Why do I write this blog? Why am I always on the verge of abandoning it?
At lunch today with a friend whose taste I trust, especially in matters creative, we discussed egos and their effect. I paraphrased Flannery O’Connor (without crediting her) when I told my friend that I write this blog in order to figure out what I think.
Writing as thinking.
In this way, this website is a selfish enterprise, fueled by my desire to organize my thoughts (and by organizing, birth them in the first place). How often I’ll type a sentence—a meaty sentence, full of both vigor and vim—only to re-read it and think to myself: Yeah, but you don’t really believe that, dummy.
Plus, as I’m typing this there’s a large button to the right named “Publish.” One click and this goes live; one click and it becomes permanent, which means forever. To a performer like me, the temptation of the “Publish” button is fierce. Click me, Andrew! Look how bright and large I am! Click me! YOUR OPINIONS MUST BE KNOWN!
Thing is: I never paused to worry about my goddamn ego when I was writing in college. In college I would churn out a half-dozen short stories per year, get them published in the Literary Magazine, and I’d never once think, “Gosh, who am I to write something? I’m a nobody, and thus, full of nobody stories.”
And the other thing is, that’s precisely when I should have been battling self-doubt. My stories were pretty terrible. My writing was cutesy and superficial. But I didn’t let that stop me.
These days, when I finally feel in command of the written word, is when my mind decides to occassionally lose faith. Just when I have things that might be worth saying, why bother?
But all of this confessional rambling is for this purpose: Here is a fantastic article about what makes something funny–the scientific study of humor. Read it when you can. Bookmark the page and read it one lazy evening. Because it’s a great reminder that (a) improv and comedy are unknowable, (b) improv is evidence of our elegance as a species, and (c) trying to make sense of the chaos is the art; the organizing of thoughts is the purpose.
Just read the article already, would ya??? Don’t take my word for it.