Three Types of Space

You know what’s funny? This whole thing, these blog posts, have been an attempt for you to know me a little bit better, but I don’t get to know you at all. Why is that? What is the construct of a blog–or even the internet in general–that I can pour all my attention into a screen that is an inch, or less, thick and feel fulfilled, as though I am interacting with the larger world. But in truth, I’m just interacting with myself and static material that someone else posted on the internet.

For instance, Yesterday I was at a cool coffee shop–it’s not the best coffee shop for writing, but it is one of the better coffee shops for drinking coffee–and there was a guy sitting next to me on a Microsoft Surface. I think Surfaces are cool. They look sleek and useful, and this guy had his face so close to the screen I thought his nose might bump right into it. But it didn’t.

I think that’s pretty interesting. You know? How we can feel, how this guy felt, as though getting closer to the screen was getting closer to interaction or connection with other people even though he was just increasing the chances of getting boogers on his Surface. You may say, but videos aren’t static, and neither are live webcasts and stuff, but for the most part they are. I mean, take this blog for instance: I’ve used it as a way to try and get to know you, but really all you know about ME is that I was once dyslexic (or am dyslexic) and a girl in my second grade class made fun of me for it. And I don’t know anything about you! And the second grade thing and my dyslexia, if you met me in real life, I wouldn’t even talk about because it feels as though it (dyslexia) doesn’t effect my everyday life anymore. So, what gives?

Well, I think there are two reasons people enjoy the internet so much–third space is what I like to call it–because the first space is mental. It’s in your head, the second space is physical, it’s where you are, and the third space is digital. Third space is unique like your head, because there’s always something new there, but it’s more identifiable as knew, unlike your mind, because a lot of the time people think being bored means there’s nothing going on of interest in their own heads, which is just preposterous. If you wait and just sit there and think for a bit you’d find that the first space, head space, is just as interesting and active as the physical space and digital space. But the truth, I think, is that most people don’t like what they find in their own heads, and that’s why you don’t see people waiting for the bus, or eating lunch, or walking down the street without headphones in, or looking at their phones, or reading a magazine or newspaper. And I don’t think this helps anybody, because, at what point does the head space need to be acknowledged and address?

What I’m trying to say is this: When people find their lives on pause, they seek interaction from anyone and anything except their own minds, and I think that’s sad.

9/3/2015 Linked and PoV

Within my novel, which is a series of novelettes, are bridges between each novelette.  Until recently these bridges were written in the second-person PoV i.e. “you wake up, stretch and crawl out of bed.” Now, obviously this is a problematic literary device in many ways. Readers typically reject being told what they do, and, more so, how they feel–even if the You character is specified to be an actual person other than the reader. In an attempt to serve the novel rather than my own literary eccentricities, I’ve rewritten these bridges in the third person PoV i.e. “He does this, he does that.” Not only this but I found myself adding great swaths of backstory for my protagonist, who turns out to be something of an anti-hero, unintentionally.

Wow. I had no idea what this characters, what this guy, had been through. I mean I know he had a tough childhood, but he was seriously emotionally abused–completely on accident. But he was also sorta a weird kid to begin with.

I find relating each bridge thematically to the novelette before it a perfect way in which to guide me in this revision process. So, I think a great rule, or at least guideline, is, when revision and noticing the lack of verisimilitude, if you just re-read the chapter or story, that chapter or story will actually let you know what happens next. It will feel right when it is connected thematically and emotionally. I think that’s what I’ve been able to accomplish in the last week, and it’s been extraordinarily satisfying. Sometimes writing through something only gives you more things that don’t fit. Sometimes you have to read your way through it, and stop trying to think critically about technique and craft. That’s what I’ve found, and thus far, it feels right.

9/23/14

A blog is like a garden. A cyber garden. You know, when it comes to followers. I’m not an expert by any means, but it seems like it just needs time every day in order to flourish. Like a garden. It needs ten or twenty uninterrupted minutes each day to pull the weeds or water. That part is more specific to the garden part of the metaphor. But I’ll still stand by it.

I’ve been free writing each morning for just over a month. I do not draw crowds on my blog like someone with real purpose does. But I have watched the steady increase of visitors. At first only one or two people would stumble upon it each day. Now it’s nearly a dozen every day. Yes some are returnees, which is good. Which is better. I would hope that people read what I’ve written and decide to come back.

I’m not a great blog writer because I lack a focus. This free writing situation was more about me writing something everyday and less about the blog. I just wanted to take a half hour or 45 minutes to write 500 words of free flowing thought, whether prose or very, everyday. I have so many short stories, a novella, and a novel that I’m working on, revising, actually, that these 45 minutes are my new content generation machine. Out of the last month or so, I’ve come up with three new ideas for stories through this 500 word free write daily idea. Once I think it has the potential to be a story I copy and paste that free write into a new document and put it in a folder. Once I have finished with a short story or my novella, I will have time to pick one of them up.

Back to the blog. The blog of Free Write Daily, was just a place for me to post the thoughts I have. In the end it lacks focus. The blogs that are more exciting are the ones that aren’t about that one person in general, but about something more expansive than oneself. This blog is that to an extent, but it is not specific enough to draw a large, interested crowd on the subject. And why should it be? From one day to the next my mind goes from Edward R. Murrow, to 500 words of prose, to some funky experimental verse, and back to politics or sports or even the blog that I’ll be posting this on.

This is just part of being human. I am not so focused on any one aspect of life. I am continually influenced by my friends and family and the media–what little I subject myself to. Because of this my blog is always changing, or the subject matter is. The goal remains the same, however. 500 words a day. Free write. Don’t think and just let the words flow. It’s a catalyst for new stories I’m excited to discover.