Recent Updates (Feb 2024)

Haven't updated either my main blog or this "shorts" version for a long time, and thought it would be a good time to write up a short update and try to get back to the habit of writing. What has really caused this huge break in writing is not something dramatic, though -- last time I posted, I was just done with my degree and then went on a bit of a vacation until I came back to start my job. It might be easy to blame it on work, but unfortunately (or fortunately) my job is probably not busy enough to prevent me from writing whatsoever. For me, the only major roadblock to more writing is the mere fact that I stopped writing for a while when I took that break after graduation.

I will start by being honest and admit that writing (mainly blogging) has always felt like a liability to me, in the sense that it is something I do in addition to all my main activities, instead of something I do out of necessity. And since it tends to demand a lot of energy out of me, I seem to tend to fall into the lowest-energy equilibrium of procrastinating and not actually producing any writing. Occasionally, I would try to force myself to do more writing, which results in periods of higher activity on my blogs. These bursts however are hard to maintain, and as soon as I stop for any extended period of time, i have to go through the entire process of lifting myself out of the "low energy state" all over again.

Why force myself to write in the first place? Every time I try to restart writing, the same question comes to mind. My answer would always be something along the lines of me wanting to leave a trace of my memories, my emotions and fragments of my daily life at each stage such that I can revisit later. There is only so much memory I could hold inside my own brain, but what if I want to know what I was thinking 2 years ago? The only reliable solution would be through posts I have written at that time. Pictures could be nice, too, but nothing captures what is going on inside the brain quite as well as writing. And that is what has been driving me to write all this time.

Recently, though, after starting to work full-time, I think I realized another answer -- to have a life outside of work, or whatever is necessary to live. If every day is just about waking up, work, eating, more work, and watching YouTube mindlessly after all of that, then what even is the meaning of doing everything to stay alive? This applies to not just writing, but a range of other hobbies that I sort of gave up after moving to Canada as well, including music, electronics, etc. When I was living in a student dorm, it was not possible to do a lot of these (albeit writing should be unaffected), but now that I have a real job and a "real" residence, I should really invest more time into building my life outside of just work.

On the other hand, the mindset of "forcing" myself to write is probably not sustainable, either. It has to eventually become an enjoyable activity, and I think to start with, I should not focus too much on making every single piece of writing a full, self-contained essay. There can be short opinions, incomplete arguments, but what is important is to get them out and a fuller piece can be produced later. This was the original intention of this "Shorts" blog, but with time it turned out to be simply another place for my essays that I didn't want on my main blog. It is probably now time to change it back to its roots.

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