Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Writing to Keep My Mind Sharp

For the past couple of weeks, I've felt an urge to write. The only problem is that I can't think of suitable topics. Therefore, I've produced nothing. Basically, the intent of this post is to just write for a little bit to see if something worthwhile comes out of it.

I've always said that I used writing as not only a means of expression but also as a way to try to make sense of the jumbled thoughts in my mind. Writing also serves another purpose for me. I find it very intellectually stimulating.

A lot of my blog posts were about my feelings at certain times of my life. However, there were also many posts where I would give my opinions on a specific topic. These posts could be looked at almost like persuasive writing. I'd put out an assertion and then try to back it up using logic or evidence.

I find those kind of posts the most intellectually stimulating. As I'm writing them, I can literally feel different areas of my brain come to life. Working through the logic and creating my argument kind of feels like an adrenaline rush. It's a challenge, and even though I'm the one who made the particular assertion in the first place, I feel like I'm teaching myself about it. It's hard to explain.

It's also hard to get that kind of stimulation anywhere else. At work, I have to constantly defer to other people. Corporate makes a new policy, and I'm expected to carry it out. There's no room for argument, no room for disagreement. If corporate wants to give out free antibiotics, no amount of persuasive logic is going to change their minds.

With customers, I'm either the drug expert who dispenses medical advice, or I'm the customer service representative who has to basically kiss ass. There's not a whole lot of genuine back and forth. The customers don't challenge my knowledge, and I can't challenge them when I think they're being stupid.

My girlfriend and I hardly ever argue. I know; most people would consider that a good thing. And it is. Sometimes though, I feel like there's something missing if there's no arguing. I feel like neither of us are challenging each other. We certainly can't agree on everything, so if we're not arguing at least sometimes, then we really aren't being completely honest.

However when it comes to my blog, anyone reading is free to fire back at me. They can agree, disagree, or bring up another point that I never considered. I crave that back and forth. It keeps my mind moving. It keeps me from getting complacent. I need my beliefs to be challenged occasionally.

That's why I haven't quite given up this blog. I don't write very often anymore, but I like leaving open the option to write. I've thought about starting a new, non-anonymous blog, but then I have to come up with some kind of clear narrative. For example, I can't bitch about how an absent coworker made for a shitty day at work when everyone at work could read about it. I'd have to only write about certain things. I'm sure I could do still get some good writing done, but it wouldn't feel quite as authentic.

For example, if everyone knew about my blog, then I couldn't write about how sometimes I think I'd be better off single than in a relationship. I'm sure my girlfriend wouldn't be too pleased by that entry. Sometimes I do feel that way though. It doesn't mean I want to break up with her. It just means that I'm not entirely sure what I want just yet. Or maybe it means that even people in committed, caring relationships sometimes wish they could have the personal space of a single person. It doesn't mean they don't leave their significant others. Sometimes it just feels good to be your own person and not have your entire identity intertwined with someone else.

I can't have that conversation without this blog though. However, I crave that kind of conversation. I like examining those deep thoughts and putting them out there for people to think about and comment on.

Anyway... I just wanted to get something written. Maybe that will spur some more writing in the near future.