Thursday, August 26, 2010

On blog upkeep and life updates

What can I say? I've been busy. While I haven't gotten much accomplished in the past few months, I've still felt as though my life is full of everything I'm doing and everything I need to get done. In any case, I've been neglecting my blog specifically and my writing in general. My editor asked me if I would write a column for the paper and I froze. Imagine that! Me, the writer, refused to write. And I felt I was justified since I didn't really have anything to say. And yet, that is blasphemy of the highest order to a self-proclaimed writer. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said "You don't write because you want to say something; you write because you've got something to say." And it's been eating at me ever since that day and I wish I could say that I have offered to write a column to make up for my earlier refusal. Unfortunately, I cannot say that since I haven't actually done it.
So if I haven't been writing, since I obviously haven't, what have I been doing?
Well, if you're reading this post I am relatively confident you've seen the new redesign of my blog. I love the new look of my blog. Sometimes I'll just scroll up and down the page to see how my posts look on the new backdrop. Apparently along with having lost my ability to want to write, I've also lost my ability to have a life.
I've also been cooking. If you are reading this post I am also reasonably confident that you've seen my many posts detailing recipes I've been trying out. You'll have to deal with seeing many more of those since I just received 3 awesome cookbooks for my bridal shower. I've also been spending quite a bit of time with Miyagi, though mostly we just cuddle on the couch together as I watch this or that t.v. show online. And I've been working and planning a wedding (Less than a month to go!).

The books I've read in the last month (I'm almost done with Crescent).

But most of all, I've been reading - a lot. And that, at least, is good penance for my recent blasphemy. As my good friend Leighton has often said on her highly entertaining blog, "Read a lot, write a lot – that's the golden rule for all writers to follow." I'm just bulking up on the first part before I get on with the second. And let me say this: There is nothing better than reading a book because you want to read it and then enjoying almost every single moment you've been reading. I get to the point when I near the end of a book where I'll struggle with wanting to get to the end because I want the fulfillment and wanting to put the book down so I can prolong my enjoyment. Such is the curse of finding so many good books to read. Honestly, I have no idea why I still don't have a library card. I would read those books so hard if my bank account didn't take such a hit with every book I buy.
But it's not just books. Every month I read the new National Geographic Magazine, every week I check out the Sunday Magazine from the New York Times and almost every day I scan a huge assortment of blogs, ranging from anecdotal blogs written by friends, to food-, design-, book- and wedding-based blogs written by people whose names I don't even know, nor care to. But I do know the title of their blog and have often enjoyed the stories, photos, inspiration and advice they've shared.
When I was a child, books were my friends, sometimes my only friends, if you don't count the cats or dogs I've confided in over the years. From the age of three (thank you, Hooked on Phonics), I've devoured any scrap of the written word that I could find. Even now, I remember the mistakes of characters in what I've read and I use those mistakes to shape my own path. Many of the Sunday Magazine articles, which are often first-person ruminations on a writer's marriage or another's life in therapy, have helped me recognize aspects of myself. In fact, you could say that my love of reading has increased my circle of friends exponentially. Though, I guess not knowing most of these sources keeps them from truly being my friends. I say all this to counter my mother's old admonishments that I was wasting my life with my nose stuck in a book.
And yet, I must acknowledge that I've been using reading as an escape from what I should be doing, be that writing, taking classes in multimedia journalism and nonprofit communication or even planning a wedding. While reading has been beneficial, and still is, it's time I recognize when I've had too much of a good thing (people who know me know that's never been my strong suit).
I find trying to make myself productive harder and harder when I'm not letting anyone down by not accomplishing a task (I always worried about letting professors down. Letting myself down has been a non-issue since I tend to just revise my expectations of myself as I fail to meet previous ones).
And now I will be getting to the point: I'm going to try to write more, without getting caught up in what I think people want to read. This is about what I have to say, which, it turns out, is a lot if this post is any measure. But here's the caveat: Just because what I'll be writing is what I "have to say," doesn't mean it's of any interest to you, dear reader. The point is to get those juices flowing again, regardless of the menial subjects I will likely be writing about. But please yell at me if I seem to stop writing for a long period of time. I would like to be held accountable for not living up to my proclamations about who I am. So, let's see if I can prove, even to just myself, that am a writer.

1 comment:

  1. I have one word for you: NaNoWriMo. DO IT! I'm totally being serious here. And if you don't want to write a novel, that's fine. Turn it into a month of writing columns, or poems, or short stories - anything. It's great to have something pushing you to write without having to think. It really does let you write just to write - which is so therapeutic, I can't even tell you.

    I know you’ll be a newlywed and busy with life and all of that – but if you want to get back into writing there’s really no better way to do it. I’m going to do it again this year. Of course, I’m still working on my book from last year…