I promised myself never to write something I didn't believe in. I ended up never writing about reality,at all.
I keep running away from writing something realistic; I don't know how,but my stories always end up being Fantasy. I could never write about someone having a job,with a plausible plot. I wouldn't know what could happen to them next, to make my story interesting. Is it because my life is boring? Perhaps. Is it because I don't have enough experience? Probably that,too. But the lack of experience is due to the dullness of my life,so there you go.
'Write what you know is terrible advice'. I keep hearing that a lot. That's why I want to stop writing only what I know - stories about magic and fictional worlds- and focus on this world,for once.
Personally, I have come to the conclusion that I don't believe in reality enough. And no,it's not the kind of thing where I believe we are all living a mere illusion and nothing I see is actually real . It isn't that the real world doesn't make me happy,either; I get the most random thrills of happiness some days,because of little things -like songs or flowers or a conversation with Martha.
It's just that I don't want to be a cynic.
And that's where the problem comes in - I've never believed in anything for long enough, because, at some point or another ,it ends up disappointing me. A cause, an idea, something that at first seemed to be the right thing for me ,turns out to have its flaws,becomes unattractive to me when I know it well enough. You may say I'm too pretentious and I'd definitely agree,because I hate this about myself.I judge things by how I think they should be and not what they could possibly be. And now I feel like a cynic and sound like an arrogant asshole.
It's pretty ironic that I should be writing about myself now, when I promised never to write about something that's disappointed me.
...at least I am writing about the real world for once. Ha.
Another thing I noticed just now is that whenever I try to do this, I end up writing long ,boring descriptions or I go on long rants that you can make neither head nor tail of. No one's going to read that.
Then I think: what would I read? How come I always read about the ordinary, the factual, about other people's feelings and lives and never get bored, and yet when I write it,I'm never satisfied? I think in a way, comparing my writing to others' brings out even more insecurities than I already have and I am confused. Sometimes I wish I just wrote for myself to see.
But hey,we live in a world where one needs money and it's hard earning them when you're an English student who doesn't write much.
I have no idea where I want to go with this. I almost wanted to tear out the page because I've only been rambling up till now. But I felt like writing again and as I am certain these will yet again be a crap rant,why not keep the others as well? The more the merrier.
The thing is,though, I can't make this some nice memoir,where I share adventures from my childhood,some dramatic romance or another or even how I skipped classes to go to some party,because in truth these things never happened. From what I remember now,all days felt pretty much the same,with a bit of reading,doing homework and even some writings ,which obviously were pretty childish and stupid back then, anyway. Gosh,what did I even write about when I had literally no experience...?
Actually,I think I know. I may have not lived those things myself,but I imagined them and maybe even wanted them a little ,so they were something I had some sort of connection with. Now they mean nothing to me,so really,I don't want to be writing about that.
Instead,I just need to get back into doing it,and into actually wanting to do it -which I do ,now,sort of. But I don't know what I could write about.
I quite like talking about my feelings,it makes me understand them better. A writing exercise- that's what this is going to be for now. Or,you know,how people usually call it , a diary.
Nothing special is happening yet and I want to fill up these blank pages. So I figured I could write a little about myself ,just because I felt like doing something productive. Or rather,felt like feeling as if I were doing something productive.
Cause yes,being a writer, in essence, sometimes feels like you're doing nothing - which you really are,when you've got no ideas, like me. I sometimes do freelance editing and earn a little. Not much,but usually (and I feel the need to stress it, usually) enough for the food essentials, the maintenance and mortgage and some new book once in a while. I prefer to borrow stuff from the library,but there are certain books I just want to feel the new smell of,to dog-ear or keep forever.
Martha's pet peeve is me dog-earing books that I afterwards lend her and she's told me so multiple times but I just can't help it. I know she secretely enjoys trying to guess why I did it. Sometimes she calls me and asks: "Is it this quote? Or is it just the scene in general?". Most of the times she gets it right,but some others it would be just a word and I can't blame her for not getting it.
Martha is a perfectionist ,which is a lot different from who I am ,but we still get on pretty well,which I'm surprised about. Well, I have a pet peeve of my own and it is this: people who want to do everything right. In a word,Martha. How weird is it that she's my best friend?
It might sound odd,especially coming from me ,declaring that I am disappointed with everything and having unrealistic expectations and whatnot. What an asshole. Yeah,sometimes I am, and this is one of the things I'm okay with about myself. Because I don't try to be someone I'm not, some perfect being. I know there are some things that I can't do.
Martha doesn't. That's because there are few things that she can't do and that,in turn,is because she keeps teaching herself those day she will have exhausted every neuron that she has,I know that.
What creeps me out is that a bit of her curiousity has stuck on to me for some reason. There's just too many a times when I ask her 'baby questions' -as she likes to suggestively call them. "Martha,why do you have to pour the sugar in the pudding first,before it becomes gooey?" "Ok,but how do Polaroids that don't need ink cartridges actually work?" "Martha,can we talk about Non-Newtonian fluids?"- okay,this is probably not the babiest of questions that I've asked.
What can I say... Thanks,Martha.
I remember when I was in university and people used to tell me I was the most positive person they knew. And it felt good; I had a warm ,fuzzy feeling of happiness almost every day,because it didn't take much for me to feel like this back then. It could be cartoons with actually lovely meaning behind them that I would watch with my roommate (we would sometimes contemplate for hours why some kids' movies had a lot more meaning and philosophy behind them than adult movies). It could be a fair that opened up on one of the weekends. Or a lecture that I had been waiting for for ages. I lived almost in a world of my own and the idea of different things made me happy. Going out with my friends made me incredibly cheerful - in my mind I had that idea that I was young,living life with people who were on the same wavelength as me and everything was perfect. Love,happiness,flowers and writings after writings. But all of them were set in different worlds and I should have suspected that the world I had made in my head was not quite real,either.
When it comes down to the reality of living on your own,sustaining yourself and making your way in the world,it is much tougher than ideas in your mind. Friends may not always be as benevolent as you think,either. So the moments when reality slowly crept into the ideal world in my head were the most cruel,because they were unexpected and full of darkness compared to what I thought and wanted life to be like.
Then I got used to being disappointed ,so I guess I remained in that state. But now I wish I could get out of it. If it means I have more happy moments ,with big,but rare disappointments,then I am all for it. I wish it could be like that again.
This was one of the first weekends when I truly,completely felt peaceful. Martha's parents live in the countryside and I tagged along,not wanting to let her go alone on a nine hour journey with the train. Also,she didn't want to leave me alone with the 'stress of the city and your messy desk' (my 'messy desk' is always my reply when somebody asks why I've been feeling so bad about my writing recently...nothing goes right).
I don't understand why everyone thinks that the city must necessarily be noisy and stressful. There have been times when,going out with the bike, there was no sound on some of the narrow,quite empty streets in my neighbourhood. Our city isn't that big- sometimes it's not crowded at all. And the only sound I could hear then was the gentle wheezing of my bike's wheels. There was a wind blowing through my hair ,as I was pedalling pretty fast and the leaves were rolling down from every tree I passed and in that silence, I experienced one of those peaceful moments that sometimes just come to you.
Well,in the countryside it wasn't quite like that. The wheels were screeching on the gravel,on the rough ground and small pebbles and at every gate we passed ,a dog was barking or some bird was making loud sounds. Still, it was a peaceful sort of noise. That kind of peace everyone expects from the countryside. And it was nice. Two fairly warm autumn days through the fields,days in which I let myself forget the stress for a moment. And these are the kinds of moments when my inspiration comes, so I have a few ideas jotted down in my notebook. I don't know if I'll do something with them ,though,now that I am back home. I feel remote from them,like they were thoughts I have already forgotten and I don't want to write about something I no longer feel any connection to. But hell,do I wish to still feel like that,even just for a little while.
It's one of those moments when you feel certain of what kind of person you want to be ,forever and ever,but it just can't happen. It's like your surroundings sometimes just force you to be another person and you don't realise it ,until the moment you want to change and you can't. What do you do then? Because I honestly have no idea.
It's been a hot minute since I've had the mood or time to write in here so let me just say this: as a writer,you sometimes love family gatherings, no matter how much you hate them as a member of the family. You get to witness all sorts of characters and, for once,it's all in the open,obvious for you to see.
When you're little you don't pay attention to the 'grown-up' talk going on around you. The adults always give you advice and are too serious and always seem to end up talking about 'the stocks' or 'the situation' in places with weird names you know nothing about ,or about this guy who keeps lying to the 'electorate',whatever that may be. So you consider everything that goes on in that part of the room where the adults are gathered as boring or beyond your understanding ( but it's one of those things you don't even want to understand). You play with your cousins or other kids that are brought along just like you and that's where your drama happens : your younger cousin doesn't want to give you your doll back and your mom's friend's son made you trip over and now you're crying.
But little could you have known back then that the even bigger drama is always happening on that other side of the room. Adult problems. Which ,for example, as everyone who has already discovered this mystery knows, consist of problems with finding a proper home, while your brother-in-law managed to get one with money from his awesome job in the family business,which he keeps boasting about,so you keep shooting annoyed,not-so-subtle glances towards him all dinner ,while you also constantly fake smiles towards your aunt who never stops talking about her problems with her ex-husband. The result is a very entertaining picture for anybody who cares to study it carefully or-like me- who cares to put it down in words.
Honestly, I'd love to go on long descriptions about the family drama at the table ,while the kids were preparing for the Halloween party - it's a thing in our family,which we do every year; the 'older ones' are helping the kids design their costumes and then they have to listen to them singing a song specifically prepared and give them treats at the end of the recital (just in case they don't have much luck Trick or Treating ,so they don't end up without any candies). When I was really young I used to love it,but then the more I grew up,the more stupid it seemed.
As I was saying,I would love to describe everything that went on at that table, but it seems like that kind of drama is too much for some people, even for a drama-loving writer. So I decided to move to the much more mild sorrows of the little ones, right after my mum kept pestering me about finding another job ("You should have never majored in something useless,now you're dealing with the consequences" but at the same time "I don't understand why you don't try harder to find a job and do something useful with your time,other than just lazying about and saying you're waiting for inspiration to come"). To this I replied that I was sorry that I couldn't do more at the moment, that I was not used to the harshness of reality, after I was given candy no matter how much I trick or treated when I was little and how it was not fair that grown-ups didn't get back-up plans and second chances just like that. All I said was stupid and blurted out just because I was annoyed,but the good part was that my mum was now just as annoyed as she had made me,so we were even, so that I could finally move to the part of the room that I liked and to which I felt that I belonged- with the kids. I had a massive headache and wanted to get out of the irritable state I was in.
Sally cried because Jimmy got to be an alien with glowing skin,when that was actually her costume idea and now she had to stick with a character from some mainstream movie that everybody knew and probably dozens of people were going to dress up as for Halloween. I tried to tell her something about how nobody's costume would be exactly as hers and she was original since she made it herself,but kids don't fall for that,apparently. Somehow,their dramas seemed less stupid to me and my headache subsided.
I told her that since she had a pair of zipper earrings ,she could go dressed in all- denim and draw some buttons on her cheeks. She got all excited and we started preparing the costume together- we didn't have much to do,except for picking out some denim outfits she had and I was glad that was all I needed to do because everyone knows how bad I am when it comes to sewing. I always came up with ideas like this when I was a child just to get out of creating an entire outfit myself.
It was that easy to get on good terms with Sally. And I knew she wasn't going to whisper along with other people about how lazy I was or how much money I made. For a long time,she wasn't going to disappoint me.
I've always wanted to be able to say for certain that I have a talent, to show people that,truly, I can do something. How do you show people that you can write a novel, a book? Do you just simply write it? And who is there to judge that you really can write?
It's always bugged me. It's also always bugged me how some people always say that the world needs your story,because you are original,there's no one else like you and so on. And yet,they are also very quick to judge a lot of stories,to pick at every tiny thing and dismiss them, saying that they're 'garbage'. I think there's always something you can find in a story that speaks to you; maybe it's just one tiny paragraph, maybe the description of a feeling. But for me,that's not enough. I know that for a lot of people it's not. And that's how insecurities about my writing came about and that's how I ended up writing this...
I chose the talent of 'writing' for myself because I am good with words. I always know what to say,in any circumstance,even if I don't believe it. But in writing I won't do that- I won't say what I don't believe. So I've promised.
Another thing that really fascinates me about it is thinking about where the piece of writing was created-somewhere,in just one tiny part of the world. Maybe the entire book was written at a desk,in the same ,narrow spot. Or maybe the writer was that kind of person who travels a lot to find inspiration and the story was created in eight different countries. But those words, who have seen little of the world or hardly any of it, will end up in places the author couldn't even imagine and will take the readers in yet other worlds. That's grand. That makes my little desk feel bigger than it is. It can be a park, it can be a school bench or a couch. The words would be the same.
The problem is, how do I get these words past my desk? How do I make them count...