Thinking is impossible, for me, when I have background noise. I’m not alone in this, I know, but it is always a little off-putting to me when I stop and think about it. Noise is a near constant in a human life (even as I type this, and pretend like there are no noises there are noises- my lappy’s fan, my typing, my breathing, the people above me either fighting or fucking [I’m never sure which]) so it seems almost counter intuitive to think that a person would function better without noise. And some people don’t, some do. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I am vastly more productive in silence. That isn’t to say that I never listen to music any more, or that I don’t put on vidyavidya.de for background noise, I just can’t do those things when I need to focus all of my attention on one thing.
I bring this up, because I’ve noticed an absurd upswing in my written productivity lately. This has to do in large part with factors completely unrelated to my opening thoughts, but it seemed like a good place to start. The lack of noise certainly helps me, and it isn’t as if it isn’t an interesting topic on its own. It’s quite fascinating to note how different people learn different things. The real reason(s) why I have suddenly given a shit about my writing again, is because I have removed more and more pointless shit from my life. I know I’ve spoken a lot about how and why I am giving up video games, but then I go back and buy a Wii and play it for 20 hours straight and omg gaems ess so kewl. (Weird that there isn’t away to bastardise ‘cool.’) And let it never be said that I think that games as a hobby are bad, or the devotion of one’s life to the production are bad. They clearly are not. Games are wonderful socialisation tools, ways to vent frustration and aggression (though that may not be a good thing, but I digress again), are superb for connecting people, and are being utilised in more and more educational ways. (Though, ultimately, all games are educational. Some are just better at it than others.) The problem with games, and in particular video games, in my life is that I was never going to go anywhere with it. I wasn’t going to make them, I wasn’t going to play them professionally, I wasn’t going to study them and theorise about them (though game[play] theory is utterly fascinating to me.) So I needed to stop making them such a large part of my life. I still enjoy games, I’m playing through Order of Eclessia again right now, but they will never be the dominant force in my life like they used to be. They have been rightfully replaced by something I should have never lost sight of in the first place: literature. (And to a lesser extent books in general, but literature is my writing of choice. [Actually, short stories are. But hey.])
Books have been a constant and wonderful part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s become a little fable of ours in the family that I tell people, that my bed time story when I was five was The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Which isn’t a lie. That is honestly what my father read to my brother and I, night after night, until we passed out from exhaustion utterly enthralled by his voice and Tolkien’s words. Or when I was thirteen years old, and my father told me to read Dune, and I spent my hard earned hay chucking money on a copy and I read it. And loved it. And only understood a third of it. And realised, after the cover had fallen off and the pages had been stained with spilled highlighter ink from my backpack, that I didn’t understand half of it. But I still loved it, and still do. Every year, when I read it again, I find something new and relevant to my life in that book. I can’t say that about my favorite games, much as they mean to me, or even my favorite music. And while it didn’t catch as much in my brother, though he is still a fairly avid reader (especially in comparison to the rest of America), my father planted the seed of book love inside of me, for which I am eternally grateful. (I know you read this sometimes, dad.) Which is what I should focus my life on. Or more of it, anyway. I love reading, I love learning, I love learning from books. At heart, the true passion of my life has been, and will always be, the written word.
It’s just. Fucking. Beautiful.