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On How I Used to Be a Writer

March 17, 2015

Dear Laura,

Remember those days when you spent all day sitting in front of a computer screen, drinking coffee, having deep thoughts, and transcribing your brilliance so the rest of the world could benefit from it? When you used to notice small, significant flashes of meaning in your life and had the time and wisdom to reflect on them? When you were never, ever tempted to use an extra, unnecessary adjective or adverbial phrase?

Ha! Right, me either. But somehow you’ve gone from the occasion post and the infrequent pertinent observation to…nothing. At all. For the last 3 and 1/2 years.

What happened? I’ll give you just a few free passes: you had 2 more kids. You moved to a country with the most sucky, infuriating internet on the freaking planet. Your husband’s job became significantly more stressful. Your sweet, glowingly happy first baby boy turned into a hyper, intensely emotional, still sweet but not so happy little being who demanded most of your attention and almost all of your psychological resources (and you still failed, often). You got older but somehow not wiser.

And meanwhile, other blogs were so well-written. So unique. So witty and inspirational. So everything that you wanted to do but couldn’t.

And your initial reason for starting a blog became obsolete. Your parents want to see photos of your kids? Facebook. Your siblings need realtime reports on Shanghai? iMessage. Your friends like to hear snippets about your life in Asia? WhatsApp. You feel like sharing the odd funny observation with a few people? WeChat. Everyone you know and love needs a window into your world? Skype. (Okay, Skype was always around even before you moved.)

The world shrunk.

Or so you told yourself–when you even thought about it.

But then, one night, you found your way back to this little blog that you painstakingly put together. Does it even still operate? Do people still read posts that don’t originate from Huffington Post? Does 2015 have space for the “miscellaneous observations about living in China’s capital of culture and contradiction” that you so boldly promised?

Why the hell not, you told yourself. The world can always use another writer.

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