My normal routine is simple: get up, feed the dogs, have coffee. Then I turn on the computer and scan the news, posting the days interesting stories on my Democratic Club Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SRDemClub). This can be as few as one or two stories or as many as a dozen postings in a day, depending on the news cycle. Then, when I’m ready to take a break (or if the pups start yelling at me they need a walk, or water, or fresh food), I’ll play some computer solitaire; but from that point on, the day is wasted; I try to put down the mouse (so to speak), step away from the keyboard, and get on with errands for the day, but the pull of “just one more round”, or “just one more game” becomes hypnotic, and the work – the housework, the intellectual work, the yardwork – never gets accomplished.
Trying to blog regularly, I’ve taken to going to the library (between Tuesday and Saturday; the downtown library is open on Sundays, but I never get down there) to give myself someWHERE to focus; when I’m at home, everything undone is a distraction, and everything is undone, so everything is a distraction. I’ve been going to the library to specifically focus on my blogging – I’ll sit down in the library, remove what distractions I can (the dogs, the house mess, the phone, the neighbors) and resist the rest, and try to focus on writing for an hour, maybe two. After an hour or so, I need a break – sometimes breaking the line of thought along with it – but I can’t leave my stuff unattended at the public library, so I pack up for a break, and usually don’t make it back afterward. I’ll go to Star*ucks, but then the strong coffee will start my stomach reacting, and I can’t sit and concentrate, so I go home, and then the day is well and truly shot, and it’s time to do a bowl of herbal analgesic – and then the rest of the day is REALLY shot.
I was doing well, during February and March, writing regularly, following the trajectory of the blog itself fairly well; then I went to the doctor for a checkup, and everything stopped dead in its track. I just couldn’t bring myself to get back to what I was doing. Death seemed so much more a pressing target than “rewriting the rules of reality”. Before this, whenever I posted a piece, I knew where the next one was going; suddenly, I’m too preoccupied to keep track of where I’m going with philosophy, preoccupied by death. If I was going to write, I was going to have to clear the boards of my history with Death, from the death of President Kennedy on, but what I write is not what I want to say, I don’t just want to chronicle my experiences with and around death, but that is all that it seems I have to write about. It’s interesting to me, and I keep seeing flashes of insight in the scribbling, but nothing worth publishing.
And that’s a separate issue; even when I sit myself down and actually do some writing, what comes out on paper is nothing like what I was trying to say, and I junk it, or file it, or save it into drafts, thinking someday, some way, I was going to “fix” it, and make my ramblings presentable, worthy of being published, if only on my personal blog. And in a lot of ways, blogging is publishing, today – getting the word out there, presenting your ideas for public scrutiny, giving people the opportunity to exchange ideas without having corporate interference about form and/or content.
I’d been journaling for years; when I was 24, I started a biographical journal. I was simply writing down everything I remembered from the first part of my life, so I would have something to refer to with names and details I’d otherwise forget. My Aunt Gloria was sceptical; “do you think you have enough living to write about? Of course, not for publication, public presentation, but I did have a good memory, and rather than telling the story (it would change shape very few years, in any case. The story I thought I was writing in 1975 didn’t turn out to be the story that had been taking place, as I found out in 2001; more on that later), I was preserving my memory for when I would be able to write “The Story”.
Hasn’t happened yet. I’m not illiterate, I’m erudite and intelligent (not Mensa material, but then – would I want to be?), and I know how to construct a thought, and a sentence, but writing for public scrutiny is a daunting endeavor. Am I interesting? Am I interesting enough? Are my ideas and thoughts worthy of sharing? Would anyone else be interested?
But the blogging format is good for that – there is an element of “Fuck You, We Do What We Want” in publishing a blog, and not worrying about working with an editor, pleasing a publisher, attracting the public. I kind of like the idea of sitting in my own little corner of the universe, saying, “This is what it looks like from here”, without having to worry about someone’s approval before it goes out into the universe. But it does require its own form(s) of discipline: HOW do I make my boring life interesting? WHAT do I say, and what do I not say, what self-censoring am I going to do?
And the final problem is that introverts think differently than the majority of the public that is going to encounter the blog entries, and think, “This writer is whack.” As an introvert, I’m less interested in the circumstances in the material world than I am the qualities of my experience, and most readers would find such writing “soft” and “immaterial” and dismiss it as “irrelevant”. If your orientation is outward, inward reflection is superfluous, we introverts recognize that, and no amount of convincing is going to change the perspective of the “extrovert”, the materialist; they have no concern for what consumes the introvert. We not only think about different things, we think about things differently. We’re more involved in the “how” and the “why” than the “what” and the “when”; I’m loathe to make general statements about “introverts in general”, it’s about viewing life though a different framework than the material world itself. How do we express our interest in different “factors” with people focused on “just the facts, ma’am; just the facts.” You go your way, you do your thing, and let the rest of the world think what it will. Wasn’t it Voltaire that taught, “Tend your own garden”? And right now, what I’m doing is preparing the plot – but that’s all I’ve been doing for 35 years!! When does the planting and the harvesting begin?!