I’m Jess, the author of Fascinated Ferret. Ostensibly, Fascinated Ferret is just a personal pet project, meant to be a blog about whatever is on my mind. I think of it as a non-private series of writing exercises, with no theme and very little continuity. I invite friends and family to read it and very few of them do. But once in a while, they will humor me by commenting on a recent post.
I mostly write about my own experiences, sometimes through the lens of unrelated things that happen to be on my mind when I sit down to do it. One night, for example, I got attacked by mosquitoes. On the day I wrote about it, I was particularly annoyed with men. So I compared the men to mosquitoes. It’s not very clever, but it’s an honest representation of how I actually think. Everything is fair game to become a metaphor.
Sometimes, I include images on this blog. Let me tell you how those come about. I tend to take a lot of pictures on my phone as I go about my day. I’m not a photographer — not at all — but I have a compulsion to document and archive things. I basically act as though I’m going to tell someone about my day later, and they’ll ask me, “But what did it look like when that happened?” I’m not talking about selfies, either. I mostly take pictures of mundane objects and events, like a shoe or a failed attempt at a new hairstyle. There is no way anyone could possibly care about any of that stuff, but I keep snapping pictures anyway. And if the mood strikes, I put them on my blog.
If I’m being honest, none of what you just read is what this blog is really “about” in the big-picture sense. The truth is that “Fascinated Ferret” is a kind of self-therapy. I’ve always identified as a creative person, but in 2015, I realized that my perfectionism was getting in the way of my creativity. It seemed to be leaking out, spoiling other parts of my life. I finally had to admit that I have an outspoken, ruthless inner critic who shoots down most of my ideas, often before I can finish thinking of them. I took inventory of how intense and damaging that voice could be, and I knew that I needed to do something about it.
I had thought about writing a blog for a long time, but I kept talking myself out of it. Then, one night, a good caffeine buzz got me a little more inspired than usual, and suddenly it seemed like blogging was just what the doctor ordered. Blogging is a medium that can be done at high frequency, and one that involves creating something and immediately releasing it into the wild to subject it to whatever threats may be out there. So a blog seemed like a suitable way to step into the ring with that inner critic.
It’s not so much that I thought, “Hey, I should go find a place where I can create stuff that will get attacked.” Rather, I’m hoping to cultivate a regular and healthy habit of putting ideas into words in my own voice, putting those words in a place where they can be seen, not overthinking them too much, and moving on.
This is blog is not about attracting followers. In fact, some of what I write is so personal that I’d almost prefer that no one read it. It’s not about humble-bragging, nor is it a means to position myself as some fantastically stylish human; I would never convince anyone of that, anyway. It’s truly just a mechanism from which to get the benefit of the creative process, and then to practice letting go of it.
Thanks for reading. –FF