To write

Pondering about writing

I was trying to write something, then I found myself wasting an extra 30' to find a proper text editor. There's quite a few that I use, but I find that the most effective one for me is just the default text editor of whatever platform I'm trying to boast on. I've always been that kind of person with that kind of temperament: fleeting, spontaneous, and of very little foresight (I'm trying to work on these things though!). My favorite writing space used to be the Facebook's editor for both status and notes, sometimes even the Medium blog editor as it provides the necessary privacy yet is still so public. I like feeling torn in different directions, writing about depth in a place that's not really meant for deep(shit) writing, and writing about things that take mulling and long-term consideration in a manner of haste (but not making waste). In the end, I found myself pouring my heart out in the Webflow text editor. I always write the best when I know things aren't meant to be taken so seriously. When things don't need to be edited, and the words can just be typed away. With ease.

As a writer, sometimes I feel that I try to ponder an unnecessary amount of time about writing space and the act of writing more than what I'm trying to write. Occasionally I wrestle with even calling myself a writer, because the title itself comes with so much pressure. I can recall my 10 or 11-year-old self trying to write a lengthy fanfiction about my favorite MMORPG at the time, and yet 10 or 20 separate .doc files later, no proper long-form writing came out. I seemed, or still seem, to be really good at constructing spontatenous ideas in the spur of the moment. After all these years, I still seem to enjoy constructing thoughts after thoughts, eventually discarding them away onto the pile of "potential project ideas." I haven't done my past self's aspirations any justice, and have even managed to collect more and more junk and clutter in my own brain.

However, as we're all staying at home right now (some of us, at least), I think it's important to start pondering about writing, in its most mundane form. Where do people write? I know a lot of people used to just bring their laptops to a cafe and claim a spot for hours, trying to churn out words. I know some force themselves to write at a certain time, so every day when it gets to that hour they just sit down and type away. Conditioning, one could call it that. You create all these conditions for yourself, closely attached to the act of writing, so that whenever the conditions present themselves all you can do is write. Because we are all creatures of habits, manipulation, and predictability.

So, what are your conditions of writing? For me, it would have to be a random text editor on whatever platform I will eventually publish my texts on. However, I think there is more to it. I occasionally went to coffee shops to write as well. After spending so much money on countless cups of latte, I realized that there was more to it. I like being in a crowded space (maybe a bigger space is the more correct description), putting on my headphones overwhelmed with rivers of ambient sounds, words suddenly came pouring out. I realized, now, that I like to be overwhelmed in vastness, I like to feel small, and yet big at the same time. When I put on my headphone with the luscious sounds, I like to feel myself being washed away, in the adrenaline of the constructed words that just came out of nowhere, in the waves of sounds. I like to put up own little transparent bubble, against the dense mass of this public space. The heavy breathing of people, the pressuring thoughts and voices, I want to push back against those environmental conditions--this is where I find my best self in writing.

I'd like to think that such conditions get carried into the virtual writing space that I occupy. There is something weirdly public and private, simultaneously, about writing in a cloud-based text editor. You're pushing back against this notion of publicness, as your writing is eventually made to be online--the most public space of all nowadays--but in a private text editor that is only accessible to you--with your (hopefully) private login credentials (and hopefully an encrypted and generated password). I constantly struggle to piece together the most private thoughts about my own life (even influencer and fashion bloggers' posts must have an ounce of privacy in there I hope), and eventually those private thoughts get published on the interweb. The chaotic nature of that struggle, the constant pushing and pulling, leaves no space for the brain to feel the pressure of being a writer, and yet makes space for the most important task, to write.

Independent Contractor / The Show 2020 / Teaching & Learning Centre