Writing for Fun
One of my best buddies, Anton, recently started a newsletter and has inspired me to do the same. His first post is about finding and pursuing his passions. We have completely different passions, but we share a love of writing.
I read writing craft books like nobody's business.
- Stephen King's On Writing is stellar.
- Brandon Sanderson's BYU writing series is **chef's kiss**.
- The Writing Science Fiction class at MIT with Jeffrey Carver and Joe Haldeman was an absolute blast.
None of it feels like work. It feels fun. And with limited free time on this earth, why not prioritize fun?
My passions have led me to some weird places and have taught me a great deal about myself.
There's just one problem with all those lessons learned.
I forget things. Fast.
Writing to Time Travel
I'm the only person I know that has been surprised by the end of Memento more than once.
But every once in a while, I'll come across something I wrote or some project that I worked on and a wave of memories come flooding back.
It always reminds me of where I was and how far I've come and leads me to wonder where I'll eventually be.
For example, I've always loved the theatre and acting. I've been in countless plays and seen countless shows.
After college, it became hard to pursue that creative side. I'd finish work feeling exhausted, have some dinner, unwind, sleep, and do it all over again.
And so, a year and a half ago, I decided to take acting lessons. (I promise you'll hear more about this in other posts.)
Every week for the past year and a half, I've met with a group of wonderful people led by excellent instructors and have played pretend in front of a camera. It's so much fun.
Well – It's fun now, at least.
When I started, I was petrified. Put me in front of a camera and a light and I froze up. Fast forward to today and I have no real issue hamming it up for a camera.
I bring this all up because part of the classes' many assignments is to write a weekly blog.
In writing that blog, I've been able to time travel. I can go back to the start of the blog and remember the gut-wrenching first few classes. I vividly remember sitting in my car before class started wondering why the hell was I putting myself through it.
But if you look at my most recent posts, they're about the craft itself. They're about learning from the instructors, from my peers, and even about experiences being on set.
Now I have this really awesome body of work in the form of a blog that took me an hour or so every week that's full to the brim of ideas, eureka moments, overcoming doubts, and more. And that's badass.
Writing to Share
I've had this domain name for a while. I've had a blog here for a while. I had one blog post here for a while.
But reading Anton's newsletter, finding the joy in writing for my acting class, and reading things like Austin Kleon's Show Your Work that espouse the benefits of sharing from a place of learning and not necessarily from a place of expertise have all inspired me to write.
It is my firm belief that anybody who is not a psychopath has experienced Imposter Syndrome. On paper, I should feel like an expert in some areas. In practice, I feel like I'm constantly winging it.
But I think the secret is that everyone is winging it. Everyone is at a different stage of learning and everyone makes mistakes.
So it's nothing to be ashamed of if I put out a blog post about how I solved a programming problem and there's a much better way out there. I'll share my inefficient way and hopefully a reader can share the better way.
Similarly, my acting journey has had me recount tales of overcoming stage fright. At that moment in time, it was the most pressing issue. Now that I'm past that, I can share tips for self-taped auditions or for bettering my performance.
But if I don't write about those beginner moments and only write from a place of expertise, there would be no resources for people who are at that earlier stage.
And – let's be honest – there would be a high chance I'd never write anything at all as it's rare that I feel like an expert in any field.
So regardless of what stage of a project I'm in, I'm gonna write about it. And with any luck, some of it will resonate with you.
Writing to Live a Great Life
Among the endless writing craft books I've read, The Story Solution by Johnny Truant and Sean Platt was a self-improvement book in disguise.
The main idea is to cast yourself as the main character in a book written about you. Then, when presented with options on how to live your life, you can ask yourself what an interesting main character might do.
I know great stories are marred by conflict and I'm not saying to go around getting into shenanigans. But for my purposes, living a life interesting enough to share about here sounds perfect.
This advice is akin to "Live a great story" or "Live every day like it's your last." And when I think about those pieces of advice, I always get a momentary boost of motivation. But inevitably, that momentum wears off and I'm left wondering what happened.
But if I'm writing here on a regular basis, that little mantra of living an interesting life to share will stick around.
I'd love to read about your interesting adventures as well. If you have your own space on the internet, I want to hear about it. Let me know!