Sunday, December 30, 2012

With a heavy heart

It's almost been a year of writing a blog entry a day. I have been astonished at how much has happened in such a short amount of time. In the earliest days of The Songs of Spring, I was using each essay as an outlet for little tidbits of thought, or especially difficult emotions that I had to deal with at the time. I felt unstable and I needed a way to express all that was going on in my head. I had my heart broken back then and it was important that I let all the negativity come out in some constructive way.

The way I chose was better than any sort of catharsis I'd invented before. It was better than talking to friends, better than writing in a private journal that no one could read and sometimes even better than talking to my dad (I shudder, since he is one of the few people in my world who I feel can always lift me up when I'm feeling indescribably awful).

As time went on, I began to feel inseparable from the daily blogging. It was an extension of myself, something I had to do to get the feelings out, or just to feel like I'd done something accomplished every day. It served its purpose; that purpose was giving me something to look forward to at the end of each day.

But time kept passing and the catharsis began to wear thin. When I found myself meeting new people, some who perpetuated my broken heart and others who actually helped me mend it, I discovered that not every feeling required an outlet. Sometimes having to share everything became stifling in itself. And even though I felt like I had hundreds of stories to tell, when writing 365 blogs, several hundred stories can even seem like a sparse amount.

I tired out a lot of my best material early on. Occasionally I've found myself repeating premises because I haven't been able to keep up even with what I've written. Sometimes a person will approach me about something I've written, either with a compliment or a complaint and I'll barely remember even writing what I did. Since most of this is done late at night and in addition to that, it is done each and every single night, a lot of stories get lost in the shuffle. Even going back now to read earlier entries feelings like getting an insight into a younger me, despite the fact that the younger me wasn't even a year my junior.

Yet I persisted. I kept going and going until I'd depleted all the intellectual content I had in me. Or at least it felt that way. And the stifling feeling I got from getting to share my stories and ideas became even worse at the loss of creativity.

This evening I was sitting with my dad trying to show him how to put photos and videos from his phone onto his laptop. It wasn't a particularly difficult task (despite his difficulty in understanding how to use a computer), but throughout the process I felt my getting more and more frustrated. It wasn't his fault, though. And it wasn't necessarily mine.

What was getting to me was that on this Sunday evening, when I felt entitled to an evening of rest, I was being asked to perform tasks. Not just showing my dad how to transfer media from his phone to his laptop, but writing a blog when I'm sleepy, delirious and simply uninspired.

This has been a common issue for me: a lack of inspiration. I arrive at 7 or 8 pm each night and I have to just watch the seconds tick by on the clock, begging for some topic to spring to my head. Regardless of its worth, if it has enough content to occupy several paragraphs, that's enough of a criteria match for me.

I chalk it up to the fact that any person who tries to write on life may, as a result, forget that the point of living is to create more of those stories about life. It's this eternal paradox. If we want material for our literary pursuits, then we give up on living occasionally. If we want to live, we may not have time to think of everything as a subject for a blog.

The point I've been scooting around but trying to arrive at is that as I go forward into a new year, 2013, I need to set boundaries to the blog-writing. It's not that it has been destructive for me - at least not as badly as it was a few weeks ago when I was staying up late just to write a blog I'd forgotten earlier - but that I feel compelled to preserve my success as a writer, not allowing myself to write about the arbitrary just to fill up space, but to create prose on subjects that matter.

That may not happen each day, but that doesn't mean I want my writing to become infrequent either.

The most valuable part of this experience has been the constant reminder that I do have what it takes to be a writer. If it's a born talent, then I've been blessed.  Even if my style isn't amenable to all people, it is something that satisfies me.

So maybe it was a selfish thing, going on day after day like this when even I've grown tired of the sound of my own ideas. Even if it wasn't, I think I've finally come to the decision of how I will proceed with The Songs of Spring after the year-long mark has been reached.

In mid-January, when I've reached the end of my self-made promise, I will from then on treat this blog as a weekly rather than a daily outlet. Though I haven't decided on a single day of the week during which I will post a blog, I do know that I make no strict limitations at this point.

That is to say, I won't definitely only post once a week. However, I promise to post at least once a week. Because what I've learned in this process is that scheduling can be the most stifling thing, even if the thing it is that you're requiring yourself to do is extremely fun.

It is with a heavy heart, but a lot of enthusiasm, that I go on for these next few weeks toward the end of the daily blog. I will try my best to make them the best they can be, even if it means sleep deprivation or anxiety.

After that, I will finally regain my sanity. As of now it is still relinquished. Maybe it's the insanity that make the best writers, though. If there's one thing that has happened to me these past few weeks it's that I've learned what a great asset neuroses and pattern-following can be.  It may seem strange to say, but it was those two factors that kept me in check for over 300 posts (and presumably for the rest).

I hope you enjoy my daily ramblings for the next few weeks. As those round out and 2013 really begins, there will be change. Not too drastic, but change nonetheless. I hope you enjoy that too.

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