Saturday, May 28, 2011

How I Let Facebook Nearly Ruin My Writing

By the time I was 18 I had written 1200 poems. One day I took all those poems and threw them off a bridge and watched them float down the river.
I think that was probably the day I became a writer.
I think it's important for me to throw Facebook into the river.
Lately I've found myself accepting simple grammatical errors I make in status updates and my responses to other's status updates. My justification is that it's only an ephemeral statement on a social networking site and not of any consequence.
If it's not important enough to take the time to second check for simple spelling errors, then how important could it be in the first place?
I'm a writer. These things have to be important to me. More important than blurting out whatever is on my mind unfiltered, the second I think it. When I first starting writing there was no method that would have allowed me to make my words available to other people the instant after I wrote them. And that's a good thing because 99% of what i think and write is pure shit and doesn't need to be seen by anyone. The other 1% is what makes me a writer.
But imagine a world where all of that 99% of garbage out there no longer exists. Those things that weren't well thought out or well said. That never needed to be said. Imagine doing a Google search and finding links to information that was useful. I'm going to do my part by simply shutting up. No one was listening anyway, and if they were it was the same people over and over and they never needed me to point out this is a dumb world with dumb people in it in the first place.
They don't need me, but I need me. I need me to write better. I need me to not let the ease of socially media-fied communication ruin my writing. I need me to finish a thought. To sit here and look at the cursor blink for ten minutes if need be before I tap the keys again.
There is no audience here. There may never be an audience here. And that may be exactly what I need as a writer, as a thinker, as a human being to regain what it is I've lost in the social media.
What will I write now that no one is looking? I'm not sure. Maybe politics, maybe poetry, maybe just my bland observations about people I see wandering the streets.
Who knows?
December 12, 2012 update: The more I think about this the 140 character limit is more in keeping with the type of minimalist writing I do than sweeping, adjective-stuffed lines of pentameter. 

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