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9/3/2016: The Joy of Writing

· 3 min read
Patrick Pace

I have forgotten the reason, or reasons, to write. I have forgotten them, or they have been displaced.

I now seek to win the tournament. Snap kick him in the neck. Go for the cut eyelid. Drive yourself until you bleed sweat.

The scoreboard drives you: How are you doing now? What about now? Not good enough… Still not good enough… What about now? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with this game?

Because I love to whistle new tunes, I whistle new tunes. I daydream tunes. And they’re often good (I like them, anyways). When I love being good at whistling tunes… It all stops.

Because I love to play games, I play games. I daydream playing. And I’m often good. When I love being good at games… It all stops.

Because I love to create new worlds and to make new ideas and to do it in a way the impacts readers, I write. I sometimes daydream writing. When I love being good at writing…

My love is a fickle thing.

How do you forget love for one thing and remember love of another without merely attempting to win the love of the first by manipulating yourself to love the other (as if that could happen)? When I played Battlefield, the easiest way was to find the fun things to do that didn’t have anything to do with doing well, and then go do those. My brother and I would drive jeeps around the outskirts of the map looking for perched snipers to run over. Or we’d drive through super intense areas just trying to avoid being hit. Or we’d find jumps. Or we’d get into a chopper and do back flips and barrel rolls. Or whatever. It didn’t matter as long as it was fun and pointless. At some point while having fun, I remembered that fun was the point of the game, and the desire to do well, or at least the love of it, left, replaced by the love of having fun. I tended to do well after that, but I sought the fun more than doing well.

So perhaps I can find the fun parts of writing that have nothing to do with whatever my standard of “doing well” is in hopes of remembering the good bit about writing and displacing the love of doing well.

I really love to do well. It distracts me like nothing else. Always has. I suppose it’s a central idol. Fettered Fett and Frackalurch were fun. So was Fatherhood (though perhaps fun is not so much the word). Indeed, it isn’t always the fun of writing that’s the thing. It’s the rawness of the writing that’s the thing. When I tap into some idea that moves me. When it clicks and an idea closes its circle.

3/29/2017 Sounds suspiciously like fun replaced vanity as my idol of choice here. But there’s something to be said about writing only in the vein of personal aggrandizement vs. writing for other reasons. There’s also something to be said about feeling free to write (fun) and feeling constrained to (fear of failure). More development on this later…