One lesson this blog has taught me, after writing it off and on and off again for almost five years now, is that I rarely want to write something if it doesn't flow fairly effortlessly onto the screen. (Which isn't to say that everything that writes itself is any good; in fact, most of it probably isn't.) Writing about an event or a feeling that happened in the past can feel forced. A post that requires too many photos can feel awkward, not only because importing the photos and laying them out properly in Blogger can be frustrating, but because when a post is governed by photos it can be hard to make it thick with words. I might try to pick the photos first for inspiration, only to find that they are obstacles to gentle transitions or they don't tell the story I wanted to tell. Travel posts are almost always recaps, and really should be full of pictures, so although this blog was created to chronicle my year abroad in Germany, there are many travel stories that I could have included, but haven't.
The photos probably aren't the real problem. It's a sort of laziness. Posts like this or this came out in one go. I guess they're kind of the same, though. Bedroom meditations, a hundred percent in the moment.
Getting myself to sit down and focus is nearly impossible. This post I'm currently writing—unlike the ten or so drafts and ideas I have waiting incomplete—felt like it would be one of those "effortless" ones, coming completely from the present. And yet I've reread more than ten old posts since opening this tab. I found this one, about free time. Free time and naps, planned and otherwise. Forming habits. Yoga. Writing with the distraction of the internet—except that post was written in TextEdit. It was from the first few months in my studio apartment, before my internet was installed. A year and a half ago, and yet I barely recall those months, when my complaints were lack of internet and lack of people. Now I suffer from too much internet and not enough (constructive or relaxing) free time. And so many computer headaches.
When I first lived alone, in that internet-less time, I got out Writing Down the Bones and started to reread it and practice writing on paper. I worked on focusing. I blogged about it. This past hour has reiterated to me how much I am a broken record, barely changing. I was trying, then. But I got distracted from my fight against distraction. This fall, I reread my journal entries from the previous fall, and I couldn't believe how much was the same.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm chasing after the feeling of total immersion. The reason I was okay with middle school was that the piles of books to read never ended. When I reread Lord of the Rings last year, I was totally in it. I was ready to dive in and reread The Silmarillion—I even brought it to a bar to read while Emma learned to salsa. (My attempt was ultimately unsuccessful; I think my bookmark is still stuck in the Ainulindalë.) I felt the same a year later, discussing the minutiae of Peter Jackson's first Hobbit film with anyone who was a worthy partner. I wish I read more books, fewer blog posts. There are so many books I want to read, and it wouldn't even take that long to read them, if I tried.
I would also like to be immersed in yoga class. A few times, I've felt in my body that I was better than the week before. I was content to be there from the fifth minute all the way through to the last (I still do have to settle in initially). But even then, when the movements feel natural and possible instead of just out of my reach, I start to think about what I should wear to work that night. I'll try to schedule the week while lying in savasana, instead of truly taking rest.
Here we are again. What am I trying to say? I hate being distracted. I think the invention of tabs instead of windows in internet browsers, and the option to save those tabs, can be viewed as a cruel act. I try to zip through all the blogs on my RSS reader so they're done, so I can move on to something more wholesome feeling (more wholesome even though I enjoy most of the blogs I subscribe to). Usually I don't move on to those better things.
Things that are good. Cooking a real dinner. Having a good conversation at a restaurant. Writing something I enjoy reading afterward.
Writing for school made me anxious because it was difficult. The deadlines. The topics. I didn't really care about what I was writing, even if I liked whatever I was analyzing. But that was worth it. Sketching the outline, then filling in the blanks. And editing. I have an aversion to editing. That's why this post is meandering. Every thought that comes to me, I follow, and here we are, all tangled up.
My boyfriend compulsively edits. He can't not edit. He says my openness makes me a better blogger. I'm not always sure.