Friday, May 20, 2011

New (Not) Miserable Experience

There are lots of things I want to do. Many of them I've never done. I don't know why this is. Flying a plane. Writing a book. Getting in better shape. Running a marathon. Travelling the world. These are all things I really really want to do. And yet days go by and I don't seem to make the effort. Is it because I'm lazy? It's certainly partly because of that. Because I kind of am. Not in a I'll-get-by-on-welfare kind of lazy, but my particular brand of lazy is lazy all the same.

There's also an element of fear involved as well, especially with the writing thing. I've written pieces in the past; short stories, that sort of thing. Just like most everybody who's ever shown up at a fiction writing class with a pencil, some paper, and vague dreams of writing the Great American Novel or whatever, it never amounted to much. I looked back at everything I had amassed several years ago. It was crap and I threw it all in a dumpster. Frankly, that's where it belonged.

The thing is though, I think I could write something good. I have ideas, some of which I think would be totally killer/righteous/awesome/da bomb/bitchin'. But in the few and far between moments when I sit down to put those ideas to (electronic) paper, an enormous ennui settles over me. Sometimes I actually get four or fives pages of first draft down before I sputter out. Then I save the file, shut down the netbook and never look at it again.

It's definitely a fear of some sort, but of what kind I'm not really sure. I'm not worried about people reading it and thinking it's terrible; I'm not the type to dwell on what other people think of me too much. I think it's more that I'm worried I'll think it's crap. Subconciously I remember the day I trashed all my other writings and think, "nothing's really changed since then; you're certainly not a better writer, so what's the point?"

I went through a long period in my life where I wasn't very happy with who I was or where I was going. I'm not going to hash out here why I think that was (I've done plenty of that internally), but I will say that it's only in the last year or so that I think I'm starting to pull out of it, if only a little.

That all sounds appropriately melancholy and angsty and all, but this post isn't supposed to be a downer. It started off as a kind of journal entry and meandered off the path a bit. What I really wanted to say with this was that I have an idea for a series of posts that center around a new experience I'm trying.

One of the other things on that list of "things I've always wanted to do" is to learn to play the guitar. I first picked one up when I was sixteen or so. I had some friends who were musicians and they taught me some of the basics. I bought another one a year later (this one an acoustic). Soon after that I put them away and rarely took them out again. Everytime I moved though, they came with me.

The experience with D-Frag in getting ready for my wedding has kind of reminded me how much fun it was to pick up a guitar and play. I never was any good, and I never learned to read music. I could basically just play a few riffs and everything else was pretend. That's going to change though. I'm going to learn. I got some software that teaches guitar. MJ is interested in it (though who knows if that will last) so I think we will do it together. I think Donna's curiosity is piqued too; how cool would it be if we all learned together?

Anyway, I'm going to document my progress with this experience. As of now I know next to nothing -- though I still remember the intro to Welcome Home (Sanitarium), woo! Metallica! -- but that's going to change.

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