I came to explore the wreck.Adrienne Rich, The Wreck
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
What I like about this book-writing process is that it's teaching me about myself. When I write, the door needs to be closed. I ought to just throw my phone out the window because that's how distracting it is. I thrive in silence.
I read Paul Graham's "The Age of the Essay" yesterday. I remarked at how similar his words rang compared to Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me. He discussed writing as the settling of an internal argument. Before I wrote The Myth of Internal Antagonists I didn't realize that no one was thinking about me. Before I wrote Active Lazing I'd completely forgotten that art has the power to make anything beautiful. Before I wrote Math, Soccer, and the Perfect Son I didn't understand why I was so dependent on other people's praise. I've unconsciously used writing as a means of investigation.
Writing this book makes me feel as if I need to know the answers to the questions before I ask them. When I take this approach, I stop letting my writing surprise me. I want to know why having internet friends feels so empowering. I want to know why the internet lets us maximize our weirdness.
Writing is a way for me to ask these questions of myself; to dive deep into the wreck that is my experience so that I can see what I came for: "the thing itself and not the myth" (Adrienne Rich, "The Wreck"). My best writing makes me feel as if I'm a different person after I finish. I'm not writing to be useful; I'm writing to understand. I'm not particularly interested in the creator economy or learning and building in public. I want to know how I can design my life, so that I can write, read, and move everyday.