In Which I Feel Myself Growing Silent

The past few days I’ve been thinking about this blog and knowing I needed to come write again because it had been too long since I’d posted anything. I love writing, really love bringing words down out of the ether and making them into coherent thoughts, and if I go long enough without doing any of it I feel incomplete. Writing is a way for me to think, understand, and live in harmony with the world around me. It’s something I take seriously whether it’s creative writing or not, at least when I’m writing more than a sentence or two. So I was feeling like I needed to come back here and write again. But I didn’t have anything to say.

And that’s the problem. I was reading a friend’s blog tonight and she said she’d been told by someone wise that a writer has to have something to write about. I think I’ve always followed that general rule in my life, and even expanded it to areas besides just writing. I’ve never been very talkative, or someone who just throws out a lot of something in hopes that some of it will be worthwhile. I tend to not do something unless I have something to say by doing it. This has gotten me into trouble sometimes, like when I’m too quiet around people I want to talk to or when I don’t try out multiple versions of a design in my architecture studios. I’m someone who keeps things in my head until I’ve thought about them, turned them over and over and over, and then decided they’re worth showing to the world. I’ve never liked making empty attempts at something.

I’ve generally always been able to eventually produce something, because I can generally think of something I want to say (“say” as in both the verbal sense and the conceptual sense). But more and more lately, I’m finding I have less to say. I’ve been working on this thesis project for over a year now, and I’m at the point now where I don’t have anything else to say but the project still isn’t finished. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, I’m hoping that what I’ve already said is enough of a foundation to finish the project, but right now it’s a thing to complete rather than a thing that is alive and growing and full of ideas. I still don’t have a job, and rather than be in a place where I can easily go hang out with friends I’m a pretty decent drive away from people in Charlotte and hours away from Nashville, so the majority of days in any given week I might not even leave my house. I can make the excuse that it’s because it’s so hot outside, but I think if I’m honest with myself it’s because I am depressed about how boring and empty this summer has been on the whole.

I think if I was around people who I could feed off of, who I could get ideas and conversation and energy from, I would have things to say and contribute. But as it is I hardly even go outside these days. I just don’t feel like I have anything to say about anything right now.

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4 thoughts on “In Which I Feel Myself Growing Silent

  1. Cherish Rosas says:

    I HATE it when I realize at about 7pm that I haven’t left my apartment the whole damn day. It feels like the most wasted day that perhaps even checking the mail would have made me feel better.

    And I have felt the same way about writing lately. I want to write so bad… sometimes I’ll just think of a sentence.. that relates to absolutely nothing… and WISH that I could build on it enough to make it worth reading for other people… or even worth writing for personal pleasure. And its just not the same reaching for a pencil sometimes… I feel like I have a different style when I type my thoughts rather than physically write them… do you?

  2. Josh says:

    Yeah, definitely. I try to write conversationally, and I think I do a pretty good job of it, but I’m a little more formal when I write. I have longer to think about how to say what I want to say. But I feel like I can fit my writing to any voice, even though I do think I have my own that I usually write in.

  3. Sean says:

    What I find interesting about this whole dilemma, is that being quiet and not speaking often, is usually portrayed as a negative and is looked down upon.

    I think I have a similar opinion to yours, about silence – why speak just to hear yourself speak? However, I’m really interested in how you’ve connected this to your design process in architecture. I have never made the connection between the two.

    Thinking things through before putting them out in the open is important, but one major problem with doing so, is that you sometimes miss your chance to ever put them out there.

  4. Josh says:

    I agree about the possibility of missing my chance to put things out there, I think that happens to me sometimes. The connection between my general quietness and my studio work, I think, is because in both cases I think a lot before I ever make a statement. In architecture this means I’ve put a lot of thought into my work, and tried out different things in my head or on the computer or wherever, but I only make one statement that I’ve decided is the best one to make instead of making a lot of little ones that show my process. This gets me into trouble with professors sometimes because I don’t have as much visible work.

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