© 2011 John Penny. All rights reserved.

Iceberg Principle

I’ve written more “first” posts for this site than I ever should have. Failed relationships, career changes, and personal tragedies always seem to get in the way of the really important things in life, like eating more vegetables and updating a blog that no one reads. Those who know me best are aware of the bizarre rut I’ve been in the last couple years and, while I won’t get into it here, it’s high time I dig myself out of the hole and do something. That’s the impetus for relaunching this site; I’m trying to get my hooks into as many things as I can with the hope that something sticks and I can move on with my life.

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.

— Ernest Hemingway

This redesign marks the third incarnation of icebergprinciple.com. When I created this site in 2005, I chose to name it after Ernest Hemingway’s theory of omission and his famous iceberg metaphor from Death in the Afternoon. I was a much different person then (as I have been each time I’ve started and stopped writing here) and took the name as a literal mission statement for what I wanted to achieve as a writer. In fact, I mastered the concept so successfully that zero-eighths of my writing was visible to the reader. In 2011, however, I find myself in the role of the iceberg — I have so many thoughts and ideas frozen in me that go unnoticed, undocumented, and unfulfilled. Sharing all those things might cost me some dignity along the way, but at least I won’t sink any ships.

I’m going to use Iceberg Principle for all of my quasi-personal ramblings, whether they’re about music, movies, or what I ate for breakfast. I’m also going to use the site as a launchpad for all of my other endeavors. Here’s some of what’s on the way: a photo blog which will highlight some of my favorite shots; a food website covering restaurants, bars, home cooking, and more; a travel site with narratives from my time away from home (which should increase dramatically this year).

I’m making a conscious effort to involve myself more in the act of living. For me that includes writing more, spending more time on photography, traveling with purpose (seeking out meaningful experiences), and seriously practicing music more often. It also includes maintaining healthy and active relationships with my friends, which you can help me with by holding my feet to the fire if I retreat back inside and start spending too much time with my Netflix instant queue.

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