The Return of a Good Thing (i.e. good things never die)

Many things have kept me away from this place; not least of which, is the fear of time wasted. The ugly truth is that writing is a horribly inefficient use of time. These first five sentences alone have consumed nearly 90 minutes of my day. To make things worse, the process is rarely gratifying. In most cases, the final product seems shoddy, incomplete, and lacking any real substance. There is also the reality that mental bandwidth is a finite resource with limited capacity for self-renewal—spending precious energy on an inconspicuous blog seems illogical. A person can only have so many hobbies without becoming mediocre at all of them. Weighing the options, it seems most reasonable to focus “free time” on the physical rather than mental. The former pays large dividends in exchange for insignificant amounts of time.

In the spirit of a highly efficient life, I avoided the blogosphere like the plague. I diverted my gaze from the enticing stares of Adiche, Coetzee, and Wallace who lined my living room walls. I steered clear of cozy bookstores and coffee shops which might awaken a creative muse. For a while things were fine, The New Yorker withdrawals had subsided and reality TV was starting to make me laugh again (things were looking good). Relapse came in Spring, when a 1960s typewriter landed in my possession. Like a fix to a fiend, things started spiraling. As if by magic, novels suddenly appeared clutched against my armpit. I was carrying fiction to places it didn’t belong—“Americanah” to the mechanic, “Infinite Jest” to the grocery store. The staccatoed snap of mechanical keys filled my apartment at all hours of the night. Custom orders were being placed in my name by local book sellers. Art festivals were attended and gourmet coffee was consumed.

It all led me here—face-to-face with a pulsating cursor and blank page which (despite my best efforts) begged for attention.  The lesson is that life choices are hardly scientific and some things are just too good to ignore. For that reason, this post marks the start of a new beginning—throwing pragmatism to the wind. The goal is to create an original piece each week with little-to-no regard for efficiency or time. Of course, a new beginning implies a new end, which will certainly come. Until then, however, thanks for reading.

Featured image by Simo Räsänen


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