poetry. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  63. avinamdar says:

    The most intelligent and fascinating about me page I’ve read in a while! I’m truly impressed, Cheers 🙂

  64. Thanks for following. I came to read your about page and, as one other commenter said, you had me at Orwell. Hitchens? Icing on the cake. I look forward to a long correspondence over the coming years.

  65. Argus says:

    You’re following me? It could well be a bumpy ride, but you are very welcome. And any comment would be even more welcomer—be warned, I am a cynic (last refuge of the desperate). And other than taking out naughty words, I never censor.

  66. Deji says:

    You have a beautiful space here, Richard.

  67. kethuprofumo says:

    Dear Richard,
    we have an honour to invite to participate in first ETERNAMENTA AWARDS ‘Most Talented Reader’.

    Best Regards,
    More detailed information is here: https://eternamenta.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/eternamenta-blog-awards/

  68. GirlInBlue says:

    Thanks so much for the follow on my blog. It’s a pleasure to meet you; you seem like an interesting person. I look forward to reading more from you! 😀

  69. Thank you for following me. I’m a bit eclectic at times. Looking forward to see all that have here.

  70. Your eloquence is a marvel…and, I am especially drawn to your closing paragraph…it resonates on multiple levels…so glad to connect…thanks for sharing 🙂

  71. Yep, a compulsive writer. Tiring sometimes, right?

  72. Patty says:

    “I was once told that being critical of everything will only deny a person the wonders of life.” I could be ridge by know, if I received penny every-time someone told me that! Bit busy at the moment, but I am definitely going to read more at your blog.
    Kind regards from a neighbor at this globe, XxX

  73. jwledbury says:

    The BBC charter promises to educate, entertain and inform although they don’t always achieve these lofty aims .Lots of this blog does


    1. Hi, I always found that charter to be a very noble sentiment. I agree with you too, sometimes they don’t always hit the mark, but when they get it right, boy do they get it right. I’m currently thoroughly enjoying Planet Earth II. I have a fairly poor quality TV, but even still, it’s incredible stuff. I can only imagine what it looks like in full 4K.

  74. Good morning, I just want to thank you for stopping by and following my travel and photo blog. I know my response is tardy, I’ve been travelling and just getting some time to review the new follower’s sites. I’m always looking for travelers and photographers to follow. Time to go exploring on your site. Thanks again!

    1. criticaldispatches says:

      Stay for a while, get comfortable.

  75. Thank You! For following my blog and bringing your wonderful blog to my notice. Your writing and perceptions both impressed and surprised me. Because you don’t come across people perceiving and thinking, in the philosophical way you do.

  76. Thank you for the follow, I can see you are not a newbie like me, your recent post was great.

  77. Idle Muser says:

    This ‘About’ page reflects the brutal honesty that that face behind this blog holds, and I respect that. I respect that you, not only candidly but rightly, kept forward your beliefs that you hold. I admire the ones who are honest with themselves and with others, no matter how hard and critical it might seem as at the end it’s the bitterness of medicine that cures the disease, not the sweetness of candies.
    Now is the time for me to go through some of your posts, and I look forward for your feedback on my write-ups (whenever time permits you). 🙂

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