Monthly Archives: January 2013

Some Thoughts on Writing or Why I am Writing Right Now

The notion of writing, placing down symbols to represent a thought, an idea (regardless of its truth,) is a strange one-and one that differentiates humans from the many organisms that inhabit this planet. A key question that arises (at least for me) is who is writing for?

Is it for the author? A record of fleeting thoughts so that we can relive what our degenerating brains can no longer properly remember? An enjoyable moment to dump our brains, perhaps understand ourselves better.

Or is it for our peers? A physical manifestation of our thoughts so that we can share them others-but to what end? Communication is the obvious answer, but to communicate what exactly is less so. Is it to gloat? To show others that, yes indeed I have important and revelatory thoughts in this head of mine. Or perhaps to seem aloof, I do not need to complain nor talk to others, the only confidante I need is my pen.

I always had this fantasy that I would keep a diary with all of my deep inner thoughts and feelings, my cool and fantastical ideas that could revolutionize the world-like Da Vinci’s notes. It would be for my own personal use but more importantly (this is a fantasy) when I die (or something tragic befalls me) someone will find my notebooks and would realize that I was a much better person than they had previously thought. I imagine this is my way of being remembered when I’m gone, that I will be hailed as a genius of some sort posthumously (so I wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of fame apparently.)

This caused my earlier attempts at journalling to be pretentious, pompous and just embarrassing. Looking back at those entries do not remind of things to do, instead it just makes me despise how I write when I’m extremely emotionally charged.

Then the Internet became popular and fame was simply a few keyboard touches and a mouse click away. Theoretically your writing could be seen by more people than a book published in the 1880s would ever see. The conundrum grows more muddled with the Internet. Are you writing to sell yourself to an imaginary audience of thousands, or is it still for you? I ventured into this world tentatively writing under pseudonyms and avatars. I tried to cater to audiences while desperately trying to keep showing the digital realm that I am a diverse human being (a girl even!) that was innocently giving them peeks into my mind. I wrote like I wanted to be hired by Gawker Media (initially Gizmodo, then io9,) so I wrote reviews and topical thoughts in the same vein as what was trendy. But constantly second guessing myself because of the nagging thought that “individuality matters! Be an individual you numskull!” So plans of CES coverage, Apple Keynotes, etc. built up until I just didn’t want to do it because Stephen Totillo already it and Brian Lam already shit on Apple for me, who needs copycat posers in a sea of them?

With so many conflicting thoughts I quickly ended up doing nothing but daydreaming about that moment when I will write and immediately become successful and relevant forever.

So what has changed? Nothing. I still constantly worry about what I am writing and why I am doing it. For me or for them (whoever they are)? Does the judgement of the Internet and those that roam it matter? Does the future judgement of history matter? More importantly, does it matter more than your own personal judgement?

The only thing that has changed is that I’ve become more indifferent (some would say savvy, I really wouldn’t.) I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter, that the world continues turning regardless of what I type and what you read. That’s the beauty of the world-it is based on action and inaction, not from symbols on a page nor sounds emitted from vibrating vocal cords. So if the NCAA reads this (which I doubt, but Hi!) or a future employer does, so be it. What I’m writing is a close approximation of how I am thinking right now in time, it is built from the past and will constantly change in the future.

So why do I write? Right here, right now on the Internet? Because I want to become a better writer and that requires practice. Because I want to express myself articulately to myself (and perhaps to you, Reader.) Because I want people to read this and understand one aspect of one person living in the same (maybe different, hello aliens!) world. Because maybe I’ll get famous and rich. Because it’s time for me to act and do something, to possibly alleviate some regret and enjoy myself.

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New Year

I’ve begun writing this post (or at least a version of this post,) at least 25 times.

August: “Hello World, I’m trying to dig myself out of a hole and this is my first attempt….”
September: “Autumn (or Fall, however, you would like to name the changing season) is my         favorite time of year. To me it    represents renewal far better than Spring (the traditional rebirth season.)
October: “Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, a time where masks are appreciated and admired, perhaps because Halloween is when they are most apparent.”
November: “I’ve officially hit my 20’s. No longer can I be labeled as a tween or a teen. I’m a ‘young adult,’ perhaps even a ‘grown-up,’ and yet why do I feel like I’ve just been born?”
December: “My first semester of my sophomore year is officially over and I’m happy? The                   question mark I put there, yes the one placed after the word ‘happy’ is perhaps the most honest piece of punctuation I’ve ever written (typed, if you are being picky.)
So here I am, again, starting this post with the fleeting determination that rises through everyone on New Year’s Eve. Resolutions, promises, goals-all made in an attempt to improve oneself, but more importantly to try to redeem ourselves for our preceding years, in this case 2012.
However, my issue is that while I truly believe that we should not be solely defined by our past-to hope to start off with a completely clean slate, simply by making alcohol and regret fueled promises, is impossible. Regardless of the circumstances regarding our personal histories those things did indeed happen and mean something, no matter how minuscule we want that to be. So instead I propose that we learn from our past to build (as slowly as necessary-past history lesson one: we all move at different speeds even if towards the same destination) our aspirations for the future.
My 2012 have been one of the most enlightening years of my life-not my happiest, funnest, exciting, [other positive verb]. I’ve never been lower (so far) more depressed, more angry, frustrated, [other extremely negative verb,] in my life. But as the year draws to a close (literally minutes away,) and as Taylor Swift performs live on the television in the background, I’ve recognized that all of those moments and thoughts have brought me to this point in time where I’ve caught a bit of a guiding headwind, and I may just know what I’m doing (really.)
Now disregarding the notion of alternate timelines where perhaps I’m happier and more successful, and had a better 2012 (let’s lump 2010 and 2011 into there too.) The person that I am now, is made up of all of those previous moments, the happy and exciting, along with the disappointing, depressing, and regretful. From this point it is now all about looking ahead and improving myself, so perhaps when I look at 2013 from the cusp of 2014 I’ve created a compilation of moments that better describes and constructs me as the person I am and want to be.
So what will I be attempting to do in 2013 that will “make” me an improved human being?
Write More (Create More)
My steadily solidifying dream of being a writer/director/creative type involves a lot of aspects (which I’m sure I’ll develop in a future post,) however, it hinges on improvement, and the only way to improve a skill is to do it. So I want to write something everyday. Whether it be a post to the blog, an entry in my personal notes, an article, screenplay, whatever-I want to do it everyday.
Read More (“Real Education”)
Creation is mostly regurgitation, and since vomiting on an empty stomach is extremely painful and unpleasant, I resolve to gorge myself-with information and knowledge of course. I want to read (at least) 40 books in 2013, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, graphic novel or dense philosophy soliloquy. This type of learning, which I’m categorizing as “real” (I’ll elaborate later), does require some sort of indexing because my brain is not built-in a prodigal way. So I plan on implementing a version of the Verge’s Thomas Houston’s method of “backing up your brain,” this year to be a bit more efficient with my continuing education.
Study More (College Education)
My college career so far has been lack luster (perhaps even dreadful) so I resolve to be better engaged with my given material. Obviously straight As would be nice, but I also realize that my abilities to maintain good grades have steadily declined through my educational career, and that being educated and knowledgeable does not have a direct correlation to grade point average.
Connect More
A vague resolution I know, but when the world is pushing into my face that “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” it’s hard not to want to get to know more people (whether it be online or IRL.) I do want to stress (mostly to myself) that I do want quality in my future relationships, that meaningful should be first to sheer quantity (now to figure out exactly how to do that.) In terms of immediate plans, I plan to be more active on online social media (Twitter, FB, G+, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.) As well as just hang out with real human beings more.
Do More (Be More Efficient)
This year has shown me that I am capable of doing things (and relatively well,) but that I need to do things more-so that I can improve. So this year is very much about efficiency. How to do that specifically will be ever-changing however, hopefully by learning from efficient people (Tim Ferriss, Chris Hardwick, etc.) I’ll be able to turn my procrastination into some type of progress.
Be Inspired More
This may be my most important (and favorite) resolution-2012 marked a year where I let darkness cloud and block out the bright shininess that is inspiration. I love being inspired but it is so easy to forget that feeling in the constant flow of life, so I resolve to retain my inspirations and share them to the world. With a combination of Thomas Houston’s method, and hopefully this blog, I’ll have a record of what inspires me and why. So when those dark clouds drift over (which they inevitably will) I’ll have a weapon to combat them that is effective as a good warm cup of chai on a chilly winter’s night.
So there it is. My resolutions, as well as the thoughts behind them. Writing helps me organize my thoughts, but boy do they open a flood of even more thoughts. To 2013, a better year (depending on your perspective of course) than 2012.
Happy New Year Everyone.
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