I used to write all the time. Throughout college, I carried a notebook with me at all times, and I journaled incessantly. I wrote poems; obviously I wrote essays for classes and research papers. And when blogging became a thing people do (beyond the early days of LiveJournal, which always seemed to me to be artless barfing of personal information onto the internet...which is not really different from modern blogging at all), I jumped in. I had a lot of things to say, and for a time I was an insanely prolific blogger, albeit not very well known.
These days, I write very little. I write copy for work, but this isn't writing. It's more like word math, adding words together in strings that add up to something that pleases both client and search engine alike. But it is not writing writing.
I wonder why. I was sitting here at my desk moments ago, wondering why. I've been feeling the creeping sensation for years now that it is the internet itself that is squashing my desire to say anything. After spending several hours a day engaged in the constant online conversations over gender, sexuality, race, politics, class, et. al., I've come across virtually every viewpoint and found myself mentally exhausted. I swim through everyone's thoughts on Facebook and come up feeling drained. I want to stay informed, but I don't feel informed; I feel beaten up. And after reading what every single other person on the planet has to say about this, that, and the other, I feel like there's nothing left to say at all. There very well may be, but my mind is too full of them for there to be any room for me.
I need an effing break. I miss the energy of having an idea and feeling it flow from my fingers and onto the screen. I do not miss the me who was always so hopelessly a little behind the times, which was the impetus for the name of this blog to begin with.
A few years ago, I went through the Artist's Way. Part of the process involves going on a media diet. You cut out all media for a certain period of time. Because I work on the net, I had to make special perimeters for myself, restricting myself to work-related media and nothing more. And it was fantastic. Maybe I should do that again.
Maybe, maybe, maybe...
I wonder if the lack of writing has simply been a change. It's not as if I've forsaken all creative endeavor. I'm in a band. I help write songs, and I still paint fairly regularly. Maybe it's less that I'm failing at writing and more that writing is now failing me in this time of my life. We'll see.
The other day I came across a thing on the web wherein a man said he met lots of writers, but none of them ever wrote anything. Whatever I want to be, I don't want to be that guy.
Book Notes - Patrick Nathan "Some Hell"
1 day ago