Tuesday, February 4, 2014

13 Months

I love writing.
I always have.
I love reading.
I always have.
...
I began reading at an earlier age. I was no prodigy, but I was voracious. Reading 30+ books at 5 is pretty good; and they were books--more than 5 minutes of big type, one word a page kid stuff--and I read them, they were not read to me.
I started writing in 3rd grade thanks to a fantastic teacher who instilled both a sense of creativity and cognition in me. Creative writing assignments on Fridays, followed by sports card displays and trades for inspiration.Cognitive writing assignments on Tuesdays, with recess on the horizon, just out of reach.
I learned to love both. LOVE.
Through many ups and downs, books have been there for me to dive into, to lose the world of reality, join a brigade of dreamers. Writing was an extension of that. It took me from someone else's thoughts, to my imagination, to a world of my own. Good times? Write it out. Bad times? Write it out. Really bad times? Write it out.
I wrote through High School, on assignments, and for pleasure. I continued through college, same reasons applicable. I got good. I studied. I wrote more. I got better. I listened. I won awards. I shared. I got published.
Then...I stopped.
I can't even tell you why. Or maybe I can. Either way, there wasn't a REASON. Oh, sure, there were EXCUSES. Tons of those. Those don't count. In any case. I quit. I became what I hate. A quitter. I get a chill just being that honest with myself. With whatever random reader may be out there.
So, when we moved to England, I knew I had to start again. I did. I loved it. There was a lot to write about. But it wasn't really inspired. It was, however, cathartic, needed. It was not always easy for this dramatic dude. Dramatic dude? Whatever, no delete button, go with it.
We came home. I slacked again. But I thought. I at least did that. I knew what I wanted to do, and I formed ideas. A beer blog. I know there are many, and many better than mine. But I was merging two passions. It seemed logical. It seemed right. Furthermore? Plenty of inspiration, considering I get struck by a quality brew on a regular basis.
It started off on fire. I loved it. I was taking notes, and considering angles, pictures, environments, company. It was FUN. I was committed, I was inspired. Finally. It felt so good,
...
This is my first post since 2012. 13 months since I even logged in. I am ashamed to admit it, but I am a needy guy. I noticed no one was reading it. I let that get to me. I got dismayed. I got down. I let something I enjoyed be affected by outside influences. Awful. Artists--if I may be so bold--should NEVER be affected by critics. Musicians should play because they hear. Artists should paint because they see. Writers should write because they imagine. They shouldn't get critiqued out of their passion, their hunger, their need. They shouldn't be bullied into a societal norm. (Not going to get political. Yet) They should just let  it  flow.
So. I'm going to try. I'm going to try and be better. As I sit here with my vintage 2012 Sierra Nevada Narwhal--yes, the EXACT same beer I drank on my last post (yay for cellaring)--I am going to commit to TRY. To write when I FEEL. About whatever I feel.
I'd love it if you joined me. I'll try not to be disappointed if you don't. I'll try to be passionate.

Cheers,

Chris

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris, I'm glad to see you put yourself, your thoughts, on "paper" again. I love you and you inspire me! You are an artist of many things! I'm excited to see your works to come! Your wife

mbutler said...

Way to go, Son. I have always loved reading your articles/blogs and I shared them with many. I don't know why they chose not to read them, but I have always loved your way with words.

Your one line "Musicians should play because they hear" is something I've told your sister for very long time. I told her to sing for the love of it; sing like there is no tomorrow; sing whenever and where ever you get the chance. Someday...you may not be able to (yes, I used me as an example).

I look forward to you writing again, Chris. Keep at it and posting them!

Bethany Stephens said...

Really like what you're doing here and on AR Craft Beer, Chris! Looking forward to meeting you.

I share your affinity for writing, and I'm here to tell you that people are about to start reading. I've got some ideas, too - would love to help amplify your words. Writers stick together!

Also loved your post about your wife's trip (hope she is safely home now!) and seeing comments from her and your Dad.

Write good words and write for yourself, and people can't help but discover you - eventually. Good stuff - keep after it!

Best,
Beth

Chris Butler said...

Thank you Beth! I write for myself, but crave validation. It's funny how the artist's brain works.
I'm always open to suggestions, so feel free to offer input.
Oh, and yes, she did return home from Africa, but travel is the nature of her job, so she's gone again.
Thanks again, very much!
Chris