The other day while staring at my work monitor and waiting for
rsync to run I had a realization. I’d never been able to imagine the 50 year old version of myself before.
Sure, if you sat me down and asked me to describe the likely outcome of the next nineteen years I’d have been able to put some words on a page that would ring true. But there was a barrier there: children. I knew there were kids in my future, and somehow I imagined some sort of transformation involved there, whether that was to be some sort of transformation of myself into something else (a dad) or a transformation of the texture of my day-to-day life into something else (not on my own terms any more). As a result I had difficulty imagining anything past that event horizon.
The realization was that now I’m here on the other side. There are always more changes to come, but suddenly it seems like the hypothetical pentagenarian Ben is, actually, the same person as the one writing this post. Or, at least: he’s no longer just hypothetical, he’s impending (hopefully, anyway), and I get to control who he might be.
So I sat down and thought about that.
One of the things I decided that I want to hold on to, specifically, is my practicing nerdery. When I’m fifty I still want to be reading and writing fiction. When I’m fifty I still want to be playing games. When I’m fifty I still want to be learning about science, history, and the arts.
So here I am to write more!
A related thought I had is that I might try a more lightweight form. I find myself drawn magnetically to the 1200 word mark, and writing and editing those can suck down a whole evening. That all seems to preclude writing about certain things: if I’m not prepared with big thoughts or stories that are threatening to burst from my head, it feels as though it’s not worth the effort to commit to writing something of that length. But more than making sure my work is weighty and high-caliber, what I’d prefer to do is be more prolific. That way I can keep in practice, even when time is tight, and I can still be writing in twenty years. And maybe, by combining sheer volume with the laws of probability, I’ll put out something really good. So I’m going to just write, whether or not the subject is substantial enough or elaborate enough to make it past 1000 words.
And besides, this is all secondary. The little guy and his excellent mother come first! Spending three hours a day writing will need to wait for another lifetime.
My aim is to put more short posts up here and to just hit send on them without agonizing over their quality or basic worthiness to be shared. I anticipate posting up as many (very) short stories as I can manage as well as musings on history, fantasy, tabletop games, and video games. I want to make a point to write about things I like rather than things I don’t like.
Watch this space for fresh ink! Or check out the RSS Feed. And hit me up if you want to join me in this project and do some writing of your own; I’d love to read it.