What Do You Write About? You Don't DO Anything!
 
I actually do A LOT of writing on Weblogs and Journals along with illustrations for many years now and my X made comments like these even though I was working and "doing things." Such was the level of our apparent disconnection. It was a tragedy that our best work was reserved for others to appreciate.  I know many kinds of work do not lend themselves to actually doing anything special in the eyes of those closest to us. Indeed, on some level I agreed with her assessment. Really, what was I "doing" anyway? And I tend to evaluate writing in all seriousness by its sheer volume and articulation of quality ideas. Certainly I am not doing that here, nor am I likely to burst into a ball of fire anytime soon.

Writing is an exercise in recording a stream of consciousness that makes some sense and conveys a message, but it seems to me there is an element of subtle exploration. It is Poetry in motion without all the meter. Prose, whether it be fiction or not, tells a story on some level; one with structure and meaning. Like a joke, it requires set up, context, characters and there is the objective of being funny, perhaps, or in some other way carries a line of human interest that is at least entertaining or informative. The words should form some associations that have not existed before in order to be original. Usually it is best to have suggested different associations rather than directly state them all in order.

Meta Writing, writing about writing, seems to be the trap I have both set and stepped into. I am not a prolific writer even though I write a lot. In other words, I write a lot but fail to say anything. I have become bromidic and banal; that is to say boring. Is what I am saying worth saying? Or am I simply filling up space?

Freedom of Speech comes with the unstated purpose of taking the very real Responsibility of having something meaningful to say. There is a very democratic and capitalistic free market method of determining what is worth saying: Whatever the readers will be willing to read. Like street corner criers the mass of people will be enthusiastically gathered before the one who says what they have to say with the most relevant and articulate style. Not merely the most charismatic or verbose, but the ones that feed the mind, heart and spirit with a fresh approach to problems and solutions. The inspiring and the exciting and compelling. Someone droning on about conventional ideas is not going to receive a hearing for long. And enthusiasm alone does not carry the popular consensus. It is like a comedian that is either funny or awkwardly not.

Shelf life is another consideration. How long can one source reflect the spirit of the times, the zeitgeist, of a given group of people or generation? Likely, they will not have the public exposure during their lifetime. Shifting sands of opinion and current events will change suddenly, say the election of a particular President or shift in economic conditions and world climate. Then, there is the unexpected revelation that something mundane and hidden in plain sight takes on new significance. So many waves can drive enormous vessels to the bottom.