Monday, September 15, 2008

Disciplinary Inaction

Discipline is not my strong suit. I lack the discipline to eat with restraint, to exercise regularly without constant reminders, to get my homework done. It's not surprising that I'm unable to keep up a blog with any sort of regularity. For a while, when I started this blog, writing entries was a form of relaxation. This was while I was hating being tortured at work and writing provided a break, an opportunity to clear my mind of demons as a necessary exercise in mental health. And since I enjoy writing, I started this blog-as-therapy. Now what?

I used to be a writer or at least I write a dozen or so computer books, depending on how one counts them. I wrote hundreds of articles: reviews, features, profiles. Mostly I wrote about computers, but I wrote about local businesses and people as well as a number of music reviews. I tried writing fiction, some stories, an unfinished screenplay, and half of a novel. And I liked writing, which isn't to say that it was easy.

One of the things I liked best about writing was saying that I was a writer. It's embarrassing to admit this because it's so narcissistic, but it did my ego good to be a writer. I like saying that I'm an editor, which is what I am now, but it does sound as creative and it's pleasant to think that what I do is creative. Nonetheless, both writing and editing require a good deal of discipline, which is hard for me.

As an editor, I work with a lot of other people and so there are regular expectations, which keeps me honest. And there's a schedule. Work needs to get done in a timely way, which forces discipline. Professional writing has that nice scheduled quality and so I was able to act like a responsible citizen when I had deadlines to meet.

Perhaps I could pick up where I left off and start writing computer articles again. I might even get paid to do this. There's a lot of sense to this, but now that I spend a good deal of my time listening to pitches from others, I'm loathe to pitch my own ideas. Dare I say that pitching ideas stifles creativity? On the other hand, perhaps it's this ridiculous idea that I need to be "creative" that is stifling my ability to express some thought in writing. Oh, what irony!

The fact is, I'm spending too much time being an editor to find time to write. Writing is time-consuming and there are always more chapters to edit. This may be the real conflict, which is reasonable and justifiable. Hooray! No need for self-flagellation with guilt. But it is hard to write infrequently. So I will endeavor to write more frequently. I'm going to keep a list of ideas to write about. It's a list I started a while ago, but haven't even been able to keep current. But it's a new school year and so I shall try to be disciplined and keep something fresh in my blog, even if no one is reading it. But that's a subject for another blog.

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