I Stopped Writing

It is difficult to write casually now that I’ve begun to write online. I haven’t written anything in the last few months because I lack of inspiration. There is simply nothing that I have felt compelled to put down, and therefore I have not written anything. But at the same time, I am still quite passionate about many things. I have read a lot, thought a lot, and discussed many things with many people in the intervening time between now and my last post. Why then do I struggle to put pen to paper about these topics? The answer is simple; I’m confused. I have unwittingly decided to only write when it benefits my blog. I made this decision unconsciously due to the thrill I felt at writing for an audience as opposed to writing for myself. In the previous years, I would write 500 words a day, as a way to maintain my skill in woodcraft while studying engineering, a discipline which frowns on proper spelling and punctuation. The 500 words I wrote could and would be about anything at all I felt like discussing with myself. Occasionally, I would return to my previous thoughts and add my next 500 words to the last; but now that I have a blog, many subjects have become off limits to me. My 500 words could be about anything, my blog posts can’t; I want to publish well formed thoughts, not ramblings. This problematically disqualifies most of my daily thoughts!

As I witness this in myself today, I remind myself that the problem is recurrent. Some years ago I was deeply involved in music, and made this same mistake. Then, I was playing music all the time. A minimum of 5 hours a day, playing in school, practicing numerous instruments, playing in a jazz trio, a jazz ensemble, a wind instrument band, a choir, and in my own jamming with friends on instruments ranging from guitar, clarinet, saxophone, piano and some others. I wrote and recorded songs alone and with friends. Music truly was my life. Eventually, I began to perform in front of crowds. Concerts for school at first, then competitions, events, weddings. We played a lot. Eventually I slowed down, I did not pursue music in university, I felt like it was not quite what I wanted to do, and therefore time was not automatically set aside for it. Slowly, my musical friends moved to other cities, and I slowly stopped playing in front of people for lack of offers and of people I could bring together to form a band. I could not easily bear to play music for myself after that. These days, I still play, pretty well too, but for no more than an hour a week or so. Having felt the rush and satisfaction of playing for an audience, playing for myself became boring.

This transition is so difficult to understand when one knows that before ever playing for others, we had to fall in love with playing for ourselves. I must be careful not to fall out with writing in the same way. Writing matters to me; it has allowed me a new form of self-expression after music became mundane. Moreover, it has become one the primary methods by which I can make sense of the world around me and of my place within it. I get to draw satisfaction from the expression of my innermost feelings about this and that, it makes me happy, and it draws out the best in me. I must then write and write more! To keep the flow and relevant and constant, so that when inspiration strikes, my fingers will be nimble and practiced. After all, I always felt that masterpieces of all kind were the results of many shots on goal more than they were products of pure inspiration. Thus we must all be very busy with those things we love, in order to help the world be greater than it already is.

The irony at the end of all this is that while having nothing to write about for nearly three months, I finally broke the cycle and wrote an article about having nothing to write about. Stay tuned for more truly enlightened stupidities, coming soon!