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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All or Nothing or Something

NOTES: I initially posted this onto my new Wordpress and then promptly broke out in cold sweats. It didn't feel right. I felt like I was cheating on my little Blogger that's done nothing to not earn my trust and my posts. So I'll be blogging again on here for awhile and in the meantime work on finding a webspace for the Bojalad brand (the brand part is a joke - nobody likes me or my brand - the finding a new website part isn't. Any suggestions?). Until then, however, I'll keep plugging away at Blogger.

There is something about sitting down to write that immediately turns me emo.

It’s not that I dread the prospect of a blank page that needs to be filled (although I definitely, DEFINITELY do). What I think it is, is the fact that I know I am now fulfilling a certain role. I am suddenly a writer, whether I want to be or not. And somewhere deep down in the 8th grade American Lit. file of my brain, I have this vague understanding that being a writer means being fucking miserable.

Don’t misunderstand me, I understand I’m not a Writer, but a writer. I’m not F. Scott Fitzgerald, I’m just a journalism student eagerly waiting for someone gullible enough to pay me to do what I’d do for free. And a WordPress blog is not The Great Gatsby, it’s a central hub for half-baked ideas, “your” when one means “you’re” and Lolcats…billions and billions of Lolcats. But I still believe anyone who stares at a blank Word document or blog post is partaking in a grand tradition of sad futility.

Almost everybody who picked up a pen with the intention of capturing…something on a page was undoubtedly a miserable bastard. Maybe it’s because writing is a hopeless act of trying to capture reality and abstract concepts that can never be recreated or explained. Or maybe it’s because every writer is just unconsciously mimicking the misery of his or her heroes, dating all the way back to the first time a caveman carved symbols into a wall describing the time his family got eaten by a saber-toothed tiger.

I used to write quite a bit, actually. I began a blog my freshman year of college and swore to provide a new post five days a week for the foreseeable future. Somehow, I actually did it. I made lots of promises to myself at the beginning of my college career. Working out every morning quickly became every other morning, which became whenever I felt like, which became not quite feeling like it at all. Not skipping any classes may have lasted two weeks, I don’t remember. But those five posts a week lasted more than a year, or 71 years in Alec years.

And I enjoyed every day of it, until the one day I didn’t. I wasn’t pressed for time or ideas. For some reason, that writer’s melancholy began to set in. What was once invigorating became exhausting. So I quit. Completely. I still would write things for other sources, like my favorite magazine and the school paper. But that isn’t necessarily “writing” to me. That’s working, that’s amassing clips for future employers.

So after a few months or so (I don’t remember how long and am too lazy to check it) I began again, with slightly less output. So I quit again. Then I began again. And so on and so forth. At one point, to spare myself the embarrassment of constantly having to announce “I quit” to the internet, I even announced that I would write “whenever I feel like it.” It didn’t take long before I didn’t feel like it anymore.

Today, I still don’t feel like it. But I’m getting these stupid ideas and these stupid thoughts. Some of these ideas are good, most are bad. Sometimes, I’ll write a thought down into notebook, other times I’ll arrange it into 140-characters and tweet it, but most of the time it will just die a lonely, anonymous death in my head.

So I plan to write. I have no set schedule. No minimum output, no maximum output, just a sincere desire to quiet the constant collisions of thoughts in my head by exorcizing them out into a blog. I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished since I’ve stopped writing blog entries – news stories, feature stories, TV reviews, baseball game recaps (all of which I plan to archive one day on this site) – but I do miss writing for writing’s sake. And if I have to accommodate the misery that comes along with the role, then so be it.

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