Tuesday, December 08, 2009

As of late

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It's been two whole months since my last update. I suppose I could just shrug it off and say I've been too busy to blog. It would be a lame excuse but one that's not entirely untrue.

There has been no shortage of stuff keeping me occupied -- classes, studying, Olympic weightlifting, hiking, karaoke, working, running, traveling. (Also, I have recently discovered that you can watch TV for free on the internet and, as a result, have spent way too much time binging on shows too shameful to mention.)

And while it's true that I have been busy, there's more to it than that. The problem is that I have been relatively happy. Of course, being happy is not a problem in and of itself but I can't write when things are going well. I'm just not motivated to write when I'm happy. Dealing with heartbreak, loneliness and the existential horror of it all is the spur that drives me into a whirlwind of creative activity.

I think we all feel a great yawning emptiness in our lives sometimes. And we do what we can to find something that steers us away from despair. We fill the cracks with things that make us happy or make us feel safe or, at the very least, distract us from the pointlessness of it all. These things can be religion or tennis or love or alcohol or work or friends or whatever. I fill the void with constant activity. And part of that constant activity is blogging.

I am aware that the vast majority of what I write is silly, insubstantial fluff. I am also aware that I am not a great writer (I'm not convinced I am even a particularly good writer. I think what I am is a competent writer. My writing was competent enough to get me a job as a newspaper journalist and, later, a job as a writer of press releases and other frivolous things. Compared to real writers, I'm nothing but a hack).

But I like writing. Writing makes me feel good when I am feeling bad. It is my escape from the existential horror of it all.

If you were to go back through the archives of this blog, you could easily measure my emotional well-being by looking at the frequency of my posts. Periods of sadness are marked by prolific posting and periods of happiness are marked by long stretches of silence.

I may not explicitly state what's going on in my personal life but it's there in the undercurrent that tows this blog along.

If you were to read between the lines right now, you could probably guess that there has been some emotional upheaval in my life that has spurred me into blogging again. All I can say is that I was dating someone and now I'm not. I never wrote about him because he asked me not to and I respect his privacy. We want to remain friends but it's hard and it's sad.

So I deal with it by not dealing with it. It's much easier to throw myself into a whirlwind of activity. Which half explains why I am blogging again.

The other half of the explanation is that I've missed writing. I like writing and I want to write more often. I want to become a good writer. But I know I'll never progress if I only use writing as an emotional crutch to steer myself away from despair. I have to learn to force myself to write when I'd rather be outside having fun. Or when I'm feeling fulfilled by other things. Besides, my younger sister Hilary has started blogging and I can't let that whippersnapper upstage me.

So I've resolved to write a little bit every day and post more frequently, even if I don't feel like it. Starting from today, I'm going to attempt to update this blog every Tuesday. It's a resolution I intend to keep. Even if it means I have to give up watching shameful TV shows on the internet in order to do it.

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