Here I am again, having yet another existential crisis about my life and whatever the heck I am to do with it.
As I’ve said in my first post of 2019, I’ve felt as if 2018 slipped by without me noticing much of it. I’ve noted before that it may be just a natural occurrence for the body to experience time “quicker” (of course, this is not factual, simply just how we feel) as it ages; I’ve always noted that it might be because of the technological distractions that we find in our every day lives and how we interact with them.
Now, I’ve conjured up an even more depressing thought, that being an aspiring writer (random side note: I always type “writer”, then delete it and retype “aspiring writer” which makes me wonder when, or if, I’ll ever start calling myself a writer) has somehow contributed to this loss of time and experience. That perhaps there is a correlation between spending so much time in my imaginary worlds that I’ve simply let this year of my life slip by. To a greater and more severe extent, I wonder whether eventually, with this choice of profession, I’ll become so involved in my fiction that I’ll forget to live, forget to experience love and friendship in all its beautiful complexity (ironically, I’ve learned about this complexity mostly from stories).
This leads me to question the inherent value of fiction and why we read it. Of course, a couple of reasons come to mind: for pure enjoyment, for experiencing something bigger than life, for learning about the wider world. But is there, or should there be a balance between experiencing life and reading fiction? Two quotes, both by fictional wise old men, come to mind.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
– Albus Dumbledore
“The world is not in your books and maps; it’s out there.”
– Gandalf the Gray
Ironically, both these quotes telling the reader to go outside and play are from fictional characters in books.
On a more serious note, it’s a rather depressing to think that one only ever lived on paper, and that in reality, the writer is just another lonely creature stacked inside his or her room.
Of course, I can’t take for granted the amazing gift that writers (and aspiring writers) have for creating entire world and characters, and I do think that I’m extremely lucky to have something that keeps me alive.