When I first heard Kendrick’s trailed off verse in 2012, I thought, “What a waste.” But in 2017, as I shelved a book of short stories, I realized that there is value in the things that go unheard, unseen, or unread. We writers often struggle to reconcile our need for feedback and our need for validation. The line between craving validation and desiring visibility is pitifully thin. This isn’t necessarily our fault. Too often our art is forcibly confined to ourselves; to empty rooms, solitary laptop screens and private notebooks. Then when we emerge from the literary abyss, stack of papers in hand, we naturally want to shove it right into someone’s chest. Writing is one of the only art forms that is more hidden than visible. Paintings are on walls; passing strangers see them. Music is played. Ears can’t help but hear. But writers have to work to be seen. We want our work to be seen. We want to be seen. We want our solitary efforts to be recognized. But at what point does that very valid need to not be solitarily scribbling turn into a constant or, dare I say, compulsive desire for our art to public?
What even is a form, anyway? — Too often in government, we remain beholden to physical relics as we move things online. I was the form guy. That was different than the licensing and permitting team. It was also different from applications initiatives. But really, this is all information moving back and forth. Do we need to rethink what we call certain things? How do laws affect this? How does customer expectations vary if something is called a form vs. if it is called a permit?