At the moment I am going through bootcamp. Not the military kind, but the purely coding kind. That’s to say, I’m in training to be a Java developer, with my eye on acquiring more gainful employment than I have been able to secure thus far with my English degree and freelancer experience. With intense, five-day-a-week studies and homework every night, I’ve not had much time for anything *but* Java.
However, I also want to improve my writing skills, as I still hope to make that my sole occupation some day. So, I have (somewhat masochistically) decided to embark on a simultaneous system of writing practice.
My main goal of this is to develop greater ease in writing; as it is, I find my output is much slower and more laborious than I’d like it to be, and I have trouble formulating my thoughts to my own satisfaction. As part of this practice, I’m going to commit to blogging every day from now on. Mostly short pieces, of course, but something every day.
This means you can expect a lot more brief, disjointed, rambling, and substandard posts here in the near future.
I’m mentioning it for a couple reasons; one to let you know why my blog is suddenly being flooded with the aforementioned substandard content, and two as a sign of commitment. Now that I’ve told everyone this is my plan, I feel like I’m obliged to see it through. I’m not very good at starting things, but I have a horror of not meeting commitments.
Naturally, this will be counting as my post for today. God only knows what we’ll get tomorrow.
My latest Catholic Match post is all about New Years’ Resolutions (and is largely written to myself):
One way or another, we are afraid to change, afraid to set aside what we’ve carried for so long, even though it’s a burden to us. We may genuinely want to make the change, or at least, we may intellectually acknowledge that the change would be good for us, and on a certain level believe we would be happier afterward. But still we are afraid to go through with the procedure.
Part of this is simply the fear of failure: we worry that we won’t have the courage or the ability to see it through.
We’re worried that if we reach for the big dream or the big goal, we will fall on our faces. If we ask the cute girl out, she may laugh at us. If we try to get into shape, we may find the work too hard. If we try to change careers, we may fail.
But we’re not just afraid of failure: we may be equally afraid of success.
See, the thing about success is that it always carries its own set of problems, pressures, and responsibilities. If we get into shape, we then have to maintain it by constant diet and exercise. If we start dating the cute girl, we then have to work at the relationship with all the hardships and sacrifices that entails.
Read the rest
For those who don’t know, I suffer from mild-to-moderate depression, among other things. About a month or so ago it got really bad, and I ended up channelling that experience into the following post, which just went up on CM.
Depression isn’t sadness or feeling down. It’s pain. Raw, emotional pain, like there’s a wound inside you that just won’t heal. And you know it’s never going to heal; it’s just going to keep on throbbing and festering for as long as you live.
Except, it’s worse than that, because along with the pain is a sense of isolation; the sense that you are cut off from the rest of humanity, not for any one cause or defect, but simply because that’s who you are. It’s the sense that you are and always will be totally alone, no matter how many people are around you.
A good description of depression I found online was that, “It’s like drowning, but you can see everyone around you breathing.”
Now, my depression is relatively mild. I generally can manage it enough to get through life, and I’ve never had suicidal thoughts. A lot of people have it far worse. That said, I have found a few strategies to be useful in managing my own depression. And though I’m not an expert in the subject by any stretch, I understand that many other people with far worse conditions have also found them to be helpful.
Read the whole thing here
– As mentioned, I suffer from some pretty bad insomnia, to the point where I often can’t sleep even with sleep aids (they just make me more tired). I also have mild to moderate depression. The two do not mix well. Most nights I get to spend hours lying there, exhausted but unable to sleep and with nothing to distract me from the lovely thoughts of failure, incompetence, and regret chasing each other round and round my brain.
–My post on beauty rather blew up: four-thousand views and over three thousand shares in twenty-four hours. Yet only twenty likes; I think I touched a nerve or two with that one.
-Some of the responses have, predictably, taken the form of the offense fallacy: if you don’t like what someone says, construe it as an insult, either to yourself or someone else. Most people will rush to assure you they meant no harm and not even notice the fact that not liking the implications of an idea isn’t an argument for its truth or falsehood. And since just about everything can be taken as an insult if you try hard enough, it’s a very handy little trick.
-It occurs to me that the mere fact that disenfranchised populations have been able to win themselves the vote rather tells against the necessity of granting them voting rights. The mere fact that they were able to successfully agitate to have the franchise extended to them shows that they were capable of affecting public policy without the right to vote. True, it was much harder and could only be done with great effort, requiring it to be reserved for matters considered of grave importance…which is another point against extending the franchise (since every change brings unexpected consequences, the harder it is to make serious changes the better). You know, more and more I find I’m theoretically against the idea of universal suffrage.
My goal at the moment is to write a sellable essay every day. Initially I was worried about whether I’d have enough material, but then I quickly discovered that essays are like bacteria: they multiply and divide exponentially!
So, I was working on a piece about Jimmy Stewart for CatholicMatch. While making my point, a phrase came to mind: “the gifts of manhood.” That naturally raised the question “well, what are those? Mightn’t people be interested in reading about that?” So, I marked that down as another essay. Before that I did a piece on the need to respect all art forms, which led to an idea about the difference between ‘higher and lower’ and ‘better and worse,’ which then led to an idea about equality and inequality. So, two possible essays right there!
I don’t buy the canard “war only breeds more war” (that would explain the endless Civil Wars that have rocked the US and the repeated wars with Japan and Germany after WWII), but it seems writing only breeds more writing.
And the first Noble Snake Reviews video will be…
This film holds a special place in my heart. It was my favorite movie when I was little, and watching it now it holds up surprisingly well. There are a lot of rich ideas to sink my teeth into buried beneath the awesome animation and great characters, and come Friday I’ll be talking all about them.
See you then!