Over the past few years I don’t think I’ve written much. The things I have written, I’ve since decided, and maybe a little bit knew at the time, that I don’t like for one reason or another.
It’s frustrating, really.
Writing used to be something I would do at least once/week, Tuesdays if memory serves, for about 5-8 hrs, depending on how I was feeling about the turn out. And then I would spend the rest of my free time during the course of the week editing what I’d written. At one point we had a writer’s circle, although in all honesty it was more like a line, and we’d meet almost every week. Maybe it was every two weeks. I don’t quite remember. What I do remember is that it made me feel good, think differently, and see things in ways I hadn’t previously.
Similar to the experiences a lot of people who started taking work more seriously at some point have, you start to lose the ability to focus on anything other than work. When you’re not at work, you just sort of want to relax and watch TV or go out drinking with friends, or something else along those lines. The lines of things that aren’t so intellectually taxing, the way that reading or writing (or a number of other things, these were just the two that I mostly did) can be.
Really, it’ frustrating.
A friend of mine recently posited the idea that it’s simply harder to read nowadays than it used to be. Like our abilities to focus have slowly been withered away by time spent on our phones (but not using them as phones) or tablets or binge-watching whatever show (the most recent for me has been VEEP). I think there’s something to this, to be sure. But I also think there’s a connection between the fact that I’m now thirty and worked 45-60 hrs/week, depending on the week, and it’s simply too much to come home and not want to just turn off my brain and watch some dumb stuff on Netflix.
About two years ago, I moved from Philly to Minneapolis, and got a job in St. Paul. These are two cities which I don’t have much good to say about, but the one thing I can’t take away from them is the culture of reading. Almost everyone I worked with had a habit of reading and writing. It was really amazing. Being introduced to this culture and simultaneously developing an interest in the MCU began me on the path that’s lead me to this moment. I started reading comic books and graphic novels. I remember at first feeling a little odd about it, being a fully grown adult who’d never really like comics before, in fact there was a time when I actively talked about what I disliked about them. It was a combination of the holdover feelings of the 80s/90s where it was “lame” to read comics and the knowledge that I was in essence buying into the latest trend. But someone I worked with in St. Paul came up to me as I was sitting outside on break reading and smoking and said, “The best thing to read is the thing that gets you reading.”
So, it doesn’t have to be really frustrating.
And in light of all this I am essentially following the example of my friend (who’s blog can be found here: http://mockingtrout.blogspot.com/) and have decided that it would be good for me to blog, to write more often.