Hanging out at the library on a grey summer day trying to do some writing. In this case the writing is an article that I am writing on the subject of public infrastructure, an area that I have worked in for many years and that I would like to write about, in a published sort of way. But to do that I need something to send around to magazines, and of course writing is very hard. Striking the right tone is important – do I want to approach it from personal experience, or as a self-appointed “expert”? Is there a middle ground? Really society doesn’t seem to think about public infrastructure much, except when it doesn’t work, and this in a nutshell is the problem in my view, but it also makes it a tough subject to approach in flowing and captivating prose. At some point I have to stop revising it endlessly and give it to some friends to read for feedback. It’s that whole self confidence ball of wax again, and I know I don’t have much of it. I’m almost as afraid of success as I am of failure. I often feel the same way about my painting, though at least there I enjoy the process more.
I guess it’s worth asking myself why I want to do any of this stuff. It feels like a compulsion, or as Joni Mitchell so aptly put it in a song, “chicken scratching for my immortality.” Creativity is existential,and it gets to those fundamental questions of why we feel we’re put here. Oh, and for me, I need to find something to replace the booze that I filled that hole inside me with. Sitting at the library isn’t nearly as fun as a bottle of rye, but even if there is a slight sense of accomplishment, it’s worth it. Oh, and there’s no shame in it, or lost weekends – those are good things too.