Who Is Seth Wiggs of ENG317?
He is I am an undergraduate senior in The Humanities and Social Sciences department at North Carolina State University. I am double majoring in English LWR and General Psychology.
My interests in Rhetoric and Design are and always have been to do with
Diogenes of Sinope attention. As someone with ADHD, I am familiar with how taxing a badly-began book or a poorly put-together website can be. It's really easy to get sidetracked and start thinking about something else tangentially related (or not). I’m interested in learning how to lay out my work so that it takes as little attention as possible to consume.
My one career aspiration is to become a published writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy...
(I promise I don't use pretentious elipses often)
I want to spend my forty hours a week writing fantastically broken people you’ll want to stay friends with. I want to write stories that provide escape, stories that make people who fall between the cracks feel visible, and stories that challenge the way we think about the people we tar and feather. I want to write books that weave these three threads together into a sturdy rope you can hold onto when things get hard.
I think it needs to be science fiction or fantasy, because, at least for me, without some kind of escape and some strike of awe… well a literary masterpiece still has a heartfelt core; it can tell you something you didn’t know about yourself, but the meat around it so often leaves me feeling glum and weighed down. Some might say that that is real, but it doesn’t incentivize me to give my attention to the next literary journey that comes along. When getting to the peak is that much of a chore, why would I climb?
A fantastical world can have a core that is every bit as real as a literary one. And along the way, you get reprieve from the world that’s whittling you down, rather than an extra helping of it. Fantasy and science fiction are like a hot shower, the literary is like a seat at a desk. Both are fit for profundities, but which one really coaxes you toward it?
“I have so little attention to give, please don’t make me work hard to corale it.” that’s what I always think when I read literary fiction or an essay for a class. I know I cannot be the only one. I’ll take a serving of childlike joy, and a helping of adventure with my food for thought, thank you very much, and I intend to produce just what I’d want to consume.
To be blunt, I think this has to be a career, and not just a hobby. I don’t think I can afford to give my work the attention it needs when there’s other work to do. I need my writing in order to be well, and my writing needs my forty hours a week to be well. For somebody else -- somebody for whom attention isn’t such a limited resource -- maybe writing as a hobby will do, but for me, so much time already gets lost to a wandering mind.
What are my hobbies then? Hobbies are what I would call the time where I waste time, but do it well. It’s playing video games, playing tabletop games, watching anime, usually with friends, usually online friends, friends I’ve known for years, and friends I like to think are such good friends because Facebook wasn’t the means by which I met them.
Video Games, like most things the brain comes to believe are good for it, are addictive. I think they are wonderful anyway. They’re great exercise for the brain, but they are exercise that has never once asked me to corale my attention manually. Even a good book asks that of me. Nothing works like a
cure-delay-all elixir for depression the way a well-wasted evening of social gaming with a friend does. Not even alcohol. That’s probably why I don’t drink so much.
Table Top Games are a different sort of joy. There’s something so immensely satisfying about playing pretend like a grown up. You can’t quite capture it in video games; the rules are usually too rigid, there. Somehow, spending tens of hours preparing a character sheet for Dungeons & Dragons always feels like it was worth the time, especially when you put your heart behind the acting, and you start to feel yourself crossing over into another world.
Anime? What can I say? As massive as the video game industry has become, it’s often too expensive a medium to host the majority of stories. But much like video games, television has never had to ask for my attention and what’s more it hosts a great many more narrative masterworks. That’s more stories I can pick through for inspiration for my own work. That’s what I appreciate about TV.
What I appreciate about anime is that it doesn’t play host to the glibness of modern Hollywood -- or if it does, it's not hard to burrow past the trite into stuff that’s more meaningful. As foriegn art, anime also provides a meaningful escape from the constant seeping-in of American cultural turmoil into pop-media. That’s something I will be ever grateful for; it allows itself to dispense with (some of) the baggage and dig into thought-provoking themes the west seems to have abandoned.
That’s it. That's college student’s first website.
Have peace, friend.