I’ve kept my New Year’s resolution, to blog every day, for 13 days now, which I think is the longest I’ve ever kept a resolution before. I think that this time I’ve managed to stay diligent because I gave myself the clause that the post could be anything — a picture, one sentence, a video. And also maybe because I’m a responsible adult now, sort of. I made a dentist appointment for this week, that counts for something, right?
My real goal is to re-train myself in essay writing. I know I am past the point where anyone is going to help me refine my craft in the way that I need to unless I was willing to place myself tens of thousands of dollars in debt to continue my education, and even then maybe not. I wouldn’t trade any of the jobs I’ve had in the past five years since I graduated from college, as I’ve learned a great deal. But I’ve spent far too much time away from writing as a practice.
I always say that my experience in moving to New York when I was 21 with two suitcases and a credit card was my own version of grad school. I’d do my jobs thoroughly but in a way that didn’t require me to write publicly very much. I compared it to being in a lecture vs giving one, and that I wasn’t yet qualified to give one because I was still learning, but really I was scared to put myself out there. I felt like people expected me to be able to do everything perfectly on the first try, so I would avoid trying with the thing that I wanted to do most because that way I wouldn’t risk failing. And I think I expected people to call me out, and push me to write. I thought they would say, “Hey why don’t you ever write anymore? Write 500 words of something about something by Monday.” And then when years went by and they didn’t, I realized it was because what I was doing instead was worthwhile too, maybe even more worthwhile for my bosses. So I refined a bunch of weird skills that are pretty useful in the publishing industry like editing, team management and content curation, but I wound up feeling like a cog most of the time.
Now writing is my full-time focus, and I’m pleased to find it’s like riding a bike, except instead of being in a cycling class you’re trying to meet some personal fitness goal like, I don’t know, training for a bike race, or whatever people who ride bikes do when they’re not just trying to get somewhere.
This was only supposed to be a one sentence blog post so I could meet my resolution, finish this episode of the X-Files and go to bed. I’m weirdly tired for it being only 10:39. I have chronic insomnia but quitting smoking for 3 weeks is resetting my circadian rhythm and it kind of freaks me out being normal. My creativity and energy comes and goes in waves, and I find that when I ride the waves instead of trying to paddle against them I get much more done. Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best, and everything on the internet makes you feel like it’s going so fast, and that you’re slow in comparison. But in reality, you’re going way faster than most people and you should actually probably slow down. Cyber relativity.
What should I blog about tomorrow? Present to-do list is as follows:
- Describe for Molly Steenson what I would include in a journalism curriculum if I were to teach one.
- Explain why I can’t bring myself to purchase health insurance.
- Write some stuff about depression
- Applications of a mating game we played in my animal behavior class to post-internet-porn dating and sexuality
- Make fun of that horrible New York Times article on how 20-somethings don’t date
- Write some stuff about archaea
- Write about all the things about feminism
That’s all. Here’s something wonderful that my friend Ari sent me: