I feel the need to reaffirm the reason I’m here.
It’s not my first “website”; that honor would go to a confusing tangle of bare-HTML pages hosted on a service in Yahoo! Kimo that shut down eons ago. It took me quite a while to figure out that being able to install every script from Dynamic Drive was nothing to be proud of and not something visitors would be interested in.
I feel a need to have something to mark my everyday existence with. Something to claim as my own, a tiny marked intellectual corner of the net. Awards and medals are cool, but they’re just snapshots of a few instants. Implicitly they indicate months or years of hard work (I hope), but the implication is not the same as the real thing.
In five years I will be a different person. In five days I will be a different person, and most of the thoughts I have now would be gone. Already, the time between thinking and getting in front of the computer is enough to snuff an amazing number of thoughts out. I become a secretary simply trying to convey the ideas that were dictated by an interested version of me hours, days, weeks ago. I’ve started keeping a notebook for these kind of thoughts, since getting access to my blog when I think of something significant at midnight is rather infeasible, but I haven’t been using it as much as I’d like. I’m not good at it yet.
The gently boosted reading I’ve done gives me an impression that a solid part of the writer’s job is just living their life, bumping into interesting things, noticing them, and being able to string them together into a coherent sequence of words. The result are books. Maybe, I could write books. Maybe, if I find the right content and use the effort to voice my thoughts and analyze clearly, thoroughly, intelligently, the result would be pretty interesting. Anybody, I think, could do this; I just don’t have that much motivation and self-control. (Not to disparage the achievement of actually writing a whole book and having it widely accepted.)
Nevertheless, I think these stray thoughts can add up to something bigger, something with more meaning than the school essays and whatnot. Or maybe I’ll figure out how to write those in a way that makes it worthwhile for me as well. Ultimately, though, I can’t force myself to come up with something interesting to say, whether about a teacher-chosen topic or not, to meet the deadline.
Writing the thoughts down also allows me to think more deeply about topics. It’s hard to get anywhere on such a bout of free-thinking if I have to start from basic premises every time. But I’m having trouble getting these posts to sufficient depth to satisfy my publishing standards. Perfectionism strikes again! The ideas don’t expire, but the examples or events that provide the motivation fade in intensity often. It’s hard for me to feel like I’ve actually explored every facet of a topic, and when that actually happens I end up moving sentences and paragraphs around, to get that right flow between the lines.
And this blog isn’t a major commitment—I’m convinced that the instant I start treating it as one, the whole point of it will be gone. I’ll start writing posts I don’t feel like writing, feel like I’m doing homework, and go back to procrastinating on Reddit. Cripes.
Some part of me feels guilty for having so much ivory-tower metaphysical rambling and so little “worldly” content to post about. Oh well. Serious perfectionist issues here; there are plenty of other drafts and topics to deal with.