the feeling of being noise amongst the noise
A fear for the modern world: to be noise when you want to be signal.
But you’ll always be noise to some. Better to focus on being signal for those open to receiving it.
I disagree with her lament that writing essays is of lesser value than long form work. I think they can build the long work, breaking down thinking into facets to explore (assuming you’re writing non-fiction). A concept enough for a book is a lot to hold in your head at once: breaking it apart makes it more tangible and manageable. I found this to be true in fiction writing too: the container Word gave me for thinking about a story only let me handle about 50k words before I lost the thread, while with Scrivener I can manage stories of 130k+. Folders, outline views, and color coding make all the difference for me.
I do share her challenge of prioritizing long form over essays, I think, sometimes, to my detriment. I let myself trade my novel writing time for blogging time earlier this week, when I felt a welling up of ideas. It was a relief to unburden myself of buzzing ideas. To take the glimmering of potential and feel out its real shape and substance — because sometimes an idea is less than we imagine when put in writing, and sometimes it is so much more than we expected.
In a sense, translating thoughts into writing is our personal form of transmuting mental noise to signal. I think grace comes around to this too: “Sometimes I skip a Monday [newsletter] though and it’s like my whole week doesn’t make as much sense.”