liriel.org, I have come back to you. It has been some time, it has been different sites – but it doesn’t matter now. Now I am back here with you.
Remember all the good times we were having the first time around? Oh, it was so long ago! Ten years, am I not right? I was really enjoying having my site at your address previously. I was constantly updating, I was constantly coming back and reading the comments – oh the comments! – and replying to them…
But these are not those simple times any more. I have matured – at least a little – since those times. I have understood that what I really wanted all along was a blog plus some static pages. Then I didn’t even know what the word “blog” might mean. I had a vague idea, that I want a site, where I could publish my thoughts and have conversation with anyone who would be interested enough to answer. In the previous address, I understood, that it is a blog I want.
I started the blog with immature content and hazy starts at thoughts, but as the time went past I started writing more and more of the types of articles that might interest more people than my immediate relatives and friends. At least I hope so. I felt some value in them at least, I hope others did as well – and the site was transformed, a singularity reached, when the schizophrenic situation – blog and a neglected static site under the same domain – couldn’t be continued any more.
Oh, I procrastinated over the move, I did. I did everything but this. I even managed to organize some stuff around my house, which is probably one of the lowest-priority things in my life. Only Kersti, my dear friend and an excellent people photographer, made me do a bit of this and that at times for my site. How was she able to? Well, as she needed me to set up a home page for her, urgently, more urgently ever than my own homepage needed to be moved, urgently, because she is a starting photographer and needs all the wind in her wings that can be blown to get her up in the air, and I really want her to do well. While doing this for her I used my negligible skills as webmaster again after a while – and it wasn’t that difficult. So when at times I couldn’t do anything for her – waiting for an answer about how she wanted it perhaps or just having done all she wanted me to do at that time – then when I still had time left over, I would work on these posts – one to say good-bye to my long companion liriel.pri.ee (this post will stay with it while the site fades into /dev/null/, never to be posted in the new space) and another to welcome back my long-lost and yet newly found address under a new and better slogan.
Yes, the slogan has changed and this is important. This is one thing I was choosing so carefully. And then, a moment came, when I knew with utmost clarity what it must be. A drop in the time-sea. It’s from a poem I once wrote – see it in full in Author page. It tells how we are all a part of a whole, how we are all important and how each of us determines what the whole actually is. It is not a very beautiful poem, I admit, but I like the premise a lot. So much that I remember the poem by heart, only one of my poems. Because this is what I aspire to be – a drop in the time-sea, that changes the whole, even if it is just a little change in the corner.
I aspire to write better posts now. Inspiring, changing, important. I have imported the previous blog here in its full and I will take offline the posts I don’t think should be public under this slogan. And I will write and write and … oh how I will write!
Which reminds me, I have been postponing an update about the 300 words a day challenge. I couldn’t do it for more than some weeks. It’s not me. I always felt the pieces I wrote were too short and immature for publishing, some just a pretense. I did publish to posterous 2 posts about honesty (first, second), but even though they might be kind of complete in themselves, they really are parts of a whole that is not yet complete in my head as well. This challenge made me realize more about my writing style.
In some book Vonnegut wrote about two kinds of writing styles he knew – one was that whatever is on paper is there and will not be removed – you plan everything in your head and then you write the sentence and then you’ll write another and that’s it. He said it was how he wrote. I think this is essential to his unique style of books. The other was to keep constantly rewriting the piece until it is ready (or the deadline comes). I think I am the latter.
But I am also someone who needs to gather certain momentum in the head, certain strong feelings about it, before writing it down. It is not writing block if I am not writing, I don’t need to be constantly writing to further the story.
It’s like programming – who knows about it, understands. The best programmers spend 90 per cent of their time in thinking, refining, designing the program and might write just a few lines each day. Yet these few lines are worth gold – they work faster and more reliably than the lines of code from someone who just jumped right into it and did it without thinking (of course, there are different ways of designing, some do it while writing code, but it mustn’t be confused with average programmers just jumping into writing). I am the first kind of programmer. When I hit a difficult spot in programming, I might open some news site, I might even do a game of solitaire, but my head is wrapping itself around the problem all that time. I keep thinking about it at some level until I am ready – and I might continue writing code from mid-news-article or mid-game.
And it’s also like drawing, where you don’t start from upper-left corner, fill the space line by line and then when you’ve reached the end of paper in bottom right corner, then you have the picture completed. Well, I suppose there might be some genius out there who does that, but as far as I know, even geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci refined their drawing over and over again until it was absolutely perfect.
In writing stories it is similar, but the “designing” phase has to be more spread out for me over time. It wouldn’t do me no good to be full-time-writer either, I would need to let the ideas mature just the same. You can’t rush it. I am just slow at it.
But once the critical point has been reached, once I am full of it, I feel I am saturated with it, then I need to find a time to unload this and if I don’t, I’ll be frustrated at all times. If I am very busy at this time, I have to forget about the thoughts, suppress them, and it will be lost. But if I do find a free time in this stage, then I am writing and writing until I am satisfied; or I fall down, broken. Then and only then can the real passion, the real energy flow into the writing and only then do the results feel “real”.
While I was trying the challenge, I felt imprisoned, forced, and the results were not good. There were good moments, when I felt really hopeful that this would help me fulfill at least some of my dreams of getting out those books I have been wanting to write, but then at other times it seemed just as unrealistic as ever. Only once or twice there was a real energy high for me during this time and then I wrote longer pieces. I like to write longer. It wasn’t restricted, but the exact daily quota of 300 somehow took the energy to go further. You had already filled the obligation and you didn’t need to continue at this time. The quota came the main reason instead of the real reason behind the writing…
So, its a difficult dilemma – when I am writing daily some constant amount, I cannot work up that energy, but if I am not writing at all, the ideas will stay in my head, because I don’t talk about them, I don’t like to, I am much better at expressing myself in writing. That’s why I had to do something about it in the first place. I didn’t have that time to unload this stuff, to let the energy, that had formed the ideas, the stories in my head, flow. This seemed like a good idea, but while doing it I understood that this challenge was not it. I am glad I did something about it, even though it didn’t reach to the conclusion I wished for when I started. But it did lead me to understand that my writing style needed some other kind of commitment. I concluded I needed to make a regular unloading time for me – just a regular time, when I would be free of other obligations and if I had something to unload, I could do it. Or if I didn’t, I could do something else entirely. I wouldn’t have anybody else than myself to control me. That I organized for myself – just a free day a week. I hope it works better than the daily quota project did.
But at first don’t expect me to write here more often than before. I have so much to do still – salvage the static parts from the previous site and put them into a new form; and also the design here is awful still.
But here I am and here I’ll stay. I invite you to join me here by subscribing to my RSS or just bookmarking the site.