I Wrote A Blog Post!

I don’t blog consistently. I don’t exercise consistently. I don’t sleep on a consistent schedule. Basically, I’m a really inconsistent human being. I have a tattoo on my arm that is supposed to remind me to balance but it has yet to imbue me with that ability. I suck at balance. Sometimes it seems like the only thing I’m good at is sabotaging myself. But I know that’s not true, it just feels that way.

I’m writing this blog post in spite of the fact that I have nothing to say… because in reality I have a shit ton of things to say, I just don’t have the time/energy/mental-capacity to organize them into coherent/comprehensive/perfect blog posts. Which is probably why I should go back to writing poetry, because that’s a much more flexible medium of expression.

But I don’t feel poetic at the moment. I just feel overwhelmed. I constantly feel overwhelmed. It’s not a function of time either. I could have all the time in the world to do whatever the hell I wanted and I would still feel overwhelmed. Some might say this suggests I may have an anxiety disorder. Personally, I’m really fucking tired of people trying to label everything I experience in terms of pathology. I’m tired of the entire “mental health care” paradigm. It causes otherwise compassionate human beings to offer the most dehumanizing and disempowering “advice” to people who experience mental/psychological distress.

I could write a whole blog post about that. In fact, I’ve thought about it many times. Started it once or twice, even. But my thoughts, they just won’t tame themselves into adequate words. And here I have to quote Albert Einstein because he expresses so well how I feel about the way “thoughts” (i.e. understanding, realizations, etc.) are actually produced: “These thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterward.”

Given the above statement, it’s strange that I consider myself a writer. Writing (putting thoughts into words) is actually the most difficult thing in the world for me. It takes me, like, an hour to write a two or three paragraph response to an article. But, perhaps owing to what some may label borderline-OCD, or, more benignly, “perfectionism,” I simply cannot type a sentence without re-reading it and editing it a hundred times (I’m exaggerating obviously, not a hundred times, but pretty damn close). This is what makes me a “good” writer—but it’s fucking painful!

Where am I going with all this? Who knows. But I wrote a blog post, damn it. I put some thoughts into words. And, in defiance of my OCD-anxiety-perfectionism, I am going to publish this blog post despite its imperfections (and lack of purpose).

¡Olé!

[UPDATE: I have already “edited” this post at least 7 times since I published it a few hours ago.]

Verse Journalism

Check out my post on the JOT blog!: http://www.jot.org/blog/2012/03/22/verse-journalism-seminar-with-quraysh-ali-lansana/

It’s a recap of the three-part seminar I participated in, hosted by the Neighborhood Writing Alliance and lead by Quraysh Ali Lansana, poet, educator, and activist mentored by Chicago’s own Pulitzer Prize winner, Gwendolyn Brooks. The workshop focused on the technique of “verse journalism,” a term coined by Brooks to describe the method of using poetry to report the news.

Art has always played a crucial role in the fight for justice. Today, with our globally connected technology, we are also witnessing an unprecedented surge in citizen journalism. Verse Journalism weaves the power of art and activism into a single poetic punch.