Grave of a child

I’ve stopped reading and writing.


My kindle is chock full of “To Read”s yet, there they sit. I’ve got a dozen story ideas listed on a whiteboard each one glaring down at me. My blog inbox is bulging. My outbox is crickets. My fingers creak as I write these words. In fact, penning this post feels like digging the grave of a child. But it has festered and begun to stink and so must be put to rest.

I spend my time now, wasting it. Youtube, Netflix, and of course the job — I have to teach myself Accounting 101 in the next few months. It’s killing me inside.

And yet, there’s this tectonic ache building within me. The stress between artistic plates strains as I attempt to ignore it. But when the slip finally comes on what will I expend my efforts? What topic, concept, or endeavor deserves my time? And herein is the thrust of this post…

Why do we read what we read? Why did you choose to read these words? What drove you to select that novel? That Aeon or Medium or WordPress article? And, more importantly, should I consider your underlying needs for written entertainment as I choose my next writer’s work?

There’s no end to online explorations as to “why we write and/or create” — what the muse whispers in our ear — what inner force compels us to imagine, sculpt and produce.

But what about the flip side? What drives you to consume? What notions worm their insidious threads of quest, of exploration into your mind? Notions that will not be suppressed — that insist that you read that novel, research that technology or phenomenon, study and probe those people, places, events and ideas until you are satiated?

And shouldn’t such factors influence what creative topic or concept I choose next? For I prefer (as do all writers) to write words that will get read and enjoyed, celebrated even. Sure, we write foremost for ourselves. But if we didn’t care to have our work consumed by others, we would write it — and then delete it. So of course writers crave readers.

But what do readers crave? And why? Why do you read what you read, watch what you watch?

26 thoughts on “Grave of a child

  1. I think my main reason to read, or watch movies or whatever is to be inspired. Or maybe the main reason is to be entertained, and then I justify the “lost” time with inspiration.Depends a bit on what I read, though. Some things are mainly to learn or understand more. Good post, it made me think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi A.Mole, I did something in relationship to your post. I was watching Testament for Youth last night and I got this idea for a poem. Put it up on THs. It is about numbers. Don’t know if it is any good,but the point is it came over me from watching the movie. Something you might have a problem with. Nothing about the poem is in the movie, but it has the same sentiment. Sort of. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I call it breathing. Thanks. Duke

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  3. Anony, I love to write, to create imaginary worlds, imaginary humans, that come to life for me. I write to experience “What Dreams May Come”. I write for myself. It doesn’t matter to me at all what other people think. True success for me is internal satisfaction of creating word magic, a turn of a phrase, a picture in words, a story that I find interesting, and always it must have a ring of truth to it. Stories are things that we wish for, may even have happened, or a lesson to learn or have learned and what we may even what to escape into, free of daily concerns.

    Anony, ff you write to please others, you will never please yourself. Karen 🙂

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    1. I know. But I find that there are societal pressures that cannot be ignored. Perhaps one is swayed simply by living in one’s time. I’d like to think I could influence my end product somewhat to at least rhyme with society’s expectations.
      In the end, yeah, I guess I do just write what I want to write. I just thought that demand should be at least considered.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi A. Mole,

    Long time no see. You and I are similar. I mentioned that before. The Grave of a Child image written last week works well with Face-Down Girl poem I wrote last night. Not the content, rather the doubts of why write at all. (An army helicopter is circling above checking on the crowds at the gas stations while a band is marching up my street playing for a wedding. Such is the full life of Mexico.) A. Mole…I see nothing wrong with doubts or doing things other than writing. Writers have always wasted time living…women, drugs, masturbation, booze, working, jail, injury, war, travel…all of these things take you away from actually putting words on paper. Funny, we end up writing about the stuff we were doing when we weren’t writing. Nothing to be done about this. I have gotten some pretty good ideas from watching movies and reading great works of fiction. I don’t plagiarize, but I do steal feelings I get from literature. The good and great things in a book are not found in the writing, but rather the reading. The interaction between our senses and the art form is a very big part of living a thoughtful life. You and I are lucky to be able to contemplate these sorts of issues. Most writers are poor judges of their own writing. Too many examples to name. Writing for one’s self should be the main goal. Nothing else is worth a shit. Beat yourself up only to make something better. Don’t let doubts be paralytic. That condition has little to do with talent, but a lot to do with self confidence. Go watch Birdman…again. Like William Goldman (screenwriter) says: nobody knows anything. He always thought about that when he got stuck. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > The interaction between our senses and the art form is a very big part of living a thoughtful life.

      Of all the folks I’ve come across here and everywhere, I’d say you were one of the most quotable. You and Phil H. Your phrase sculpting never fails to send me pondering your words. Thanks for reading.


  5. Ahhh…the old cut off the nose to spite the face routine. Nothing really matters, dust in the wind all the justification bullshit. Happens from time to time. I will step to the other side of pithy meme philosophy and say “Argue for your limitations and they are yours.” Give your brain an enema, there are no valid excuses. Realize you are not solving world hunger or curing debilitating disease, take a big dump and put things in perspective. Nobody in the what have you done for me tomorrow world really gives a shit how hard you work or what sort of completely useless in the course of your being shit you can fill your head with and a week or a year or whenever the next rung appears and you’re old and realize it really didn’t matter…never confuse vocational activity with productivity, stop sulking, turn off the tv, we all suck. Again, “Argue for your limitations and they are yours.”
    Go write something. Pick up your grocery list, turn it into a scene. Give Netflix the finger, you are never as toast as you think, only as toast as you allow…
    I fart in your general direction you tiny brained wiper of other people’s bottoms. Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time. Picking this up yet? Put on your big boy panties and stop whining. What, you want a poor deprived arteest pity party because you dropped your oar in the pond? “Argue for your limitations and they are yours.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trying to parse “argue for your limitations and they are yours.” This sounds like inverted cajoling. If I argue FOR my limitations, then I’d be solidifying and justifying the constraints I’ve placed upon myself.
      Perhaps by owning them, I can work to reduce them?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cajoling yes. I had a t shirt once…A clown with a ‘no’ circle around it, no Bozos. There will be no self inflicted. Owning is correct. Think of a good old b&w lawyer movie, with yourself as the star, pleading your case aloud like your post and once found guilty you get sentenced to time served and go write something. Anything. I’m with you man. I went to 5he woodshed for six weeks because I suck so much and coming out of it is like a stupid stationary bicycle. A lot of work to get nowhere but we burned some calories…now, go write. Something short, a brain fart. Expand on it daily. Rinse and repeat.

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  6. Passive consumption is addiction. Active consumption follows the whisper of a muse (as you say)… a healthy one, at least it feels like it; a coincidence here, a curiosity there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think we read to satisfy primal urges. Your title on this post grabbed my attention because a red flag raised in my head: danger > possible distress > I need to know more because of compassion and perhaps self preservation.

    Liked by 1 person

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