This post is merely an excuse to demonstrate that writing, the actual action of putting text to document (digital or otherwise) is but one stage on a larger continuum of activity. Those pre-writing gestation periods of daydreaming and internal dialogues leading to research and outlining, tinkering and maneuvering into a structure, followed by procrastination and delay (further gestation, if I want to sound optimistic about it), followed by the writing and then the post-writing activity. This is the activity I am addressing here.
The post-writing psychology is a mysterious beast. There is elation and trepidation, melancholy and mourning, reflection and consolidation. There is a natural nostalgia. For me, I rarely look into the future at these moments (an oddity for me) as I can’t envision it past the world I just created in the writing. When the writing is finished, I want to sit there with it and mourn its passing. We had been friends, traveling companions for so long. And then the next day I begin to chart a world, a future, without it. I push the finished writing further into the recesses of my Dropbox, only to be stumbled upon by accident, in a folder entitled Finished Writing. How arrogant. It is just a trial or temporary separation as nothing is ever finished. Everything is always reflected upon and made anew.
So post-writing I sit here and scramble for purpose without letting myself just wallow in the purposelessness of rest and reflection. I find myself turning to the same things: media I have created in the in-between-ness of this life, between assignments, deadlines, and responsibility. Just when I had a smartphone and I couldn’t care less about productivity for the rest of the day. Sunsets and sounds, travel, isolation and sanctuary. A retreat.
So this is what I look at. Listen to. Rebuild from. I have collaged a thousand sunsets but only present a few here. I have recorded thousands of audio samples from the exotic and the banal (which can be one in the same when your physical home isn’t your emotional or intellectual core. I have sequenced a thousand playlists, discarding the songs that were too personal, too related to the last piece of writing, just like a breakup. I sit and breathe and remain still for as long as I can, because tomorrow I will be wired up and ready to tackle the next challenge. Writing never gets old that way.