Saturday, February 9, 2013

Writing Worthy of Notice vs. Living Worthy of Notice

There was a time that the author felt that his world was perfectly aligned with the descriptions and the words spelled out on these posts, and that the posts themselves were a springboard and preparations for something greater in the direction of his life.  But as Chinese New Year's 2013 approaches, and the daily grind of work at a faraway corner of the world sinks into his psyche as a persistent reality rather than some sort of ephemeral adventure, for some reason, that notion of writing as a target of life is starting come into heavy doubt.

Recently, a friend on the other corner of the world and an avid reader of these countless personal posts, suddenly messaged regarding editorship position opening at one of the world's most reputed political-economic magazines.  The author would have jumped at such opportunities, seeing it as a way to find a larger audience for a personal voice that is starting to become more and more restricted in the little friendship circles that this blog in question can no longer escape.  Writing itself was a passion then, and the there seemed to be countless topics available.

Perhaps a reflection of such recent past is the best way to sum up all that happened since the last Chinese New Year's, when the overwhelming focus on ideology and grassroots philosophy of then have gradually, or maybe not so gradually, gave way to the concrete observation of societal functioning that are firmly rooted in on-the-ground observations.  The incidents that are worthy of attention, rather than writings themselves worthy of attention, have rapidly taken the center stage of this blog as well as the mundane everyday thoughts of the author.

And as the author's footprints continue to transverse remote corners of this planet, there grows the realization that seemingly minute incidents with strong social implications can only be had, be experienced where they are most likely to happen, first-hand.  Comfort of daily life, surrounded by familiar conveniences and orderliness, will only serve to instill a sense of empty materialistic entitlement not conducive to the sort of "thinking outside the box" mentality needed to do anything new, whether it be behaving, thinking, and most importantly, writing.

As such, the idea of sitting in an air-conditioned office in New York, London, Singapore, or Hong Kong, dressed in suits and sipping expensive coffee from Starbucks may only serve to destroy the author's mentality, making his writing more formulaic, more pedantic, and more stereotyped.  A couple of so-called "field trips" to distant destination would not bring the author out of that inflexible shell, just as it will be difficult to bring him out of that 5-start hotel to face the uncertain of strange outside world, supposedly filled with conflicts and trappings of so-called "developing world inconveniences."

In the daily routine of staring at blank computer screens, flying to distant destination for a few days at a time, supposedly doing "in-depth research" on the latest socio-political phenomenon, writing itself will become a chore.  It will become an arduous task of vainly assigning superficial observations from the high-up hotel room windows, condescendingly upon the gritty street level scenes below, as evidence to prove a set of assumptions, theories, social patterns shared and deeply palatable for a set audience pretending to learn about new things yet convinced of their own unchanging correctness and all-knowing intelligence.

Ultimately, maybe a shifting focus on what the author would like to write about is not really about writing at all.  Instead of finding new subjects to write about, maybe the author has reached a stage in his life when he would like to be the subject on which many pieces shall be written.  For that to happen, he must remain adventurous, remain elusive, and remain aggressive in pursuing an unconventional lifestyle that will lead to unconventional accomplishments.  While patience and luck are needed, what is most important is that he continues to subject himself to opportunities for participating in something new and unusual.

And surely every chance to resort to the standard white-collar lifestyle, whether it be as a salary-man or an editor at a famous news-magazine, is bound to diminish chances for one to become that subject of writing for other aspiring writers and future generations.  So as the clock ticks toward another Chinese New Year, the knack for what is unconventional once again triumphs over the desire to seek stability and short-term comfort.  Only by staying true to what are unknown and perceived to be unstable can anyone find those possibilities of hitting it really big.

9 comments:

  1. So is this your application letter or what;)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. So is this your application letter or what;)?

    ReplyDelete
  3. nope. more like why I am not applying, haha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,

    Become a part of your friend's network.

    Xiaochen Su
    Invite sent: 12 February, 2013

    Continue

    notify-d5850f3c-7384-11e2-bab1-00304834ba4a@disqus.net was invited to join SkillPages by Xiaochen Su. To stop receiving emails from SkillPages click here .
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  5. Yeah, was kidding. You could've just said no, thanks:P

    ReplyDelete
  6. But interesting developments nonetheless

    ReplyDelete
  7. meh people change over time, I suppose haha

    ReplyDelete


  8. Hi,

    Unlock new opportunities for you and your contacts.


    Xiaochen Su

    Invite sent: 12 February, 2013

    Join me on SkillPages

    notify-d5850f3c-7384-11e2-bab1-00304834ba4a@disqus.net was invited to join SkillPages by Xiaochen Su. To stop receiving emails from SkillPages click here .

    © 2013 SkillPages, Blackrock Business Park, Dublin, Ireland and 228 Hamilton Avenue, 3rd Floor, Palo Alto, CA 94301.

    ReplyDelete


  9. Hi,

    Unlock new opportunities for you and your contacts.


    Xiaochen Su

    Invite sent: 12 February, 2013

    Join me on SkillPages

    notify-d5850f3c-7384-11e2-bab1-00304834ba4a@disqus.net was invited to join SkillPages by Xiaochen Su. To stop receiving emails from SkillPages click here .

    © 2013 SkillPages, Blackrock Business Park, Dublin, Ireland and 228 Hamilton Avenue, 3rd Floor, Palo Alto, CA 94301.

    ReplyDelete