Monday, 17 October 2011

Hobbies and Interests

The age-old advice to writers is to write what they know, and by extension what they are interested in.  That way their knowledge and passion can shine through from the page and illuminate their vision much more readily for their readers.  This has worked for many writers, from Jane Austen's disdain of high society to J. K. Rowling's obvious mastery of witchcraft.  Resurrecting boarding-school fiction certainly seems like some Dark Arts to me.

Being a writer that writes far too little, I have spent much of my time and energy dabbling in various other things to keep me occupied.  A wide variety of eclectic subjects has piqued my interest over the years, ranging from politics to professional wrestling.  Not surprisingly much of this ends up revolving around writing - I'm hardly likely to get in the ring and tackle a rassler' with my cane.  Maybe if I had a tennis raquet... but the point is, writing seems to be a way in which I am most comfortable expressing myself.  Some people like to dance, some to skate, some to kick a ball around a field.  To me, writing is how I deal with life, blow off steam, and writing is the avenue through which I meet the big wide world.

Of course I don't just write about things - I have to first do things to write about.  Or read about them.  Or watch them.  Then I write, and write, and write.  Not that there's much here to show off at the moment, for much of my writing has been back and forth banter on forums or my thoughts condensed into private emails.  Reviews seem to be the in thing for the moment - everybody has an opinion, and now that everybody has a blog, they feel the need to share that opinion, often in a quirky style with a gleefully silly little rating system at the end.  Like six sleeping kittens out of ten.

And that's a good thing.  It has become a bit der riguer to complain about people complaining, and this being the Internet, what was the next logical step?  But the fact is, the average person has a lot to say and a lot to learn from the average person next to them.  We spout our opinions, we critique TV shows, films, wrestling matches, books, computer games; whatever it is that we last consumed.  Through this process, we become more aware of what we are watching and what makes it tick.  This can be frustrating for writers and producers who cannot seem to satisfy a fickle audience, but the process also forces these creators to up their game and make better media.

There's a lot of media I'm interested in.  Not just wrestling, which I know is a silly soap opera, but it is a very physical representation of how to string stories together.  I have actually learned a lot from wrestling, but that's a story for another time.  Right now, I just wanted to outline some of the things I am interested in, so they don't bewilder you when I drop a post on them now and then.  While this while primarily be a writing blog, I've always got something to write about wrestling, movies, computer games, technology, politics, and philosophy.  If you're the sort of person who just snorted and thought 'great, another idiot wants to tell the world what he thinks', you're probably in the wrong place.  It is a blog, after all, and what else do writers do but tell the world what they think, through words?

Anyway, next time we'll have a post on what I think about a couple of my favourite computer games, one of which is more of a science experiment than a mere game.  And even if no one reads it, at least it'll be a decent writing exercise to collect my thoughts and set them out structurally on a page.

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