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6 April 2007

Where Have I Gone Wrong?

by Patrick

Writing is a disgusting habit that I gave up long ago. Worse than smoking, chewing or dipping. Worse than crack cocaine. I used to be a writer. I wrote all the time, every chance I got; at night, in the mornings, in the afternoon. Anytime I could get a couple minutes to myself, there I would be, furiously writing away.

Well, eventually I was able to kick the habit. Or so I thought. I became a programmer. And I loved programming! It wasn’t disgusting at all. It was valuable and people found the results worthwhile. It has got to the point that whenever I have free time what you will find me doing is programming. Writing a web site here, a windows GUI there, or creating some database on another server; my biggest hobby for the last many years has been programming.

But now I realize I just turned programming into writing! I have taken something pure and useful and made it disgusting. I program now when I am idle. I program with the idea in my head that someday maybe someone could potentially want this website. I fantasize about starting businesses and selling out and growing rich. It is awful! Nauseating! I am a bad, bad man.

If I am going to pervert programming like this, I may as well just keep writing. At least that is something I only do behind closed doors. I am not one of those “let’s go to Starbucks and show people how I write” types. I write where no one can see me doing it.

Ideally, I would like to combine my two addictions. Writing and programming. Perhaps write about programming? Or make a website about writing. In the back of my head I’ve always wanted to start an online magazine. I even started one or two in the past. I’ve edited other’s magazines.

Writing is the ultimate hubris, the conceit that your words are somehow important enough that other people should take time out from their day to read them. It is a disgusting, vile fantasy you play in your mind when you write. That somehow you matter and people will read you. A magazine is only slightly less vile. With a magazine it is not just your words that you think are important enough that others should read, you are taking it on yourself to choose other people’s words for your readers. You are nothing more than a word broker at that point.

All of it is a nasty function of the ego that compels you like an addiction to just keep going. Because, God knows, if no one is reading now, it is just because you aren’t writing enough yet.

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