Monday, January 10, 2011

Heavens to Betsy, She's At It Again!

After a ten-month hiatus (and likely preceding another), I am resurrecting the long-neglected blog. To those of you who had every confidence in my ability to adhere to a semi-regular writing routine, I appreciate your misplaced credence -- it warms the cockles of my heart. To those of you who knew me well enough to scoff at me from the get-go, I commend you and will have your prize in the post posthaste (heehee). To those of you who don't give a rat's left buttock and never have. . . well, I can't very well discriminate against my own kind, can I?

One would think I'd know better than to enter into another activity requiring commitment and regularity with the full knowledge that my diary entries of yesteryear became, over the course of about eight years, bi-annual snapshots of my existence, penned more out of a sense of obligation than for anything creative and worthwhile to say. For most of my pathetically narcissistic adolescence, I felt I owed it to my fan base of dust bunnies and deceased pine beetles to produce enthralling literature and, failing that, to at least provide a fleeting synopsis of what I'd given up doing and with whom I'd given up associating in the 1-2 years since I last showed my proverbial face.

This pattern seems to have held true in the virtual realm as of late, as Facebook has eliminated the necessity of "catching up" with one's comrades, alter-egos and/or under-bed critters in any format requiring more of one's time and attention than a 420-character-or-fewer mental retch. Alas, as much as I'd love to peg the blame on Facebook and its loathsome reinforcement of brevity for my new-found inability to commit to any expressive medium more involved than the occasional status update, I've come to the epiphany that my bane is actually my 420-character attention span.

It would seem that, like one's stomach, one's attention span shrinks when it is not consistently masked to accommodate large quantities of food -- er, information. There was a time when I could park my derriere at the computer and whip out a five page paper, a chapter for the next great American fantasy novel (narcissism, remember?), or just an extensive email at the drop of a hat --and do it well. These days, I struggle to spit out an introductory paragraph in under a couple hours, and I can't even remember the last time I turned in a paper on time without still half-assing the last page or two at O'Dark-Thirty. I have not read for pleasure in four years, and the radical majority of my assigned reading gets banished to the back burner until the last minute, at which time I turn to Sparknotes as a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card. My capacity to both produce and absorb information has been all but obliterated since I started taking college courses, and for an English major who clings to the delusion that she will make her fortune either on Jeopardy or by selling her life story to some shady publisher, this doesn't bode especially well. As a result of my astounding ability to produce final-copy academic literature from my rectum at the 11th hours (ah, narcissism -- one of my life's few constants), I've lost my drive to function above the minimum daily requirement, since a minimal level of effort on my part has earned me A's for four years. This semester, however, will be asking much more of me (to the tune of 21 credits) and I am ill prepared for it.

Perhaps it's for this reason that I'm resurrecting the blog: I need to relearn how to apply myself. Holding myself accountable has done diddly squat, so it is my hope that the same fan base that drives me to post witty nothings on Facebook will drive me to produce longer and more involved compositions. /narcissim

The moral of the story: If you beg for it, I will write. Otherwise, I will see the lot of you in ten months' time.