It’s now been more than two and half years since I blogged anything. During that time I’ve switched jobs, taken on different responsibilities, watched my kids grow, and put on a few pounds. I also got new glasses, but nobody ever says anything when I get new glasses, or a new haircut, and geez, would it kill you to notice these things and tell me I look nice once in a while?
What I haven’t done much of is write.
I’m a firm believer that thinking without writing is just sloppy thinking. By that measure, I’ve been doing an enormous amount of slopping thinking.
Thinking in my head is an expansive process, and valuable for that. But writing forces choices. It forces decisions. I learned this the way most people do: by watching Wonder Boys. But I also found it to be true for me.
When I write, I’m basically making a series of arguments. And I’m making them to my hypothetical reader and full-time nemesis, Future Bill.
Future Bill is an idiot. He knows little and remembers less. He is easily bored. He skims and he spaces out and he goes into it all pretty sure that that author — that’d be me — is blowing so much smoke out of so much ass.
Whatever I write, Future Bill is going into it ready to roll his eyes like a 14-year-old. He’s not going to admire how clever I’ve been, or how succinct things are, or how quickly I got it out the door. All he cares about is whether or not it makes a valid point — whether I’ve been convincing. I know this because I provide the same services to Past Bill. Past Bill, it won’t shock you to learn, is also an idiot. I don’t know how these guys manage get out of bed in the morning without breaking something.
Having something to say
Part of the reason I stopped blogging was that I felt like I didn’t have anything useful to say. This is most likely because — wait for it — I didn’t have anything useful to say.
But I do have a lot of thinking to do, and trying to do it without writing is like trying to swim without my arms: I won’t drown, but it ain’t gonna be either efficient or pretty. So I’ve decided to use this space as a personal log of sorts. Some people might find some of it useful. Most people will find most of it worthless.
But I’ll keep writing for Future Bill, and hopefully his nagging voice will keep me focused, and honest, and mildly interesting. And I appreciate the comments people leave more than is probably healthy, but no pressure.
Although, really, would it kill you to tell me I look nice once in a while?