You don’t have to make something that people call art. Living is an artistic activity, there is an art to getting through the day. – Viggo Mortensen
Being cool isn’t cool enough, not anymore, at least. I was listening to a short audio clip fo Zadie Smith (her again!) and she said that young writers are full of aphorisms, tidbits of wisdom. She mentioned that the older she gets, the less she knows, and her work reflected this.
I agree with her. The more I seem to know, the less I seem to know. The less I appear to know, the more I question my reasons for doing the things I consider important.
See my choice of word – “nice.” Not “important” or “beneficial” but “nice”. It is a most loaded adjective – nondescript yet saccharine, vague and empty while also appearing to be profound. We understand what it describes, a feeling, yet we cannot wholly or even eloquently articulate it or the feeling it captures.
Back to the story, I had abandoned those endeavours until now. I want to set up a Jekyll website on my computer for my writing and to play around with how it looks until I am ready to deploy it to a server for access from the internet.
I thought I would try something new. I may have to use WordPress for a while longer. When I am prepared to make noise again, I hope my writing will have significantly improved, to a point one of my best friend’s can read it comfortably as an editor.
I cannot do any of this yet, setting up Jekyll or attempting Rails, because my computer is old and there are some dependencies it cannot install. The writing I am still trying. Tempting as it may be to walk away, there is a niggling notion that my words might have an impact.
What does all this have to do with coolness? Everything. My motivations for programming were to look cool, to impress. Coolness is not a good enough reason to hit the keys. I am holding off on coding until I get a new fast, powerful and light laptop. By that time, I will have figured out a proper reason to get back to programming.
What about my motivations for writing? I have yet to figure this out. For now, I will let myself be carried by the motion, by my fingers and my pens. I will enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. And why did I mention Zadie at the beginning? Well, didn’t you see the wisdom there?