2008 (and 40)
This is the year of creation. My year of output. Recently, my life has been heavily unbalanced, and the swing back to balance is underway. There are so, so many ways to get quality media these days (I hate the term "media" in this case, but what better all-encompassing term is there for books, stories, music, news, movies, podcasts, TV shows, blogs, art, audiobooks, and more). Using an RSS reader, TiVo, iTunes, iPod, Netflix and more, I've achieved a constant stream of high-quality information and entertainment - way more than I actually have time to process, let alone enjoy or savor. And, my daily media consumption has grown way out of proportion with my level of output.
I need to turn this time around, and get back some balance by increasing my time spent both contemplating and producing. I have too many ideas and too many opportunities to keep on the back burner for so long - time to move them back up front.
Today, I turn 40 years old, so what better time to take stock of one's life, what one wants to do with their life. My personal life is fantastic - my family has brought me a kind of wealth I could not have imagined 20 years ago. Professionally though, I feel like there is room for improvement. In my 40 years, I've had over 30 different jobs. The ones that I enjoyed the most, that were the most fulfilling, all involved storytelling. I discovered long ago a real love for storytelling, and have practiced it in many different ways (oral, digital, print, video, graphic, more) - all very satisfying. This is my central passion and I need to keep nurturing it, and I will.
My day job is still with boston.com (The Boston Globe), and I love that I can be involved with storytelling at some level there. In the past, it was a bit difficult because of my specific role there, but recently things have been changing, and there will be more opportunity for me to nurture that passion at work as well.
In a way, deciding to increase my output into the world of storytelling is just choosing to heap more media onto the global pile. But the inspiration isn't so much the quantity of stories available, it's the quality. In recent months especially, I've been truly enjoying a couple of podcasts - This American Life, and WNYC's Radio Lab. Every time I listen to an episode of This American Life, I am moved - I wonder what my fellow commuters must think when the see me get teary-eyed on the train. Every time I listen to an episode of Radio Lab, I learn something I never knew before, and I learn it in a way that's entertaining and impactful. Both shows are tightly produced, well put-together, and thoroughly engrossing. They both inspire me to do the same thing - to tell stories that move, that inform, that engross... stories that have value, and live beyond a single telling.
I've been trying to brainstorm ways of lending emotional impact to scientific exploration - trying to figure out how to take that deep "WOW" feeling you get in your head when you learn some incredible fact about the Universe and put some of that Wow in your heart at the same time.
Thanks to those of you (writers, bloggers, artists, daydreamers, performers, journalists, and more) who have been producing so much good work lately. I've been an avid consumer and admirer, and will continue to be - just one with a little less time, (so I'll be even more picky). Here's wishing you well in 2008, may this year smile on us all.
1.10.2008 @ 12:26 AM
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