January 5, 2020•459 words
This is one of these writing days where I have no idea what to write about. On some days, like yesterday, I enter with an idea in mind, and usually I manage to expand on it enough for a whole post. But on other days, like today, I just go in blank. Writing as therapy. I think that this is what the challenge is supposed to be. Also, I suspect that the challenge is supposed to be way less "thinky" and more creative, like with fiction and stuff, once upon a time, that kind of stuff, but that's just really not for me. I'm a thinky guy, not a fiction-y guy. I can barely read fiction, let alone write it.
That's not to say that I dislike fiction; I love that it exists and I think it can be fun and valuable and interesting and all that jazz. No, my problem is practical: very often when I pick up a book, I just don't manage to get through it. I stop picking up the book. I read very slowly. I re-read sentences, or skip over them. I'm just not good at finding the movitation to read fiction, and I have no idea why. I think that there's a deep-seated conviction in me that fiction is not really useful, not really worthwhile, and therefore my brain just decides to neglect fiction whenever I try to pick it up. I have really enjoyed novels though: Slaughterhouse Eight is amazing, 1984 is genius, and I loved Narcissus and Goldmund. Maybe the common thread is that they're all books ABOUT something (sorry for the caps, I know it looks hideous, but I don't know if I can use bold here... actually, I think I can, from now on I'll use bold instead of CAPS), like a historical event or an idea. Like 1984 is technically a novel, but it might as well be a political pamphlet. Fiction just happens to be a good medium to convey ideas sometimes. But when I'm just reading about what happens to non-existent people whose names I can never remember, and whose actions don't affect me personally, I have a very hard time staying focused.
I know this makes me look like a book snob, or a philosophy snob, or whatever. I know. I don't like this about myself. I really do enjoy things, I swear. But I also wish I was able to enjoy more things. Beause enjoying things is enjoyable! And there's not really any value in not enjoying things. On the other hand, maybe this is just where I'm at right now, and the best thing I can do is accept it. There might come a time when I cannot stop reading fiction. But that's not now.