I keep a few concurrent writing repository what-have-yous that skew to slightly different purposes—dream journal (recently restarted), daily journal, poetry and prose (handwritten and on the laptop)—and every few months I’m suddenly overcome with the urge to pare things down. Because, really, who needs to keep five journals, two of which are private for their only slightly more sensitive and embarrassing content?
The trouble frankly is that I like the physical act of writing as much as I like the thinking of writing. If I’m worked up I can put some words to paper and feel better. I guess this isn’t new territory but the effect is undeniable, even if it’s more or less gibberish I’m scribbling down. On the other hand, my relationship with formal writing exercises has been a little more loaded, specifically when introduced to the analytical essay in high school english class. For a logophile, it’s easy to get lost in the trees, easier still the branches, and completely forget the point of the assignment. I also used to be determined that I’d never write a rough draft, that it was somehow a failing if you couldn’t produce the perfect final version in one go. All that means is that I would spend many many many hours watching that ubiquitous blinking cursor searing itself into my retinae as I despaired over what to say and how to say it so that people would read my words and think “Hey, this person isn’t a dummy.” Maybe even go, “This person has interesting and unique ideas!”
Anyway, I’d like to think in those intervening years I learned to be a bit looser, careless, in fact, so that I could rid myself of the fear of writing something bad. Plus, and here’s the kicker, personal taste really determines everything. I don’t mean that as license to turn out a bunch of garbage into the world, but more as a way to ease up so that I can become a better more fluent writer if I give myself the space. There might be an audience who enjoys it but don’t sweat it if there isn’t. The hot weather makes it sweaty enough.
Seems that we haven’t all completely given up yet so another year is upon us. I was feeling rather productive the past few days, cleaning out a bunch of old, unnecessary things and taking stock of things that I feel are important. Turns out there’s much more of the former than the latter. At some point I must have thought these things were worth hanging on to, back when I had less to think about. Well, I don’t want to waste my energy on stuff that isn’t absolutely vital to my present self any more—just get rid of it and move on. (Perhaps there is some silver lining to society functionally becoming an ever larger dumpster fire.)
I think I should have learned by now that I’m just not the consistent type when it comes to blogging. Anyway, I’m older and pretending to be more responsible so I thought I’d play catchup and scratch down whatever vague recollections I have from the past few years.
2015 was the year of spotify, and thanks to its algorithms I’d say I’ve thoroughly expanded, if not exactly diversified, my music library. But listening to music 24/7 starts to do things to your brain that I can’t quite explain. Maybe my ears were just tired from wearing earbuds constantly, but I started to feel my powers of cognition affected. Consequently, I started listening to podcasts, which turned out to be a-okay.
Early 2016 I continued to commit myself wholeheartedly to the podcast listening camp and heard a lot of interesting things. In fact, I might venture to say at the time it was a turning point, a departure from a life that was for one that is, a life more fulfilling, rich. Then I kinda got distracted by the garbage fire that was the latter half of 2016 in America. Oh, and Stranger Things.
If I want to be charitable in my take of 2017, it turned out to be a meditation on human behavior. More truthfully, it was spent in a state of near-constant rage at the status quo exacerbated by all the stupid things I encountered online. I also learned many a valuable lesson in confirmation bias.
And that brings us to 2018! I don’t want to jinx anything, but I did get a pretty solid fortune on New Year’s Day, and the Astro Poets predicted some heady stuff, so for the moment I’ve got my wits about me. Guess I’m gonna see how long I can ride this wave.
I had four teeth extracted recently. My head feels lighter, though that may just be my imagination. Making up for the physical extraction with mental insertion.
Still telling myself to write more, still not listening. How does one self-motivate? On the surface something appeals to the senses but peek just below and how repugnant it suddenly is, like an underground phosphorus pool. All glittering and twinkling to the eye but the other senses cringe and twist and reject utterly the experience on account of the smell. That’s it: I’ve got to acclimate myself to the smell of writing.
The obligatory “I am still here” post.
Goals for 2016:
- write more
- keep writing
- don’t stop writing, even if it’s bad
- learn some more words
- think more deeply
- be okay with the occasional decaffeinated coffee