Bothered by this

2016/11/04 § Leave a comment

There is something that is currently bothering me and that is my own personal preoccupation with being a better writer and thinker.

You might be wondering why this is something that bothers me. You also might be wondering what I mean when I say that it is “bothering me.” Well, I would like to give a good and well-rounded answer to these concerns. So let’s begin here.

This preoccupation is bothersome to me because I do not feel well-equipped – nor have I ever – to take the steps necessary to be a better writer and thinker. I am told that these go hand-in-hand, and I am certain that this is at least generally true. Of course, one might be a poor writer and still be a brilliant mathematician or philosopher; or one might be an awful thinker in all things but possess an incredible knack for gifted prose.

So in a word, and after a minor digression, this preoccupation is bothersome to me because I am frustrated.

Secondly, when I say that this preoccupation bothers me I mean that I am bothered because I desire to writer better and to think better. Specifically, I am bothered because I am dissatisfied with myself and with my ability to do these things.

My heroes are those who use the pen (or word processor) with skill and with insight. I read daily the writings of others. I find inspiration and encouragement in their words. I am also challenged to review and assess my own ideas, as I consider the most fundamental of considerations: my own worldview.

All of these things are touched, daily, by writing, in new and exciting ways. But of course, this is not where it started.

At some point in my young adult life, I became fascinated with and inspired by those who wrote lyrics with great meaning. Of course, this is a difficult thing to qualify: one young man’s sense of great lyrics. Thinking back to then, it all began with U2, and really, it never ended. From there I found Bob Dylan and then Leonard Cohen. The journey continues.

At some point, I began to read more – as well as differently – and I discovered that music and its lyrics, though touching upon many important dimensions of human nature, could not answer some of my most profound questions. Nor should they! You see, I misunderstood (in some ways) the purpose of a lyric. Of course I believe that lyrics can be complete and profound. At their most profound, they can be a window into one’s soul. But it seems to me that a lyric is always referencing something else, something more complete. Perhaps this makes it seem as if I am putting all other forms of ideas upon a pedestal, and if so, this is not my intent. What I am attempting to say is that lyrics point beyond us in a way that is unique to itself, as well as to its shared relationship to other truth. Lyrics cannot solve the problem of evil, but they can make meaningful the questions we have, and they can deepen the emotions we feel.

I am not going to even try to expound upon this, as I have digressed too much already.

Turning back now to my initial preoccupation with being a better writer and thinker, I would like to ask a very specific question: should writing expository essays on a daily basis be a reasonable goal to have? Furthermore, should one want to do this?

It might seem as if I’ve led you down a rabbit hole but I assure you that I have a reason for asking these very specific questions.

Please respond in the comments field below. Let’s gab.


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