Sketches and Choruses

I took this blog down for a while, absolutely convinced I was done with it because 1) I’d run out of ideas for stuff to write about 2) I’d convinced myself that the stuff I did want to write about here was better used as either material in the novel I’m writing or as material for the essays I want to start writing and 3) I was feeling guilty about not updating here as much as I’d like. It didn’t take long though for those reasons to start crumbling around me.

For a while it felt good and I liked not having to think about it, but then I started to realize that I like thinking. A lot. About everything. And part of my process as a writer and as a human being is to work those thoughts out either through conversation or through my writing. So over the last few days I’ve been swamped with ideas for stuff I want to write about that isn’t a great fit for a long essay and either has no place in the book I’m writing or wouldn’t really be affected by it anyway. I’ve been on a great reading binge lately and I’ve read three or four books where key story or characters bits came directly from things I’d seen the authors write about on their blogs, on social media, or in interviews (or, in many cases, all of the above).

It occurred to me that writing about things that I find interesting here doesn’t waste that idea like an antidote in a video game, it serves as a first exploration of an idea much like painters or sculptors start with sketches before moving onto the bigger pieces or how songwriters jot down snippets of lyrics or melody before committing to the whole song, or how they write two or three songs on a theme before devoting an entire album to it. Even Lin Manuel-Miranda created the Hamilton Mixed Tape before feeling confident enough to write the entire Broadway show. So it seems my process of working things out here in micro essays or micro memoirs can fuel depth in my novels and essays rather than being wasted exercises.

As for the third reason: fuck it. I’ll write when I have an idea or ideas and leave it be when I don’t. What I’m really just trying to do is keep my name, my thoughts, and my writing out there so people don’t forget me while I work on this new book and then go through what is sure to be a time-eating slog of getting it published.