Growing

Eat, Sleep, Repeat

There’s this album I used to listen to named Eat, Sleep, Repeat. It’s a downer record, for sure, as you can imagine by the title. Lyrically, it explores the cyclicality of life and also the meaninglessness of it.

(I was emo when this came out so BACK OFF!)

The thought of a single human-life being summed up by the words

“Eat

Sleep

Repeat”

can kind of be frightening.

Life can be like that though, so cyclical it often feels purposeless.

Eat, Sleep, Dance!

I’ve realized since the album’s release that the singer (or character of lyrics, maybe) wasn’t condemning routine; he was just down. He was in a valley. He was also an artist.

(Foolish, I feel now, after adopting his outlook as doctrine).

Artists tend to overanalyze life (or under-analyze life) into whatever they want it to be. If they want to be stuck in a hamster wheel, they will build themselves a hamster wheel or color the world as such. There’s an obvious temper of youth which cloaks the music and message; it’s crazy what you identify yourself with when you’re a kid.

I’ve since discovered that life is naturally cyclical, and that’s alright. We can have good days and bad, good years and bad. Many of us see the big picture and can sail steady through it all. I look back at myself and wonder why I couldn’t. I was hyper-responsive, I guess, the type to get stuck in valleys and curse them only to later summit peaks and praise them, all the while missing meaning, missing the purpose of creation, missing consistency.

How are you holding up these days?

One day, I want to write and record another album. I think I’ll title it

Eat. Coffee. Poop. Netflix. Work. Eat. Blog. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. 

And it’s going to be a happy record, one that sees the good in the bad, one that can sail. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?” Yes. Yes, I think so.

Departing Queries:

  1. Are there any outdated doctrines from your youth that you’re still holding on to?
  2. Do you focus on what is true and noble, or are you living only in response to the temporary?
  3. What are the routines in your life that color your identity, make you who you are?

Copeland_-_Eat,_Sleep,_RepeatP.S. I still really like this album.

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The Best Writer in the Room (Give or Take 30 English Students)

As many of you know, I just started my Junior year here at the University of Rochester, NY. I’m studying entrepreneurship but also creative writing, as a minor. I’m a transfer student which means I came from a community college.

In the first week of school, my playwright professor led the class in a writing “Impulse” exercise. Basically, it goes like this:

You close your eyes and relax. A detailed scene is spoken before you and after a few quiet moments, you write non-stop for fifteen-minutes.

I’ve done these exercises before but have never really appreciated them. Often, other writers tell me the importance of writing a first draft non-stop without editing. Personally, I hate doing that. I don’t know why. I stop and read and edit. I’m positive it’s why my blog posts take so damn long.

Regardless, I did the impulse-exercise and the results came out as expected: a jumbled mess of words and a decent start. Nothing to write home about.

I was ignorant because I assumed everyone around me had a similar situation. A complete mess. But I was wrong. The professor asked students to read their work. Out-loud. Yes. I was wrong.

I listened to my classmates read their work, and it was absolutely amazing. I’m surrounded by wonderful, talented writers. In the fifteen minutes of writing, most (if not all) managed wonderful characters, detailed settings, and accomplished word-usage. I looked down at my work:

The cat go meow. Dog chase it on park. Cow go moo. 

Crap. I have some work to do.

Chicken Scratch

For most of my academic career, I’ve been the best writer in the room. That reads kind of cocky, but it’s true. Students in community college just don’t care. I put actual effort into my papers and found it really easy to impress my instructors and fellow students. Scholarships, literary journals, 4.0, etc.

At Rochester, the tables have turned. I’m no longer the best writer in the room. It turns out, everybody in the room is a good writer and often better.

Wait. Don’t Go! I’m not fishing for compliments (I promise).

As tempted as I was to drop-out and reenroll in community-chicken-college to satisfy my comfort zone, I know it would do me no good. It hurts when you learn you’re not the best at what you thought you were. I’m a decent writer; I know that, but I need to grow. That’s okay. I can always get better.

Despite the gross sense of intimidation and inadequacy I’ve faced this last week, I’m absolutely positive I’m in the right place. Every writer needs a push, and I’ve been pushed. In fact, since that first class, I’ve been working on my writing more than I ever have. Thank God for that. 

(I know it’s healthy because it stings).

Ever find yourself in a similar situation? Any advice? How do you write a first draft?