Fatigue on a wall near Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. Click for credits

When I started this blog I partly drew on some ideas from a diary I had kept for no specific purpose. I had been writing leisurely on it while listening to lovely music and had cherished every moment I was able to get back to it, editing sentences and musing on my pages.

Those mysterious yellow characters on a black background! And the music! What a delightful experience, my imagination flying without any obligation and only for the sake of it!

After starting the Man of Roma blog, most of this diary ideas having been used up after a few months, I began writing and thinking directly for my web log. I though gradually realised that the two experiences – my totally purposeless diary and this blog, a man-of-the-street research on all that is Roman – were very different.

My blogging activity in fact implied compulsion and purpose, readers had started to appear with their feedback, I felt I had to be up to their expectations (real or imaginary,) up to my expectations, and so on.

On the contrary my diary had been the realm of playful freedom.

I wish I could get back to that state of mind, but I don’t know if I can.

It could be I am at my best in totally purposeless activities – something my family is in the mood to remind me, now and then (and probably the reason I couldn’t make a steady profession out of my writing or musical inclinations.)

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Let me play with giants a bit. Cicero [see image above,] even in his letters to his family, wrote in order to acquire fame. Montaigne instead wrote just for the hell of it. An interesting comparison – fame, or any other purpose, such as money; and mere pleasure, art for art’s sake – which can correspond to two categories of writers, bloggers etc. Although one cannot say Montaigne had absolutely no purpose.

Magister would certainly exclaim: “Playful freedom? Yours is the typical attitude of the spineless bohemian. Discipline is all, and any creative activity is a careful, painful, purposeful construction.”


I remember once Maryann (together with the Commentator, recently) pushed me in this way:

“Back to work Man of Roma!
Cloppete cloppete cloppete …”

[One of the funniest comments I’ve ever received]

26 thoughts on “Back to Work! Cloppete, Cloppete, Cloppete …

  1. You too, huh? I feel I have lost my passion this summer. Could it be because one daughter moved to Chicago, and one son has moved to the dorm at the University? I miss cooking for a crowd!

    I still enjoy visiting over here, even if you feel you only have a ramble or two… I have learned much! 😉


  2. My blogging activity in fact implied compulsion and purpose, readers had started to appear with their feedback, I felt I had to be up to their expectations (real or imaginary,) to my expectations and so on.
    On the contrary my diary had been the realm of playful freedom.

    I think this is an inevitable tension. You just have to decide which way to go and stick with it. Amateur is often used as a put-down, but really, what’s wrong with doing something solely for the love of it?



    1. Nothing wrong in fact with doing something for the pleasure of it. It is the purpose – an amateurish research on Rome – which has marred some of the pleasure. But this is only silly whining. I’ll read your statement and comment on it.


  3. Interesting example. Looks like you are feeling uninspired and compelled to blog for blogging’s sake right now. take a break. come back refreshed!


    1. Problem being I just came back from a break lol! It’s a *real* vacation I need, which I don’t have since too long. I’ll get that plane, how’s that? 🙂


  4. “My blogging activity in fact implied compulsion and purpose, readers had started to appear with their feedback, I felt I had to be up to their expectations (real or imaginary,) to my expectations and so on.”

    I think all the bloggers at one point of time pass through this… the complulsion takes away the joy of blogging… Don’t feel compeled, just go with the flow, if you like, write; if you don’t let it be! 🙂


  5. Join the club! 😛

    Although I wouldn’t mind a post on the typical day of Man of Roma. To think of it, we’ve never had one. It’s more like Man of Roma is an observer of worldly things rather than a being with “feelings” [Don’t take it the wrong way.. I mean the internet being ManofRoma. Not his alter ego who chats with me via mail spouting dude, etc! 😛 ]. Inject some life in the old mummy! [AND if that means more Aphrodite, I’m all for it. 😈 ]

    I know what you mean about the “REAL” vacation. Mine’s gonna start soon! Woooooooooooooo!

    Paul: What would that make me I wonder?! But some learned European did say [or was it American?] “Man ages only when his attitude towards life changes!” That makes all of you guys pretty much around my age! How about joining the Imperial cause for Universal domination? I have some posts open!

    Note: I’m talking like an insane lunatic because all I’m seeing since logging after a 2 day holiday [Ganesh Chaturthi FTW!] is Doom and Gloom. 😐 Black Sabbath is the order of the day, me says!

    [The live version was intentional. MoR they are older than you and they still Rock! 😛 ]


  6. @Sakhi

    I’ll reply when I get back home. Ciao

    Sakhi: if I just go with the flow, I wonder where the flow could take me. I really do. And yes, sometimes the vein is dry, and I need some silence. This could be my version of ‘going with the flow.’ 🙂

    Ashish: Hey dude, wait for the next rock version of Man of Roma. You’ll learn this mummy can still *rock*.

    The typical day of MoR? This blog is already so full of my ego I have to shut up on that and observe more the external world. And why should people be interested in things like at what time do I feed the dog or how often do I quarrel with the neighbour? We will in any case see 😉


    1. Well when a blog is full of extraordinary things, they are ordinary things for the blog. So when an ordinary thing comes around, it becomes extraordinary! Don’t believe me? See Maryann’s comment! 😛

      Plus I could learn some Italian swear words as well! 😛


  7. Ashish, I agree, age is in the head. Think young, stay opened to new things and unless you get very sick you will not age. Now let’s see 78 is 7 and 8, that makes 15, 15 is 1 and 5, that makes 6, no I’m not going through all that again. Once is enough. “Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes” as the captain said in a film whose title I long ago forgot.


  8. OK. Now I’m curious about what the quarrel is about with your neighbor and what kind of dog you have.
    See how way leads on to way?

    Sometimes, it is not just readers who prompt you to create, but the creation itself. It’s sometimes hard to tell the little creation to keep quiet so you can take a nap.

    But just so you know, I wanted you back to work because I missed your posts. Purely selfish.

    Be well, MoR. And dream on 🙂


    1. So now you and Ashish (dude and dudette) are allied in asking me more private stuff…

      Yes, it is the creation itself (a text, a painting, a song etc.) to ask for completion, but what about the readers? See how both you and Ashish have requested a text on how much food I stuff my dog with or what kind of curses talk I use with my neighbour.


      Thanks Marianna. You well know you’re one of my dearest blog pals!


  9. I too agree with the point that Creative art is careful, painful and purposeful construction. The painful part is especially true!

    BTW, you have been tagged on the topic ‘Fast Furious and Danceable songs’ – would love to listen to some fast Italian songs…

    Destination Infinity


    1. As I said many times, I rarely do tags (I did once for you and once for Poonam only). I’ll see what I can do, although I’m not much into fast Italian songs. Thanks for popping in!


  10. Welcome back from vacation. You lucky Italians – a month of vacation! American law does not promise or guarantee vacations to workers so many of us never get a paid holiday!
    As to when and how and what you blog – it is like being friends – sometimes we want to have deep thoughtful conversations and other times we want our friends to go away and leave us in peace while we hibernate! So although we may have come here first to hear your thoughts on Roma, we have begun to want more at times from you — but like all good friends we do understand when you need to maintain some space and privacy. Writing for the sake of writing because you enjoy it is what your good friends here want from you – totally different than expecting the book we buy to have something written in it on every page because we paid for it.


    1. Welcome back Bonnie! [sorry for the delayed answer]

      Yes, hibernation, that is the right word.

      I know, readers like one writing and enjoying it, so it is more enjoyable, I suppose. Well, I think I can do that. Though with breaks


  11. It sometimes seems to me the one thing that has the potential to most corrupt the playful joys of blogging is the expectation we are writing for someone else.

    Like you, I have been on break for a while — and part of that break seemed made necessary by a need to forget any silly purposes that have crept into my writing and to instead get back to writing for the fun of it.


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