On writing, being social & the cinema

Valentines’ Day seems like a nice day to pick up blogging again.

I’ve been trying to write more lately. In trying to compile more personal essays and craving the freedom to barf up words on a page without the eye of the public seeing it, I have neglected to blog. But, in writing privately for my own enjoyment, I found that the scrutiny has been much harsher, and the process more taxing. Blogging is freeing because I know that once a post is published, it’ll be read by at least one person other than me, and I have to accept that and move on. I don’t dwell on my past posts. I read them as a reflection of where I was at the time it was written. I appreciate each post for what it is, no matter how poorly written or unoriginal it may be.

Writing projects on your own word documents is a constant looming presence of horrible drafts that can always be improved. You will always find sentences that make you wonder how you ever made it through high school language arts, and you will never stop wanting to make your piece beautiful and funny and profound, which it likely is not.

Writing is hard. I mean to say, writing well is hard. I’m still not sure that I have ever truly written something well, or ever will. They say that good writers read. So, that’s what I’ve been doing more of. I have been learning to revel in the art of authors’ prose while hoping to draw inspiration from it.

But HONESTLY it’s just made me feel pretty sh*tty. I’m reading Travels with Charley In Search of America by John Steinbeck right now, and I SERIOUSLY downloaded a dictionary app on my phone because I was finding so many words that I hadn’t read before. Words that aren’t even complicated or obscure, I just didn’t know them. Like, “taciturn” for example. I’ve heard the word TONS of times. But if you asked me to define it 4 hours ago, before I had looked it up, I would have said “a synonym of wayward?” which would have  A. been 100% WRONG and B. made me look like I was trying WAY too hard (which I probably was).

What should have turned into a moment of “WOW how fascinating, a new word to add to my vocabulary!” quickly became: “GOOD WRITERS KNOW WHAT TACITURN MEANS, YOU DIPWAD.”

You see? John Steinbeck, instead of giving me inspiration, has made me realize how overwhelmingly average my writing and vocabulary is. I don’t mean to blame you specifically, John. You’re simply the perpetrator of these feelings today. (RIP, you wonderful, brilliant wordsmith.)

So here I am, blogging, returning  to this known freedom – a place where I can be somewhat uninteresting and babble on, and it’s okay. I feel like I’m sitting down with a friend I haven’t talked to in months. It’s nice. WOW Can you tell I have ZERO social life?

My social life can be described as this: I’ve had two social companions this past month – my left and right inflamed corneas. Ever heard of keratitis? Me either, til I was at the ophthalmologist as they scrolled up to the top of the eye chart:

snellen.png

…and I squinted and said “Um… “R?”

Oh, wait scratch that – I did make friends with a 72 year old man in the pool last month, so VOTE ME PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIAL EVENTS CLUB because I am KILLING it out here, people.

(Speaking of pools, some free advice for you: Don’t eat an entire plate of General Tso’s chicken and then go for a swim. You will surely feel like you are dragging yourself as well as a small tug boat behind you. But the tug boat is made of lead. Also you will throw up in your mouth.)

I’d like to take this time to talk about movies. My sister, a friend, and I are trying to watch as many of the Best Picture nominees that we can before the Oscars. There are some HIGH-QUALITY contenders this year. I still have more of them to watch, but I need to tell you:

YOU MUST go watch Lion. You know those movies that are just so beautiful and make your heart swell while tears stream down your face, and you think nice thoughts about them but can still move on with your life two hours later?

Lion is not one of those movies. It will make you heave because your heart is exploding and you will sob ugly tears and it will wreck you for at LEAST three days. In my mind, those are the best kinds of movies. (And the soundtrack is magnificent.) Maybe not everyone reacts as drastically to movies as I do. In any case, PLEASE SEE IT.

Part of the issue with finding these movies to watch is that movie stores basically don’t exist anymore, and this saddens me deeply. WHAT HAPPENED TO BLOCKBUSTER AND HOLLYWOOD VIDEO? All we have now is Redbox, and it’s just not the same. I miss perusing the aisles of the video store. Anybody else upset by this? It is an experience that the next generation won’t ever know, and that is JUST PLAIN DEPRESSING.

I won’t leave you with depressing thoughts, though, on this fine Valentines’ Day. Here you go:

chocolate

I hope that you eat some chocolate and love on your people a little extra today.

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2 thoughts on “On writing, being social & the cinema

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