In case you’re curious why I blog so much, well, there are lots of reasons. Some of them are good: I’m upset about things; I want to express my views; I want to persuade and amuse; I want to practice my writing; and so on. But part of the reason, I confess, is simply that it is easily the best form of procrastination I have ever discovered. I have a long-overdue thesis on which I am supposed to be working non-stop, but it is a project I have been very stuck on for a long time. Instead of trying to work it out, I’ve done a lot of writing on other things. And so when I am honest with myself, I have to admit that there is a, um, healthy dose of self-destructiveness about the whole business.
I have recently turned back to my thesis in earnest. It’s slow – painfully slow – and it may also be too late for me to rescue, but I do notice a striking change in my approach to it now that I come at the thing after a year’s worth of blogging: I’m writing much faster, and with much more confidence, than I did before. This isn’t just a matter of coming to the subject fresh after a long break. I’ve tried that too. It seems that the daily practice of writing on my blog has really improved my ability to express myself (improved – that’s a relative, not an absolute standard, ok). Who knew that writing every day could end up helping you to write better?
Anyway, I just finished the very rough draft of another chapter of my dissertation. It’s crap, but it’s a finished rough draft – something I can work with. And as a result I am now savouring the rather unfamiliar feeling of accomplishment.
So I’ve spent countless hours blogging away when I should have been doing more constructive things with my time. But I am now glad that I spent the last year engaging in this particular variety of self-destructiveness, as opposed to another. I could, after all, have been drinking heavily1, or playing video games2, or whacking off non-stop3, or whatever.
So, three cheers for blogging, the best form of self-destructive behaviour around!
1. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a teetotaller. I think I’ve had at least a dozen drinks so far this year.
Howls of outrage (5)
2. I’m not knocking video games. I’m just saying that if I spent as much time playing them as I do blogging, I might have better reflexes, but I might also be a bit less articulate.
3. Most certainly not knocking that. Just, you know, if I spent as much time whacking off as I do blogging, I would probably end up in the hospital.