I started this summer with a resolution to write for the blog daily. I thought if I wrote a lot the audience would explode and I could do what every blogger wishes to do. — You know, become a complete corporate sellout. —
That failed miserably. You’d think I should be able to crank out an entry or two a day. But I’ve got to identify the puzzles a given text presents, and that alone takes quite a few rereads and some distance from the text. Honestly, the more time put into this, the better.
Bonus: I also failed at writing “blog in review” entries, trying too much to tie my thinking together thematically, not realizing that “hey, it takes years to connect the dots correctly.”
All the same, I wrote consistently, and my goal to write daily morphed into a larger concern for craft. I don’t know if it’s showing up in the writing, but I’m stopping myself after nearly paragraph I read from other authors, asking how it works or doesn’t work. I’ve started a personal journal again, this time for the express purpose of observing and documenting. I imagine I need a lot more refinement, though, and progress in writing will be uneven for the next few months.
Thank you all for reading and commenting and liking and sharing. It’s fun to have an audience, and it’s even better to have such a patient, appreciative audience. A few highlights from things I wrote:
- Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Case of Wagner,” 1st chapter – how does reading work? Nietzsche wonders aloud about what he gets from opera, but it isn’t hard to see the larger question about how art influences our imagination.
- from Seamus Heaney’s “The Digging Skeleton” – about the creation of art as moral response.
- Philip Larkin, “The Mower” – “Of each other, we should be kind / While there is still time.”
- Anna Akhmatova, “Everything Is Plundered” – in the midst of an absolutely awful time, Akhmatova somehow glimpsed hope. I wonder if the source of her strength can be accessed again.
- Vincent van Gogh, “Ward in the Hospital in Arles” – an amazing painting. I was reading a book on van Gogh and making good progress before I saw it. Then I stopped and stared for as long as I could. I hope to write much more on it: it’s worth thousands of words.