Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bread and Butter

One night at a party, a friend and classmate, J, said, "I check your blog every so often, to see what you've been up to. Essentially I just skim through it, saying "Barrington did something on this day, she didn't get anything done on this day. She did something here, she didn't do anything here." Personal posts are the bread and butter of this blog. And it is true, a lot of what occupies my mind is what I'm getting done, versus what I should be getting done. I generally fall short, because I am possessed of very few super-powers, and those that I do have, I haven't discovered yet.

So the truth is, I know I can't do everything. I need to prioritize. But I am not very good at that either. One night Paul and I had a fight, where he said if I really want to be a writer, I should quit reading for pleasure, and writing in my blog, because these things waste my time and energy.

While I was angry with him for saying what he did--angrier than I realized at the moment, and I was pretty upset even in the moment--I also fear that he is right.My friends who have had blogs in the past and left them behind are achieving greater success with their writing, perhaps because they don't divert their energies. Their writing is truly their bread and butter, and making the choice they did might have been committing to that in a way I haven't done yet.

On the other hand, there is part of me that thinks that reading and blogging are the things that are most necessary. I get that screenplays have to be my focus for now because of my particular circumstances, but underneath my low self-esteem, I am audacious enough to think that in time, I will also write other things, articles, short stories, maybe even some longer work. And for now, reading reminds me of what I love, and blogging is the most authentic representation of my life as it passes that I am recording--since I spend little time journaling, even though I think it's important for a writer to do that, too.

Anyway, the pause in my posts has been partially in response to that. I've been feeling too guilty to blog, and yet sad not to be blogging. Blog posts I want to write come into my head, stay only a little while, and then they float out of my head and away. You get a certain amount of time to capture a thought, a feeling, a day in the life, and if you don't do it--it is gone forever.

What are my options? For the moment, what I've come up with the not-amazing solution of still writing in my blog--but writing faster, writing sloppier, and only writing when I've done a sufficient amount of other kinds of writing already in the day. I'm not generally a fan of the "do it all, just do it half-assed" school of thought, but maybe it will be good exercise for me, as speed is an issue for me, and this is a relatively low stakes arena to practice being speedier, even at the cost of a little less finesse, a little less profundity, and a few more typos. You all will forgive me, right?

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