I really wanted to write every day this month, but so far it's feeling more like a chore than a joy. I don't know if I have it in me to do this anymore. Things I thought about as I thought about what to write in my continued quest to fail NaBloPoMo and the Internet:
- Hot yoga and why it's good I went back today
- My obsession with The Voice and why it's really not mentally unhealthy
- Another picture of leaves (strong no)
- Obsession with Serial and all of its assorted spinoff and response podcasts, and why this may indeed be mentally unhealthy.
- How what I used to think was boring is now just life and more about the underrating of simple contentment.
- Other things that I won't list because they are awful.
Writing that list (please stop saying "listicle", world) didn't make me feel joyful. Also never hire me to write your writing prompts, obviously. Taking dumb pictures with my phone, that brings me an odd sort of joy. Writing is just something I always did all the time before it became a job. It's the strongest functional skill I have besides worrying about the future and calculating sales prices at Target, just something that will always be there. I was never one of those people who talked more about it than I did it, I don't think. And even now I crank out assignments on a semi-regular basis. But it's a different process in my mind now, one that often doesn't reach my hands. It worries me sometimes, but it's mostly okay. And maybe all this means is that trying to do it every day for an arbitrarily assigned month is good. The importance of practice and repetition to bring about change -- good or bad, but I'm focusing on the positive lately -- has been made quite clear to me over the past two years. I don't get most things gift wrapped and dropped on my doorstep. I have to work at it. With writing anymore, the question is whether I want to or not, or I just think I should.
Maybe it's just this medium, the talking for the sake of it that I seem to be so capable of doing. Maybe it's that I lack a common thread, or that I never had one. I just don't want to be one of those clowns who went on and on about words for 40 years and then leaves the planet with nothing substantive to say, which is probably ego talking more than anything. I'm just over noise for the sake of it. I'm trying to listen more. I'm trying to sharpen my focus on what the real questions are, where words are really needed. I wanted to say more about #BlackLivesMatter than I did. I wanted to write about the Charleston murders, and I didn't. I was supposed to write a post about the Malala movie and my blog transfer made a delay in posting of anything necessary for two weeks because I didn't have any time to fix it because of the several freelance tasks I have and the English class I picked up this semester at the last minute. Writing well, for me, often comes down to a matter of time and mental energy, and the running around to make the living in addition saps both. It leaves me with room for a Facebook status where a blog post would be a nice idea. It means you'll mostly find me there or on Instagram.
I'd like to tell you more about the young people in my classrooms, particularly my majority of young people of color and the kids from all over the world who land in suburban Maryland as immigrants and student travelers. I'd like to give them some kind of anonymous (only because they deserve that, and it's my job as an educator to respect privacy) and composite faces. There is so much chatter about this generation -- what they do, how they work, how they think, what they expect, and what they will turn out to be. Some of it is on point, and a lot of it, from my point of view, is spin, or just plain wrong.
I decided to start typing in this text box because I've been grading for a few hours and I had nothing on my mind that I felt compelled to write down. The clock was bearing down on midnight I said I'd try NaBloPoMo, so I'm trying. I'm half-hoping that I'm going to accidentally end up here with what I'm really supposed to be saying, which I suppose has always been one of the goals of writing online in the first place. I feel like I'm undoing years of hard work, going back to the fragments I blurted out in the beginning, but I guess I can delete if I feel like it. None of this is as serious as I've always considered it. When I think of just about everything I do as an experiment, or practice, it makes way more sense. It frees me up to do it incorrectly, even a little bit, so I can learn to do it better.