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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

It's Only In My Head

I'm free associating. Getting the junk out. What junk? So much junk. Maybe by writing I'll find clarity. That happens sometimes, right? Actually, it's happened to me many times. But it's also happened that I've written heaps and heaps and then nothing, nada, no good.

The thing for a writer is that you're convinced you must create anew because everything that came before sucked.

And this was meant to be free association, but now I'm rambling about writing.

What else do you want me to talk about? The imaginary you, that I picture reading this, would say, "anything but writing; go have an insight about elephants, or the moon, or triangles, you can't keep writing about writing you big fraud."

Not that a writer can ever be a fraud. If I write something and you read it, I'm a writer. But with so much dedication to writing, your brain becomes conditioned to focus on writing.

And reading about writing.
And writing about reading.
And reading about reading.
And writing about writing.

It needs life in it.

 

So do I just go chasing after some girl I hardly know because that's where the life is at? How do I make it about the life, and not the writing? And is there any difference? Sometimes I wish I was a beat poet from the 50's; out there on the streets just taking in all that happened under the big dark night and turning out pages with fervour.

Writing gets prioritised above everything else. But that's the Catch 22; you can't have good writing without life, and you can't have a good life when you're constantly writing. 


It takes so long to get great, you need to be practising every chance you get. Everyone is outside looking up at the buildings and you're inside, never leaving them.

But sometimes you feel you're getting dead inside. You feel like you've written out every part of you a thousand times over.

But we evolve and change and grow and rust; there's always something new to dig in to.

But how soon do you dig? Do you dig the moment you feel it, or do you let it grow? Wouldn't it be great to have an experience and not write about it until 50 years have gone by? Unfortunately, the moment I feel some thing of novelty or uniqueness, I throw it down on the page --- a script, a story, a tweet, a blog!

Sometimes I dream of living just to live, without the writing. And I realise how narcissistic this sounds to non-writers. But I am how I am and what can I do about it?

Maybe take writing less seriously.

Most of the time I do. The majority of my writing is silliness and jokes.

Ignore what I just said, because comedy is the thing I take the most serious of all. Getting comedy right is so difficult and such a craft. When I or anyone else nails it, it's amazing. That's why most of the time when you read a funny story or go see a comedy at the cinema, you don't laugh -- because it's so hard to do properly.

My brain says "you must write" and "you must stop writing" at exactly the same time. It makes me reach for the distractions, the addictions; thank God my addictions are caffeine and the internet. They're the most lovely and acceptable ways to rot your brain.

I will write a masterpiece, one of these days. Either that or I'll never write anything of interest to anyone.

Ain't that what sits in every writer's head at the back of everything?

Care to share?

7 comments:

  1. You have no idea just how much I relate to this!

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  2. Thank you for articulating my internal monologue. Thank you. Not that I can claim to be some future Nobel or Booker winner, considering that fact that I haven't written one single worthy paragraph in years! That being said, I can't imagine my life without the words, whether I'm reading them or writing them myself.

    This is such an amazing post!

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  3. I love the messiness of this post (meant in a good messy way ;-) Two lines stuck out for me..."Sometimes I dream of living just to live, without the writing" and "My brain says "you must write" and "you must stop writing" at exactly the same time." Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time and sometimes I feel I'm having the time of my life...writing. It eats up so much of my day that I DO think to myself, why am I not actually out there experiencing? I am, but I'm not. Conflicting feelings for sure. Thanks for writing this. I feel it often but don't know there's anything I can do about it because I just sit right back down to write the next day. Maybe that's my addiction besides coffee (does green tea have caffeine?) and most definitely reading. Fantastic post (these are my favorite of yours)...messy comment!

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    1. We're all insane, and yes green tea has caffeine.

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  4. I have always been amused to be here....simply an awesome post..

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  5. "you can't have good writing without life, and you can't have a good life when you're constantly writing.

    It takes so long to get great, you need to be practising every chance you get. Everyone is outside looking up at the buildings and you're inside, never leaving them."

    I think the exact same thing Every. Single. Day. And what bugs me is I KNOW I'm not nearly as experienced as even just other people my age, let alone authors that I know. And what's worse is that I find fictional worlds far more appealing than my own so I tend to burrow into them a lot and eschew reality. It's kind of a vicious cycle.

    It reminds me of what Kathleen says in "You've Got Mail" - something about how so much of what she sees reminds her of things in books when shouldn't it be the other way around? I love my life of being a bookworm and word hoarder but it can be bittersweet, I think. Gah. Anyway, thanks for the post.

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