Today I read through my graduating thesis from 2008.1 I expected to find seven-years-past me a cringeworthy writer with bad ideas. While I can now see the strong need for an editor, I found myself confronted by an author with a strong voice, well-deployed allusions, in-jokes, and an ability to get a point across.
The person who wrote that thesis seven years ago had spent the previous four years writing, reading, writing some more, reading again, reading, oh god how is there so much reading, this is too much writing, oh god I’m still writing and it’s six in the morning and class starts in three hours and I’m not done yet and I think my printer is out of ink, and, it turns out that being in university is both like having an infant and being one.
The point is that I wrote a lot and read a lot and wrote some more. I had a better sense for the craft because I was constantly practicing it and reading people who wrote for a living.
Today, I write computer code.2 I communicate with my colleagues spread across the globe in a variety of ways, but most are pithy and tend towards function over form. There are a lot of emojis and gifs involved.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that I’ve probably regressed, at least in my ability to make a point in a deliberate manner over greater than three paragraphs. My reading tends to be more recreational than educational. This post marks 71 days of posting in a row, but they’ve all been necessarily brief and far shorter than a fraction of the amount I wrote in a day while I was in university.
This would all be fine if I didn’t harbour some notion of being a writer somewhere around the core of my being. I became a programmer because I was a writer who blogged and dicked around with his blog and accidentally tricked himself into becoming a programmer.
It just feels weird to want to become the writer you once were. It’ll probably take another year or three.
- Since it became relevant for the first time since then. How often will you need a thesis on faith and reason in relation to postmodernism from a university nobody has every heard of? ↩
- Of no surprise to anyone, least of all me, was that a degree in the Liberal Arts from a marginal Christian University wasn’t a surefire career propellant. ↩