Writing for pleasure

6 weeks into full-fledged blogging, I find myself approaching the keyboard for the sheer pleasure of writing again. Have I found the music of my word song that I was looking for?

I don’t know.

I haven’t actually thought about it recently, I’ve just been writing.

The barrier to sitting down to write – for work or pleasure – has diminished in intensity. I do not feel the reluctance I used to at the thought of having to work on writing. While I’m still facing challenges with mental composition during idle moments, a facet of my writing style where thoughts and ideas would coalesce in my resting brain; the sense of writing as an onerous task or burden has been lifted. Aspects of behavioural change in my computer and internet usage make me want to unpack this further.

One of the biggest reasons I used to shy away from sitting down to write at length in recent years was the sense that it would grab much of my attention in a deeply focused and concentrated manner for an extended length of time. And for some reason I was reluctant to begin a task that would eat up my attention in this way, even though I had no trouble back then with spending an equivalent length of time in social media activity such as browsing news and adding links on Twitter.

The latter felt like something that would not be affected by breaking off and returning, while the same could not be said about writing. I do not have the concepts or words for this but the idea of continuous partial attention is somehow related. That is, it seems to me I had become accustomed to tasks or activities only requiring partial attention and reluctant to begin those which required my full and focused attention.

How much of this has to do with the evolution of habit due to browsing behaviour, I cannot say. But the recent experiments in changing my computing and media consumption habits and the simultaneous change in rediscovering the pleasure of writing – losing myself in the act of thinking and writing, as I once used to do – hint at a possible connection.

This in turn makes me reluctant to revert back to old patterns and habits. I’d rather continue my experimentation and the changes in my internet ‘dietary habits’ than risk losing the pleasure I have found again in thinking deeply and writing with focused concentration, rather than interrupted with urges to break off and check the mail or Twitter.

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