On Writing, Shame and Life

Inspiration: Lack of real writing
Main takeaways: Please write something
Themes: Slackerist Movement, Emotional Drainage, Shame

Strangely enough, sometimes, life can get in the way of our goals. Ultimately our goals are teeny finish lines in a series of qualifying races towards the success of our existence and life is the potholes that trip you up and skin your knees or what lets the dude running in front of you drink all the water or any single factor that makes the race seem more deadly or difficult than it ought to be. This past few days I had a plan. I was going to write and write and write. And I did, but not much and not anything that I felt like I could share in my blog. And stuff happened. Potholes, per se. But I decided to get over the shame or embarrassment of inaction from accruing more shame and embarrassment. I thought, ‘What better way to urge my writing bug than to write about writing?’

Now, lets see what my pen has scribbled in my notebook:

1/4/14  (I have accidentally been writing 2014 on my dates…)

On this page one will find a jumble of words and phrases, the word “message” followed by the intent of the story idea. In this case I wanted to write about the phrase “Make a good name for yourself” in the context of the ultra futuristic world outlined in the show Black Mirror and in particular, the episode called “White Christmas.” In this world there would exist a network of individuals who shared the same name and as a group would all be responsible for their own input to their reputation but also keep tabs on each other. This story concept was birthed from the reaction we learn to have for names. Sometimes we don’t date people with the same name more than once or twice, or we judge someone’s lifestyle or personality based on what they are named or even feel a sense of irony if a girl named Purity was anything but.

Attempts to write poetry followed:

When I met you
Your hands were large and strong
Aloft they held my entire world. 
You held me close and showed me off.
I was a treasure: an expected surprise. 

or…

To you I tell my troubles
To keep as long as I keep you.
Because you listen with patience
Within the walls of your new home. 

One about father-daughter dynamics the other about the very act of journaling feelings. But neither spoke strongly enough to me for me to continue.

So on…1/5/15

This day I tried again to write a poem. This time about the act of writing poetry:

You pick a feeling
Sad, angry, happy.
You choose a memory:
The part, the cat, the argument.
You show the world
With rhyme, or not. 

Again this felt flat. The greatest lesson I ever received in my journey as a writer is that “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity” (George Orwell 1946). I read this line in high school and it has since echoed within every time I sought to speak. Clarity and sincerity are the key to great writing. The reason my poems could not be finished was my lack of genuine sincerity. I could not feel my words and my intentions. I merely tried to write, when writing is so much more than arranging words on a page. It is laying yourself upon that sheet and letting someone glimpse inside your flesh. A living autopsy.

So here I lay, in bed, writing this piece with the utmost honesty about my shortcomings. I failed to write works of art, sure, but I did not fail to think about writing. I thought about what I wanted to write, about how to write and about what to feel when writing. Obligation. Duty. Guidelines. Those are not it. Joy. Freedom. Light. That is what one stands to gain from writing. Let your mind roam free, let your heart think once in a while, and let your fingers learn to follow instructions.

Onward to greatness!

-Melisa
1/6/15 ; 6/365

[Image: “Writing to reach you” protected by a Creative Commons license belonging to Andre B.]

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