Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Embarassed Reintroduction

You must consider it great disrespect to you for me to publish a blog post from the blue and swiftly depart without explanation for my absence, and for that I apologize. This blog has certainly fallen into great neglect. The failure on my part is getting too lax with my writing habits; it was not laziness that separated us, but rather that, for a long time, I loosened up on my writing practices which I thought would be wise, but has led to much dissatisfaction. I'd like to take a moment to get you back up to speed and also explain my plans for my blog from here, for 2015.

I stopped writing here primarily because I thought I was "unjustified" from doing so given the magnitude of my financial issues, and that loosening up on the amount of intensive editing I did on my writing would bring more peace to my mind (as, prior, it used to be hard to publish even a Facebook status update without severely scrutinizing its few lines). I was wrong on both counts. Neglecting my writing skills has not only put a coating of rust on my abilities, but has also led to a certain emptiness in my life that good, well-crafted writing used to fill.

As far as the financial issues go, they once again demonstrate my irrational dealing with what I call "problem phases" in my life, where I'll consider a certain period of my life focalized on a particular problem, during which is it not justified to engage in such things such as dates or going out to movies until the problem is solved. I've not only deprived myself of many enjoyments that way but have also failed to truly get my life together, for I've been transitioning from problem phase to problem phase, my present one being the burden of debt and homelessness. I considered maintaining a blog a frivolous waste of time while I combated my financial problems, and I failed to see that this writing aided my thinking ability, deeply satisfied me, kept my skills sharp, and helped me to communicate well. Dispensing with intensive practice has probably played a hand in weakening me for the prolonged time I've gone without.

My voluntary homelessness experiment, for one, has gone awry. My original intention was to be voluntarily homeless for a little less than a year in order to pay off the majority of my debt, and instead I find myself venturing into my second year living like this, with the prediction of a few more years of it beyond that. I never realized I'd lose so many jobs or deal with so many unreliable employers, or that my not-so-sizable debt would be so stubborn to being paid off. The discomforts and trials of living like this have certainly contributed to diverting my focus away from here, though I haven't much of an excuse since I've got some hand-me-down laptops to write with.

These hardships must not dominate me, especially in preventing me from writing, and I'd like to make it up to you by restarting my intensive writing practices in 2015, though I know that statement must not instill much confidence in you given my large absence all through 2014. But really: Once you really establish the right writing habits, it actually becomes hard to abstain. I remember a few nights where I was standing in my boxers in front of the computer on my stand-up desk, writing in the midnight hours to meet my personal deadlines.

At the same time, I'm going to change the way I address this blog to help loosen up its requirements and encourage a greater word flow.

1.) For one, I'd like to dispense with the notion that this is an explicit self-improvement blog. Self-improvement is by far the subject I've written about the most often, but trying to restrict myself to any kind of theme is worrying too much about an insignificant matter. For years I've struggled with establishing a theme for any of my various blogs (Benpercent, Musing Aloud, Capital Bean) and have even established multiple blogs as a hopeful remedy, only to keep fretting about it.

What I've learned is: Let consistency come in time. It surprises me to learn that it's often best to try and take some action first, and then to address the wrinkles, flaws, and shortcomings in that process of doing. I say this because I realized some of the most successful people out there sometimes started in a venture before they really knew what they were doing, and learned how to establish a consistency in their manner later on.

The author of the popular web comic xkcd, for instance, started out drawing strange pictures of geometric shapes and spiders. It wasn't until later that it established itself as a varied intellectual comic, and also evolved into logical extensions such as the What If? series. He just bought the url, doodled, and let consistency come in time.

2.) Secondly, while I still need to set some daily writing obligations for myself, I'm also going to dispense with the notion that I'll promise any regular posting, especially since I've been such a flake in following through on prior stated promises anyhow. My main concern is establishing serious writing practices where I'm editing pieces, disciplining myself to master spellings, and so on, which fundamentally means doing some serious writing practice daily, though not necessarily for publication. It must be upon something, whether it's taking intensive notes on a study subject, creating poetry for my eyes only, or freelancing for other people. You'll get your blog posts, which I'll bring to you via marketing, but I haven't any schedule set in my mind.

The other reason I desire this is because one writing problem I've struggled with is being so impatient to get my pieces out there. I may do something so insignificant as rush a Facebook status update out, only to regretfully seize the edit button to fix misspellings, missing transitions, and other odd mistakes. Attitudes towards publishing seem to flip between two extremes: Impatiently rushing your work out without giving it enough care and attention, and over-editing your work, giving it TOO much care and attitude. I'd rather struggle with the latter, to ensure that the quality of my writing is continually increasing, even if it means suffering obsessive compulsive disorder with editing.

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Altogether I hope we can rekindle our relationship on new grounds, with irregular posting happening throughout the week, consisting of self-improvement ventures, biographies I've cried over, and perhaps those chocolate reviews people were so fond of before.

Here's to a writerly 2015!

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