Sunday, June 5, 2011

Knowing everything about something, and something about everything

I consider myself a writer. But why? I rarely write anything. Not on paper, anyway. Sure, I compose essays and dialogues in my head almost daily. I have dreamt up characters who are constant enough companions to me that I have trouble believing that nobody else knows they exist. I have a memory full of half-baked story ideas and a hard drive full of sketchy narratives.

I have considered myself a writer since I was a child. I knew I was a writer like a knew I liked swimming and hated raisins. Unquestionably, a foregone conclusion. But writing is hard. How do I know if I have anything worthwhile to say? Crafting a cohesive story is work, and takes mental effort. I have school, or work, or I should really go running.

And then there is blogging. I am an avid blog reader. I know what I like in a blog, and I read blogs for different reasons. Some are voyeuristic: I like to see old classmates of mine swell with pregnancy and then pop out squishy infants who develop into children in what to my perspective seems to be time-lapse photography. Some are informative: I like a good cooking blog, and cannot stand a bad one. Some served a purpose at one point and now have just become habit: these are the veterinary student blogs that I read before I started vet school, hanging onto every description of a daily routine which is now familiar to me. Some are inspiring: I have a friend or two who either through pictures or words beautifully frame a place in time, or a concept in space.

The blogs I prefer are thematic, rather than narrative. A stream-of-consciousness description of a day in the life or an event generally does not hold my interest. The blogs I prefer do not read like diaries, since I can't help feeling that the public forum of the internet is not the place for raw introspection.

After graduating from college, I had a few lame jobs that used a fraction of my mental capacity and held almost none of my interest. If I was still working this sort of job, I could probably consider myself a writer, first and foremost. But in a few short years, I will be a veterinarian. This is an intense profession, in terms of time commitment, mental and physical energy, and effort spent in preparation. I cannot wait to be a veterinarian, and I love pushing myself to learn as much as I can in the knowledge that it will help me be an awesome doctor. I know that I would not be happy in a profession that did not challenge me. I want to know everything about my chosen career.

At the same time, an equal and opposite force makes me want to do something creative for every hour I spend working or studying. I want to read, write, knit, garden, and play music. I want to know something about everything. Mostly, I want to write, like I always knew I would.
And so I will start writing here, merely for the sake of writing. I want to create a writing habit. I will write something every day. I will find something to write about. I will break my own rules, probably. I will sometimes write in a narrative style, even though I find that style difficult to read. I will let this blog take and shift shape. Other people may get something out of it, or they may not. It is, after all, for me.

I will begin by writing something each day of my first-ever equine externship, for which I am traveling to California right now.

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