Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Archive for the tag “writing”

7/365: Consequence of Choice

Every single decision we made
killed a possible version of ourselves,
each aborted by paths chosen or rejected,
and through a whole lifetime,
cities of hypothetical identities were razed
through compromise or force of will.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

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Ten Goals for 2013

As I mentioned in my last post, there are a few things I’m hoping to work on for the coming year.  I have a feeling the list will grow and evolve as the year goes on, but for now here are ten things I want to focus on:

  1. Write every day.  One thing I’m going to do to acheive this goal is to participate in #365poems, where I write a poem every day for a whole year.  They probably will not be great works of art, but the point is to discipline myself into producing every day.
  2. Submit work for publication.  Keep doing it until I get published, which may not happen this year.
  3. Get a new wardrobe.  I really feel like my clothing doesn’t really “fit” me in several different meanings of the word, and I want to get a few more nicer outfits for job interviews or more formal occasions. 
  4. Try a new bar or restaurant every month this year.
  5. Finally get my passport.  I put it by the wayside when I was unemployed and looking to finally get out of Miramichi, but now that I’m here in Halifax, it’s time to finally get it.
  6. Go to New York City.  My sisters are already planning a trip and they want me to come.
  7. Start doing volunteer work with a local organization.
  8. Cook two new dishes per month.
  9. Sell one of my photographs.
  10. Begin to make significant progress on reducing my personal debt.

I have a number of sillier, more trivial goals that aren’t really tied into what I want out of life, but I figure I wouldn’t include any of those as they would be a distraction.

Scraps from yesterday

I decided to go downtown to get a little writing done yesterday.  When I go to a coffee-shop to write, though, things come out in spurts: not really a coherent narrative but just whatever farts out of my head.  Thoughts, character sketches, playing around with words and phrases that pop into mind.

Some of the better ones (with minor tweaking for clarity):

Bloody blades of a story.  I can see the nakedness of your thought before I moved into your sphere. Young collegiate women with their schoolwork, giggles barely rising through the music; an electric throwback.  With what should I keep myself entertained?

The fog of my own thoughts and insecurities.  It takes a special person to able to cut through this.  If you can manage this, and make me a little more human when I interact with you, you’re in.  (The sky turned grey).  I’ve grown to realize these aren’t flukes, but not something to take for granted.

The cars pass by, red tail lights streaking past the stationary glow of each sign across the street.  Several stories above, a crane teeters limp – at rest.

Grace was always looking at people with a lack of patience and an interrogative stare – as if she demanded that your returning her gaze clarified what the fuck it was you wanted.

Cha cha Charlie –  Waiting for the groove to end.

I decided that I’m actually going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year; I really want to get my writing discipline back, even if it is just to vomit words onto a page for me to pick coherent nuggets out of later.

Pots and Owls

I’m at a bit of a crossroads in terms of what I want to do with my blog again.  Part of the reason I liked having a blog under this alias was to allow me to post a bit more in detail about politics and issues that I may tend to get a little strident on (particularly gay rights), without it being the first thing that comes up when my real name is Googled.  I still see value in keeping a log of my everyday life, as cyclic as it may seem to be right now.

I feel like that while there are benefits to blogging under an alias, I feel like I fall into bad habits on here; especially when I start posting when I’m in a bad mood.  The posts feel like there’s a “cry for attention” aspect to them.  I just don’t feel like my blogging is currently up to snuff right now; I know I’ve written better than what I have in the last little while.  In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how the world just seems to be getting worse off, how the news always gets more depressing, and how people just find new ways to make me roll my eyes.  The main thing that keeps me fighting apathy and despair is the art, music, sex and potential that the world still offers.

I want to use the blog that’s set up under my real name again.  Not quite as frequently as this one will be used, but I feel like there’s not really a whole lot to it aside from a few photographs, links to articles I’ve written, and a vague promise that the site will be better someday.  If that is going to be one of the first things people find when they look for me, I want them to at least think I’m treating my ambitions seriously.  I like feeling that people who connect with me have an idea who I am in the real world instead of this nebulous identity that I have to keep cordoned off.  The main person I should be writing for is myself, but I also want to feel like I’m pushing myself to ensure that what I do put out there is damn good.

Streams of consciousness

Am I dwelling too much in the dark parts of my mind that give lease to my anxieties and bad habits these days?  I feel self-indulgent at times, just wanting to find the validation of parts of me that I’m not sure are there.  I want to sit on the beach; a nice, warm beach with sand and not too many rocks.  I stare out at the ocean until the water calls me inside and doesn’t play games with me with sudden brutal cold.  The world seems so small when I’m online, but faced with reality, a drive across the province might as well be a drive to the other edge of the country.

I had a taste of myself that I missed when I was in Ontario; maybe it was just having people in the flesh that do it, where I don’t feel like I need to pretend to be interesting through careful manipulations of letters and spaces.   I need to write people letters again; I still owe too many people some legitimate snail mail.  I feel like I have to keep my activities behind the big door here lest the prying eyes of people who don’t recognize personal space start questioning me on information they’re not party to.

***

What’s holding me back?  I find my boldness is inconsistent and not even tied to whenever I’m slightly inebriated.  What does it take to have me lose my reservations and fear of failure?  Sometimes truth plays too much like a greeting card for my liking.

***

I’m thinking of going camping again; the last time I went was somewhat of a disaster.  First rule for me is don’t go with someone who you’ll but heads with at every stage of the venture.  I feel the road drawing me away from my fixed position.  It’s hard for me to imagine things that aren’t influenced by past experiences, especially if I’m trying to think about something that’s a complete break from my present reality.  I had a dream last night where for some reason I was in a dorm again, and some guy pissed on my floor.  I wonder where that comes from.  Is this really what I’m thinking about these days?  Piss?

How do you harness this desire to write?  I’m remembering the days when my friend and I built a journey for two errant former college athletes going from Duluth to New York to try to beat the mediocrity of their best-case scenario.  I want to get back into that productivity again, but I find that when I’m working, I’m too drained to write, and when I’m not working, I feel too guilty to do it.

Where are my words?

What really frustrates me more than anything when it comes to writing is noticing myself drifting into vague generalities with my posts.   I get a little depressed when I notice a group of blog posts that have that same open-ended “try to sound like I’m going somewhere” posts that could have been written by anyone.

What bothers me about them?  I feel like I’m holding back whenever I write things like that, as if my entire purpose of writing a blog is to get people to like me.  There’s a line you have to straddle to be appealing without seeming desperate for accolades or recognition, and whenever I find myself deliberately trying to make myself veer into narratives about growth and discovery (instead of letting them emerge out of the details of the post), I kind of feel like it’s forced and ingratiating.  Whenever I go through one of my rough patches, I still wonder if I’m being too self-indulgent, coming across as whiny.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how much detail helps writing.  I find there’s a lot of beauty in specificity, and what actually draws me to writing is the way they capture a specific mind or world through the use of language.  I’m worried that I’m so afraid of revealing too much of myself that it’s watering me down, and I either become mute or too strident.

What also bugs me?  Those moments where I can’t find the words that do justice to what I want to say.  No matter how on-point or honest it sounds in my head, by the time the words are staring back at me in the WordPress text box, they become just another sentence or paragraph: mere words instead of an accurate representation of the idea I’m trying to get across.  There are days when I want to make sure I’m still piping up from time to time, but sometimes I decide it’s better to fall silent than to go through the motions.

Purpose and Repurpose

I’m trying to think about what I hope to do with the blog I registered with my real name.   I want it to be my “professional” site, one that is a showcase for my writing and photography, without the tendency for solipsism that pervades here.  Not In The Past is more for capturing my feelings and updating people on what’s going on with my life.  I already have another blog for my pop culture stuff.

I’m leaning towards using my domain as a place to write short essays and well-polished reflection.   How does that sound?

Professional directions

As I mentioned here earlier, I moved my blog away from a page that included my full name into a more anonymous sphere to allow greater freedom in my posts without having it linked to my easily-pinpointable surname.  I decided to keep a hold of the site with my full name to work into a professional page (buying the domain name as well) where I’m going to host my photography portfolio and basically just present my professional side.  I’ve written a few things that were published in papers: one was a freelance submission for my university paper, while another article was commissioned after I wrote a letter to my local paper in support of someone who was getting a lot of flak from the townsfolk for portraying the city in a less-than-flattering light.  Both were years ago.  I’m thinking of also using it as my writing site.

If anyone has advice on setting up a professional page, I would appreciate it greatly.  As I transition between careers and potentially go back to school, I need to make sure I have a good presence on the web.

Scattered

I feel myself wasting a lot of time online these days; perhaps it is time for another internet-free weekend (or longer).  I do need to hunt for work but I feel a little disorganized and scattered these days.  It’s as if I have too much on my table, and I’m wasting time deciding what to tackle first.  Sometimes when I do start something, I think I should be focusing on something a little more important and I feel guilty.  Or I start something more important, and then get this mental block, but I’m unwilling to do something else that’s on my “to-do” list because I feel that I should be getting that one thing done first.

I’ve been trying to get a lot of e-mail sent out.  I finished a number of letters that had been sitting in my draft folder; I have about seven left, plus one more that I’ve started in the last few days.   I’m also trying to see what I can get done in terms of starting a new writing project.

Naked

How naked do I want to be when I write?  By this, I mean how much of myself am I willing to share?

I’ve been told before I put up walls.  I don’t think this is an inaccurate assessment.  What do I need to do to let them down?

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