Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The NEET Diary

Something that got out of hand

Today was my first day of classes in my new program, so I am no longer a NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training). Thus, I am releasing the record I kept during that time of my NEET activity. In the 377 days I was a NEET, it became a 601461 word 1949 page monster that no one should have any reason to want to read. It is longer than Infinite Jest and I do not have any words to express the mixture of intense pride and shame that this fact fills me with. Maybe DFW would, but I don't.

NEETblesse Oblige

I'm not sure exactly what made me start doing this. I think it was more a feeling of responsibility I had based on the opportunity. I had so few responsibilities and I wanted to write a lot: if I couldn't write something like this, what hope did I have? The project had only two real goals:

1. It should be extremely long
2. It should capture the essence of being a NEET

The former was a disgusting success. The latter turned out to be a pretty stupid goal.

In my mind, the ideal of a NEET was someone who lay in bed all day and watched anime and played JRPGs. If you want, you can cast this as a narrative of someone very slowly and sometimes painfully realizing that such a life might not be totally satisfactory. More accurately, you can see it as a dump of all the thoughts, feelings, ideas, memories, and opinions I had while also having access to a keyboard. When I was at home, I had it open at all times, and would use it for a sort of running commentary of everything I was watching or reading or listening to. When I traveled, I would write in it on my netbook whenever I had the inclination.

I think overall it was a very therapeutic and rewarding process but just as likely it was maddening and a huge waste of time. Either way you probably shouldn't read it.

If you want to read this:

My advice would be to not read it and instead read my recent ebook Hot Summer. This is not reverse psychology or anything. There's just lots of embarrassing things in this diary and I cringe at the idea of people reading it. There were many times when I was writing in it where I'd think "wow, this is extremely embarrassing, why am I doing this, wasn't I planning on releasing it?" and then I'd think "it's okay, this is so huge, it'll just get buried, and no one will see it". But when I was looking through it again while putting it together, I was like "oh, wait, it's all embarrassing stuff". I think it's also very tedious and often nonsensical.

If you still want to read this:

I suggest skimming liberally, jumping around to random dates, ctrl+Fing things that you might be interested in that I might have written about, and frequently forgetting what you've just read. I mean, I still released it because I do think that there is some stuff in there that is worth reading. I honestly think it contains some of my best work, actually. And I think stumbling upon those worthwhile parts after digging around randomly could be a unique and rewarding experience for the right reader. I'm not exactly sure who the right reader is, and I'm pretty sure there aren't too many of them. But they are probably very similar to me. Writing must be, in part, about doing things for people like you. So here we are.

What's next?

I started working on an index and a table of contents and some other fun stuff (torch-rnn NEET-bot???) that I planned on releasing alongside this, but I didn't finish them in time. I might do a NEET Diary 2.0 sometime later but maybe not. Hopefully Song of the Day will start up again soon. Still working on other fiction projects.

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