Monday, October 17, 2016

All I Have Are My Words

All I have are my words. I was not blessed with a preternatural grasp of mathematics or acting ability or anything else. I was not blessed with a talent for writing, it is something I cultivated, practiced at. I did it when it wasn't good, when I didn't feel like it, when it wasn't fun. I did it because I had to. This ability, this need came about from my sense of the world and my curiosity to figure out as much about it as I can. I think this observant nature stems from my introverted nature. I think an introverted nature can be beneficial and also sucky at the same time, because as much as you long to understand people, you feel you never can. You always hear the questions in the back of your mind and you know that they don't ask those questions and you kind of hate them for being able to go through life without worrying all the time about things they can't change anyway. This is not to discount extroverted writers, who offer a needed counterbalance to introverted writers who can admittedly slip into navel-gazing at times. Extroverted writers see the world in a different way and they write for different reasons. Of course the whole introvert/extrovert, right brain/left brain is a convenient fantasy, a shared illusion that we all tell ourselves because its easier that way, because human nature is prone to labels, to groups, to separating into us vs them. I try to defy these things, and I do it through writing. I write because I have to, simply. I get a hundred ideas a day and if I can translate even one of those into some kind of sensible words on a page that maybe gives some kind of enjoyment or peace to another human being, well, that's all I really feel I'm here for. I wasn't born to be a president or a CEO or a celebrity and I'm fine with that. All I really want to do is to write.

Being a writer is about hearing the voices in your head, catching them, and penning them down to paper, where they became real. It's not the act of writing that I'm all about. A lot of times, the actual physical, mental act of writing sucks. Some days, everything comes out like crap. Hacky. Cliched. Stilted. I can imagine the critics' reviews already. I know exactly what they would say because the worst critic is always looking me in the mirror. Yes, the act of writing is frequently annoying and stupid, but when it's good, it's great. When I feel that wave coming, feel that lightning flowing from that great, mysterious ether out there that's really just my mind. Someone said that there are only really a few plots to use, and most of writing is finding out how to put your own little variations on those age-old storytelling machines, to make them yours.

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