The Art of Being Busy: Summer Updates and Creative Musings

Summer's in full swing! New job starting, plus new articles on Star Trek & Goddard College's closure. Musings on the importance of having fun with art & staying true to oneself amidst life's chaos.

The Art of Being Busy: Summer Updates and Creative Musings

Summer semester is now in full swing, and life is busy-busy-busy. This week, I've got some more original writing to share in the form of an article about Star Trek that's published in Game Rant, and another article about the closure of Goddard College, my undergrad alma mater.

My new job starts tomorrow, and I'm really excited to dive into the training for that. But I'm not going to go into that too much today. Instead, I have some musings on the nature of art, and a couple of articles to share.

Star Trek: Voyager - How Did The Ship Get Home?

Star Trek: Voyager remains one of Star Trek's most gripping narratives. It follows a lonely Federation star ship, cast 70,000 light years away from Earth by an enigmatic alien force, trying to find its way home. For seven seasons, Captain Kathryn Janeway and her crew grapple with uncharted territories, unknown species, and moral quandaries that test their resolve and their Starfleet principles.

Some of y'all will have seen this piece already, from when I posted it on social media last week. But, for those who haven't, here's my Game Rant debut! I don't know how much work I'll do for Game Rant, or even if I'll keep doing work for them for very long, but maybe they'll let me squeeze in an article a couple of times a month for fun. We'll see.

They're Killing My College

Yeah, if you can't tell by the following article summary, this subject has me salty: "Goddard College's closure is a betrayal rooted in Board of Trustee mismanagement, violating bylaws, and ignoring community efforts to save this progressive institution."

Basically, it seems like the President the board brought in is a piece of work, the current board members have broken a bunch of bylaws, and they're selling the campus and closing the school without any warning (and to an undisclosed company, at that). It's all pretty depressing. I won't be getting too involved in efforts to save the school, which are all probably moot anyway, but I will cry a pox upon the houses of those who set this in motion.

Other writing

I've been having more fun doing some purely for me creative writing this week, and it's like a fresh sea breeze on a blistering day. I'm too fried with life stuff to do much work on my novel, but this side-project stuff is delightful. Which sort of brings me naturally to the subject I want to write about today.

The importance of having fun with art

One of the things that strikes me as vital, as an artist, is for my art to be fun. Capitalism and meritocracy turn everything into a competition for survival. Art can't simply be an act of joyful creation because, if everything you do affects your stability and ability to feed yourself and take care of your family, there isn't going to be enough freedom to enjoy what you create.

I've often wished that I were the sort of person who could sit down and create art on command, but I've always struggled with a sharp sine wave of motivation and passion. Some days I believe in myself and can turn out huge chunks of creative work, while other days it's like doing the laundry to edit a single sentence.

![[art.jpg]] A Calvin and Hobbes comic strip about the nature of art. Calvin says art is a private language, while Hobbes critiques his statement.

Given the humor of the Calvin and Hobbes comic, above, I feel like the truth of art is best captured by the incomparable Bill Watterson himself, from a 2013 interview: "I never set out to make Calvin and Hobbes a popular strip. I just draw it for myself."

One of the functional problems, as I see it, as that I never set out to become a writer in any sort of way that could satisfy capitalism (or meritocracy). I started writing because it was fun. Because I felt like I wanted to understand the world better, and to connect with the world better, and writing seemed like the best way to have that happen. Some $70,000 of college debt later, I am much better at writing than I could have ever imagined... and I even make money doing it.

I've sold short stories and articles and my work here on this newsletter, and on, ensures that I can cover my monthly phone bill. It's a small amount, but I'm proud of it, and grateful to everyone who believes in the work I do enough to support me.

But here's the kicker: as the college debt started piling up, I started working harder at becoming the sort of writer who could publish. A sort of writer determined to create streamlined stories, to wrap things up in three acts, to perfect the polished proposal letter.

Only, that's not who I am.

I do want to publish, to finish books, to make my work reach the people it will connect with. But that can't be the sole driving force behind what I do. My artist's statement is actually a lot like Bill's, above: I do this stuff because I enjoy it. Only, I've often let myself forget what that enjoyment really is all about.

In the next few months, with many massive life events coming up, including the last two semesters of my MLIS degree, a move, and a new major job, I'm not going to have a lot of extra time to write. But I will be writing during that time. And I want to ensure that what I'm writing is fun, that I'm really writing because it's what I love to do, not because I'm scared of the college debt this terrible economic system has foisted upon me. I may never be a best-selling novelist, and that's just fine, so long as the work I do produce is work that makes me feel a little more alive.

The next two weeks

The next two weeks, I have a LOT going on. I doubt I'll be able to get my regular newsletter to y'all in the same format as usual. Maybe it'll be some pictures. Or some poetry I like. I'm not sure, yet, but it will most likely be short and sweet.

Anyway, go easy, my friends. And, if you can't go easy, just go as easy as you can.


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