04 March 2007

Why Don't I Write (more)?

A monthly post is better than no post at all, right?

Let me tell you: I enjoy writing. That is to say, I enjoy writing the type of writing that I like to write. Some writing I don't like: quantitative analysis, filler for meeting page requirements, dry topics that don't interest me and that I can't imagine would interest anyone else, quantitative analysis, and quantitative analysis (to name a few types).

But some writing is fun. I like to tell a good story. I like to be excited about a good qualitative analysis I've done and then describe it succinctly. I like to rant sometimes, and occassionally to rave (sans ecstasy and glow sticks). Writing can be cathartic. Writing can make me learn more about a topic that I love. Writing can help me express myself. It keeps me connected to my friends. It broadens my views. It makes me happy when I feel I've done it well.

So why don't I write more? Why isn't this blog updated more often? Why hasn't "A Piece of Poetry" become a regular feature, as I imagined it would?

This post is incomplete because I don't have an answer for that. I have several partial answers, but none of them really address the bigger question from which "Why Don't I Write?" stems: what keeps me from making time for some of the things that I like? If writing (or anything) is important to me, what keeps me from it? Or why do I keep myself from it?

Feel free to wax philosophical. I await your wisdom.


Nick said...

I think you've read my mind. I started off at salsa night so good: I would write personal essays, post on topics of discussion in religion and politics, garden journal, etc. What I wanted to do most was to write more of the personal essay type stuff- that was my goal was to write something like that once a week or so. My problem was that good writing is very exhausting for me. When I've written stuff like Driving Miss Lucy, or Blasphemy, or A Grave for Two, or The Train, I always wanted to write more, but my brain always felt dead afterwards- and most of them aren't even that good! Sometimes I wish I had more of a deadline that would force me to write- I've toyed with the idea of having a creative writing/poetry blog with 7 other people and everyone was assigned a day of the week where they had to post, but ... no, too much work. The problem is I want to get better, but the only way I will and the only way it will get easier is if I just make it a priority to write something every week.

On a side note, I've managed to do something similar with my online journal. Every Sunday, and any other day I have a few minutes (and if I remember), I write a few sentences in my online journal. The rules were that I never pressured or guilted myself unto writing more than I had time for or felt like writing, and that I didn't have to write anything meaningful- usually I just write out what happened that day. So far, its worked. I've written more in my journal the last 4 months than I have in 7 years, and occasionally something meaningful creeps in. And I'm not burned out from it like I usually would be if I had pressured myself to go overboard. So maybe having a set time every week where I sit down and do nothing but write for an hour is what will help me actually do it.

Wendi said...

Three words: go. Go. Go!

Cabeza said...

Wise words, Wendi. Wise words. Wherever did you learn them?

Cabeza said...

P.S. If anyone can name all of the authors in the picture I collaged together, he or she will get a prize. Hint: they all wrote something that I read in the last year.

Cabeza said...

Wait, no I haven't. Okay--I've either read them in the last year or they've written some of my favorite books. That should be hint enough.

Nick said...

I can see Sarah Vowell, Samuel Clemens, and JRR Tolkien. As for the others, no clue.

Cabeza said...

Your wife should recognize one. As for the other three, they've all written a book on my favorites list on my Blogger profile.

Warren said...

At least for me, sometimes when I want to blog something I think it wont be that hard so I'll get to it when I have a few minutes. Then when I do have a few minutes, I think I don't want to have to sit down and write some more, I already do that enough for class. And so it's mostly procrastination because it's easy enough to put off but not hard enough that I feel like I need to schedule time for it.

Amanda said...

Ray Bradbury
Sarah Vowell
JRR Tolkien
Edmund Morris
Annie Dillard
Samuel Clemens
Stephen Ambrose

I think Morris' glasses are pretty awful.

As I study the history and theory of the personal essay this semester, one principle that seems to be reiterated by all the great essayists and theorists on the essay is that one doesn't have to be writing something down to be essaying. I would venture to say that those with naturally critical, thinking natures mentally essay throughout the day. Of course I would prefer that you write down your essayistic thoughts so that I can benefit from them too, but in the meantime I wouldn't hesitate to say that you are constantly improving your writing just by thinking critically (and I don't mean that in the negative sense) about the world around you.

We're encouraged to keep a prayer in our hearts throughout the day. I say, keep an essay in there as well.

Amanda said...

I just read that last line again and realized how campy it is--maybe just try to ignore that one.

Asian Keng said...

Since I do write quantitative analyses for a living I probably don't have anything of literary worth to contribute, but one thing I've found useful is understanding who your intended audience is. I write about things I think my supposed blog audience would find interesting or entertaining... which is why I'm always thrown for a loop when occasionally my mom pops up to make a comment. I still don't know how she found out about it.

The Shark said...

Amanda... you would!

Amanda said...

Imagine this:

I'm working in the Writing Center, more concerned with my editing homework that is due in two hours than I am with tutoring, when my 1:00 appointment walks in. Morgan.
"Nice to meet you, Morgan," I say.
We sit down at a table, Morgan pulls out a polital science research paper that she is preparing for publication, and I glance down at the name on the cover sheet.
"Morgan Kronk. Kronk? The Kronk from 'The Sower of Discord?'"
She was pretty frightened for a moment, but then I explained the connection and she laughed, and I laughed, and then I helped her with her conclusion.

She says hi.

Warren said...

I would just like to say that when I was in the Air and Space Museum this week I saw a paperweight thing in the gift shop. Attached to the base were five alligator clip pointers so you can keep your documents in order. Needless to say I now have one on my desk.

Cocinero said...

yeah, keep your documents in order...unless you have a fan.