Scattered Thoughts, for Megan
Blogging: it’s a stupid word. It’s Gog and Magog and agog. It’s bog-hopping; it’s clog-dancing in boots. I don’t know why I’m doing it, except as a quiet writing exercise, putting words in the world just to see what it’s like to finish things. I don’t publicize it and I’m not enabling comments because I don’t much give a damn what anyone thinks about it. I mean I do, of course, but I believe all the way down into the spongy red marrow of my bones that praise is a faulty motivator. Praise messes with your head, and the absence of praise messes with your head. It’s hard enough as it is to figure out how to do this, and why; hard enough to forget and unlearn the everything wrongheaded I keep thinking I know about it. Craving praise has never done anything for me but make me afraid to write a word.
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I know what you mean about looking up and realizing you’ve missed it. The supposed missing of a supposed chance or calling is only an illusion, but that doesn’t make it feel any less real. Having done nothing with your talent but avoid getting fired for ten years is no more significant in a given moment at sixty than it is at a given moment at thirty; the moment lasts exactly as long in either case, and the space that could be filled with what you have to offer is just as empty. Read the rest of this entry »