As can be deduced from my flickr set, I am a stationary store owner’s best friend. I used to save a certain catalogue when I was younger. I delight in paper and pens and all those wonderful things (and have strong preferences as to what I do and do not like to use). I can spend hours walking around those sorts of stores. While not as fun and enjoyable, I will enjoy some time in a “big box” version. This love is perhaps most apparent in my journal collection, pictured at right. Please note this photo does not include all of my journals or diaries (journal := written thoughts to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness among other things; diary := calendar/planner). I pulled most of these out the other day as I was trying to figure out what to do about my want for a common book. I definitely have strong long-term preferences (one of the composition books dates back some fifteen years) and one type where I seem to keep making the mistake over and over again, but I digress.
Most of the early journals contain short writing snippets. “Sketches”, you may want to call them. Bits and pieces of writing that I may later develop more fully or not. It is about this loss of sketching for which I will break out of my normal writing routine here and climb up on a small soap box to try to figure some things out. If I bother you and you came solely for the books I read this past week, please scroll down to the bottom of this post, you’ll find what you are looking for there. If you come because I don’t rant, you must be aware that here you see (for the most part) only what I care to show and tell you. My journal gained some 16 pages this past week mostly regarding this topic, whereas I normally average four to five pages for the week.
I don’t have answers.
I have more questions.
I recall before the ease of publication and distribution which we experience today (which is not all bad) a time when I would sketch out what I planned to write and then slowly fill in details and often rework it multiple times until there was a picture that told, as best as I was able, the story I wished to tell. These sketches exercised a part of my brain and let me doodle with words as I often doodled with lines. Rarely would they be anything I wanted to really share right away, but they existed as part of a longer process of writing.
I’m having a really difficult time doing that today. I want to rush and get it out and do not often take time to just sit and doodle. I want to share something immediately. I want to publish and show all that I’ve been doing, because if I don’t do all of that immediately then I might be a failure. (I do know that in reality this is not true).
While drafting the sketch and the first draft of this post, it took all my energy and a cup of wonderful tea not to sprint to my laptop and quick write down and publish whatever came out.
Are you finding sketching and drafting more difficult these days? Or have I created an imaginary universe for myself driven by the need to publish frequently or perish? Is my imaginary need to produce copious amounts of everything from many books read, to different meals cooked, to items knitted faster and more efficiently than before unique?
I fear that I am not alone.
The past few weeks find me attempting to disconnect, step back, and refocus. This could be dangerous given the industry I am currently employed within, but time will tell where this leads. I hope in time I will see improved work product and renewed personal interest.
I’m not quite sure why I have such a burning desire to write this post and publish it. I don’t think I’m trying to find excuses for why certain recent events have landed one way or the other. I just feel a very strong need to write it. This post has burnt holes in my journal for months as I’ve thought about if I should write it or not.
What will the future bring? Hopefully more sketching before I set down to seriously work on the writing process. I hope it will be true for my posts here and for other writing (both obligatory and for pleasure). I will continue to read when and what I want to and try not to beat myself up if I don’t finish several books each week. I expect in time you will enjoy faster email replies; I try to schedule my email checking to every hour or two. I’m still consolidating and rearranging emails, in the meantime feel free to use any known email address. I try to check each account at least once a day. What else? I’m not sure. I just hope that things improve for all of us.
One day I’ll figure out this balance, until then, I’ll keep trying.
This past week I completed: