I did not expect to find a community that would accept my writing. I did not expect to find a site that paid for my writing. It's created a very strong incentive for me to continue plying my craft, practicing my limited skill.
I don't know what I would've done for the last few months otherwise. Surfed the web, learning and forgetting little nuggets of information, distracting myself from the troubles of my workplace and the world at large.
I would've played Hearthstone until the RNG drove me literally crazy. I would've sank days into Stardew Valley 1.5. I would've gone through game development tutorials that I'd forget in a few weeks, or watched endless Starcraft and skateboarding Youtube videos.
There's nothing wrong with that. But there isn't much right.
We can tell, can't we? When our lives aren't matching up with our dreams and goals. I've always wanted to write, and here I am. Why has it been so hard?
Having even a small audience helps! I did not realize this. I've been too scared to put myself out there. Even if some of the love comes from a bot, it is a boost to one's confidence, and I feel that I'm having a slightly larger human impact as well.
I remember first perusing read.cash a few months back. It was intimidating, seeing dollar values next to articles and thinking, "That can never be me, I've got nothing to say that anyone will care about."
Well that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You're never going to write those thoughts down if you feel like they are useless. But this "useless" is a lie based on insufficient information. We can't know what others are thinking until we communicate with them.
Language is a necessary human function. It's how we continue to flourish despite all the problems we create, all the challenges of nature. We can share information, and written information is particularly special: it can time-travel.
I'm trying to convince myself that this humble effort is worth it. I think I'm succeeding, but at times I suffer from extreme self-doubt, misgivings about my attitude and actions.
This week has been particularly hard for me. I haven't been sleeping well. I'm struggling in dealing with my work superiors and my local government. My parents seem more and more disconnected from the world at large. Occasionally I feel untethered from reality entirely.
I think about my brother's son, my nephew. I wonder what sort of world view he's developing, how in or out of tune it might be. Can I really judge this sort of thing? Am I in tune?
I wish I could start over, but that thought is meaningless for so many reasons.
I'm tired and rambling. I want to write my truest thoughts. I want to read other's truest thoughts. I think it would help me feel like things matter.
I want writing to be like money:
a store of value
a medium of exchange
a unit of account
What are our most valuable thoughts? Are we exchanging these with each other? Are we progressing in our thinking?
It's hard to judge these sorts of things, and it's definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution. Individuals need to make this value judgment for themselves.
I'm pleased when a bot says I did good, but it's not even reading my words.
Likewise, I could get paid a decent salary somewhere for doing abominable things to the world.
This isn't easy. I'm going to say this a lot I guess, for myself as much as you. Staring at this white, editable expanse below is a moment of reckoning. Am I trying to fill space or really say something?
Even now I'm thinking to myself, "This article seems too short to get attention from Rusty."
I refuse to pen a paean.
I'm much more declarative and certain here than anywhere else.
Is this a side-effect of language, all these statements of "being"? I am, this is....
How can we resolve this either/or meaningfully?
What is my identity?
My public thoughts and writings are small emissions from my event horizon.
Thanks for sticking with me through this loose collection of thoughts. I'm working on a few more polished articles for the next few weeks on the following subjects:
Capybaras as meme-able BCH mascots
Ampleforth, an interesting attempt at solving currency problems
Tarot, an introduction to my methods
Personal growth and assessment, in my "flow states" series
Check my profile for more articles on related topics, and maybe subscribe if I haven't bored you to death.
I'd love any feedback you have. I respond well to constructive comments. If you can explain why I might be wrong, I'd really appreciate it.
Lead photo from Pexels, in the public domain.