0680 – write what you feel like writing about

I want to try and write a word vomit before I leave to go meet some friends for dinner. It’s so important to make time for friends.

I’m thinking about a new group of friends I’ve been talking to over Whatsapp. Interesting how that can be a thing now, huh? Group chats. I’ve been thinking about the whole phenomenon of chats for quite some time now. And – I suppose by extension, all sorts of messaging. Right now I’m writing this directly into the WordPress box, which looks like this:

That’s what it often looks like when I’m writing these. Sometimes I write them into a text editor like Byword. Sometimes I’m writing it on Evernote (especially if I’m on mobile). It’s just interesting to me, the whole “text in boxes” phenomenon. And how people send each other texts, and you can build entire relationships over such things. Now you can send pics, too, and GIFs and links and so on. I suppose it’s a little bit like how people used to correspond over letters, but now you can do it instantaneously. Imagine Benjamin Franklin with a Twitter account.

There are several interesting things about this group of friends – they’re different from a lot of the other group chats I’m in. Sometimes I wonder if I should have more group chats in my life. Every group chat has its own character, its own set of norms, of what is expected, what is rewarded. I wonder if eventually someone will do a sort of sociological study on group chats. It seems… necessary? But maybe there are some aspects of social reality that are never going to be captured by the “observe and examine” scientific method, because these things melt away under examination. I suppose its up to artists and writers and so on to explore that sort of thing.

I was thinking to myself – before I started writing these vomits, I was writing all this… social commentary. Things like, “let’s talk about businesses and corporations and the media” and stuff like that. And then at some point I felt like I had to stop doing that, because I didn’t feel qualified to talk about any of it. I felt like I was just making things up and they weren’t actually very useful to anybody – and that I was distracting myself from what I should’ve been focusing on, which is whatever I was able to control.

So then I went on to spill lots and lots of pixel ink on my internal monologue – which I currently don’t have a lot of interest in reading (though it’s good to know that it’s there if I ever want to get back into it. Which I’m pretty sure I will.)

But now I’m feeling like I need to start writing public facing things again. I guess I feel like I’m a new person now (relative to who I was then), and that in that time I’ve begun to make some observations and hypotheses about things that I’d like to share with other people. I feel ready to be social again, after a long and self-imposed sort of social winter…? That doesn’t accurately describe my situation, but it’s sort of “narrativistically true”.

I do still believe it’s true that a person should focus on the things that they can control rather than the things they cannot. But it gets a little topsy turvy when your goal is to be a writer – because a writer has to write about whatever she observes. Also, I’m now really curious about the difference between my thoughts about the world now vs my thoughts about the world 5-10 years ago. I am not so curious about my internal monologue. So I guess this is me taking a vomit to say, I want to make a clear and decisive shift, and start talking about phenomena, about the world around me, about things that I think are interesting. I could do that for 25-100 vomits and then see how I feel about that, and still get back into introspecting and spend another 300,000 words on those. There’s no scarcity here.

Oh, about the friends I was talking about. It was interesting to me – they all seemed like really hyper-focused, high-functioning, Type-A people. They’re clearly from different backgrounds than me, have had different experiences than me. They’ve all gone to university, it seems, and done well, and seem to be having high paying jobs, travel, etc. At some level, they represent a group that I might’ve ended up in if I had “gone according to plan” as a boy, doing well in school and so on. And it’s interesting for me to pay attention to the ways in which they are different from me.

For the sake of my ego, probably, I find myself paying careful attention for signs of frustration, anger, anxiety, that sort of thing. And I find myself thinking that they seem to be living with a lot of pressure. I asked them about meditation and spirituality, and a couple of them said that they’re really bad at it, they they didn’t get very far – things which are manifestations of a very specific sort of way of thinking. Although, me thinking that about them is itself reductive. I’ve been enjoying the conversations I’ve had with them, and I look forward to having more conversations, and to meeting them in real life. I think it’s really good to have all sorts of friends from all sorts of places – as long as there’s a clear “no asshole” and “no shithead” policy. (I wonder if there’s a better term than “shithead” to describe a person who, despite good intentions, ends up causing undue trouble for people. That I think could be the subject of a whole other vomit.)

Maybe that’s what my next few vomits are going to be about. Little things I’ve observed about how people behave. And these can morph into character studies, which can then develop into characters for use in my future works of fiction. Alright, that sounds pretty exciting. I just need to psychoanalyze people, write hypotheses about them. Maybe I’ll write about random Facebook friends. Might be fun.

TLDR

  • Group messages are interesting
  • It’s interesting to be “in” a new group of people who are different from any of the previous groups of people you might’ve hung out in
  • Right now, I feel compelled to write about social phenomena and observations about people rather than writing about myself
  • I’m gonna do that

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