lately, in writing

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.

I bought a new laptop

And it has been wonderful. Truth be told, I felt a little foolish immediately after the purchase, since I have a completely serviceable laptop. It was just one of those moments where I thought to myself: “I want to buy something rather extravagant as a way of asserting my existence in this consumer-driven society.”

So, like what happened when I bought my ipad mini, after I unboxed it I sat and stared and basked in the strange non-warmth of Apple product glow. I think most people know what I’m talking about. It has a very particular smell. I imagine Apple spent no insignificant amount of time or money developing whatever that just-opened box aroma is.

After a half day of transferring files, I booted this new guy up and it’s been a rare moment when I’m not using it. It’s probably my brain tricking me, but I always feel a spike in my creative output immediately after purchasing a new piece of technology. Well, the potential increases. But here I am! updating my blog and thinking all sorts of thoughts!

Get ready, Internet, for the creative onslaught.

Collated text from failed daily writing experiment

From April 22:

Happy Earth Day!

I once had a plant that tried to commit plantricide by flinging himself from his perch on the kitchen windowsill. Actually, the real story is that we liked to keep the kitchen window open for the breezes, and one particularly strong gust sent him flying onto the floor. Fortunately, we were able to revive him through vigilance and watering and carbon dioxide. Now he lives in a less treacherous spot in the middle of a table away from the winds.

Earth Day is a funny holiday to me. Its significance in my own life has been largely determined what sort of person my science teacher was at the time. By and large, the greatest science teacher I ever had was in elementary school: Mr. H everyone called him. He kept a snake in his classroom that would escape every so often, and the entire school would be on alert until its eventual return. If we were lucky we’d sometimes get to witness feeding time, which to a 10-year old is probably one of the more exciting moments of the school day.

But I digress.

Earth Day was always a part of our curriculum. Each year we’d go out and plant a tree or commemorate a shrub, but the best part was always the “Save the rainforest” t-shirt sale. I’d estimate nearly half my wardrobe in elementary school had some depiction of an adorable tree frog or big-eyed monkey imploring that we stop and think about the destruction of their habitats.

From April 24:

watching Louie. man, that dude is totally hilarious.

Day 2.5 of writing experiment

I changed up my theme because the other was starting to feel stuffy. Gotta freshen things up every now and then, help get the creative juices flowing. Maybe I just made that up, but it seems like change promotes creativity. Part of this idea to write every day was to work on my abilities to come up with ideas and articulate them, because I think that is fundamental to the creative process. If you cannot translate your thoughts to some other medium they stagnate. But now I think I’m starting to sound trite, or just like I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s a problem when I get to writing past midnight on a Tuesday. I’m bogged down with the seriousness that plagues the first half of the week. Towards the weekend it’s all whimsy and fluff—looking forward to that.

And now the time for bed is come. Good night, netizens.