Friday, April 27, 2007

About literature

I was editing a blog post for work, and posting a comment for another post, when I came across an interesting environmental blog. I wanted to find out more about his background (just to see whether this was someone who actually knew what he was talking about). And, in his bio, he wrote about literature:

"I could easily have made a career as an academic in English as English has always been my best subject but I just could not see the point of studying something that should essentially be a recreation. Literature is written to entertain. If it does not do that it is a failure. So if you have to study it to get its message, you are not treating as it was meant to be treated and are in any case studying something that is irrelevant by its own standards. It is true that literature may sometimes embody useful philosophical insights but that is essentially incidental and also rare."

I remembered going into journalism because I wanted to write about the many subjects that interest me. And then I remembered hating journalism because I wasn't allowed to just write about it in a way that was interesting. I had to write in a very PARTICULAR way that was formulaic and creatively draining. It took away all of my passion for writing and I decided that I could never make it as a writer if I had to write like that.

And so I went into technology.
And wrote for myself. For recreation. For the love of it.

And now I'm so happy about everything that I've done.

I don't regret taking journalism anymore, because it taught me a lot about how to teach others (who don't love writing) to write something worthwhile. And it gave me a certain credibility as an editor.

I don't regret getting away from journalism and going into web development because I learned a lot about the web and technology in general. And it exposed me to management positions and projects in a subject area that I'm interested in (sciences).

I don't regret any of the career choices I've made because they all got me to where I am right now, which is a very good place to be. A place where I use all of my talents every day. Where I do something that I pretty much dreamed of doing since I was a teenager.

My recreation, my passion, has now become my job.

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