The hardest part of starting a piece of writing is starting it. (I hope I’m credited for this quote some day). It may be noted that the hardest part of writing is coming up with an idea. But the hardest part is actually reigning them in.
To put it bluntly, “writers” who say that “I want to write, but I don’t know what to write”, are not real writers. In my opinion. Sure, technically, once they put words down in some form, they are a “writer”. But they aren’t “natural” writers. It’s very forced. Very superficial. “Real” writers, to piss people off, know what they want to write, but struggle with the how (and, of course, the “when”, as time is always a constraining factor).
It is very easy to cut a piece off before it’s finished. Very easy to not say all of the things that you really want to say. It’s very easy to write for an imaginary reader, or for “simplicity’s sake”, rather than writing for yourself. And it’s especially easy to do that once you receive the first least little bit of negative feedback.
I am not a fan of communication. In fact, I abhor it. Every single thing about it. I hate hearing the thoughts of others (the majority of the time). I hate talking to other people (most of the time). I just fucking hate every single thing about communication. Do you want to know why? Well, let me gripe about something that started this idea that I had to complain about language by writing about it.
There are many things that I hate about language. Once again, reigning in a piece is really fucking hard. So goddamn hard. And what word do you choose next? What sentence? Do you read to find it out for yourself? Or do you want to come up with it more “completely” on your own? Who and what do you read if you wish to “read” to learn, in effect, “how” to write? There’s so many goddamn choices that it can drive one fucking mad. And I’m really fucking mad right now.
There’s nobody telling me what to write. I wish there were. But at the same time, I know I’d tell that person “No. No. No. I’m not doing that.” And I’d crave independence. Well, here I have it, and I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. And I suck. And that fucking sucks. It breaks my heart to know that there’s room for improvement with my writing, because that means there’s things wrong with it now. I know there will always be something “wrong” with any piece of work. But I don’t care. It bugs me, and I want it to bug me. I want it to drive me crazy. I want it to push me past my breaking point. I want writing to, night and day, make me lose sleep, and obsess over every goddamned word; every string of thoughts. I’m already fucking at this point. And that’s why I can’t get any writing done. There’s too many choices, too many options, and, to be honest with you……I actually love it.
I don’t like thinking about “professional” status. I fucking hate wasting time thinking about “selling pieces of writing”. It’s just that: a huge waste of time. But yet, I desire it, so I think about it. It doesn’t do a goddamn thing to help me get anything done. But, at least sometimes, it makes me happy. And I am a huge fan of “happiness”. Happiness motivates every single action of every human being on the planet, whether they say so or not.
Let me stop right here for a moment. Here’s what started this whole fucking idea I had for this piece. Because now, I need to explain to you my philosophy about “happiness”. I know people are going to argue with me about what I said in the last sentence of the previous paragraph. (I also know there are going to be some people that have a hard time reading this, and that’s another thing that I hate about language). Every single sentence will start an argument with another human being. Every. Single. Fucking. Sentence. That is ever said. Every fucking thought. That becomes communicated. Will be argued. And I fucking hate it. “Why? Are you afraid your ideas are wrong? Don’t like to be ‘challenged’? Just want to live in an echo chamber?” No, that is why. What I just fucking did. I wouldn’t mind arguments if I didn’t already know them beforehand. But I fucking do, and it drives me mad. I already know what is going to be said, and I have for a long fucking time. And I know people hate to fucking hear that. So communication is always conflict with me. And I really fucking hate conflict. I just want to fucking relax. And it makes me wonder why I write any goddamned thing in the first place (I’m obviously not talking about physical fighting when I talk about “conflict”. But debating is exhausting. “Why, because you don’t have any evidence to support your claims?!” No, because I have to explain shit like this to you. This is stupid. A waste of time. Why am I fucking answering your argument? Now, I’m thinking about the dumb readers who will say “Who in the fuck is he talking to in this piece? He’s a crazy person.” This communication thing is just fucking exhausting. I don’t like people, and it makes me wonder why I write). But I have points that I want to make, and I just want to communicate them. But I fucking hate everything that comes with it. Every fucking thing. Grammar. Sales. Vocabulary. “Points”. Word choice. Organization. I mean, I pretty much fucking hate writing to be honest with you.
I can’t tell you why I do this, because I don’t fucking know. Once again, this is a problem with writing: in order to tell you, I’d have to think about it. I want it to be honest and thorough. But that means I’m going to have to think about that instead of something else that I want to think about. That something else starts off the way this piece started off: ok, I know what I want to say, but how in the fuck am I going to get there? I have 15 million different ideas, but how in the fuck do I start them? How do I organize them? Where am I going to go with them? The entire writing process really is fucking futile. It’s incredibly masochistic. “Go to school for it!” FUCK you. That would defeat the whole fucking purpose of this. “Don’t you want to know how to write?” I don’t want to be taught how to write. I want to be my own teacher, deciding who to read and for what reason, and deciding what I find valuable in the words of others (and, thus, what I will adopt from them for myself), and what I don’t particularly enjoy about other writers. I don’t want to be taught things that are very subjective and personal to me. That’s the whole reason I write. Writing isn’t mathematics, where there’s concrete, exact answers to objective physical phenomena. Literature is, to put it simplistically, “a lot different”. I want to leave my personal mark on my writing. As much as I would say I’ve historically been a very gullible person, I’ve also been a very skeptical person, especially of people “in charge”. I can just hear a sociologist saying “Problems with authority, huh? That kid is going to end up in jail some day.” The dumb voices always stick out to me, for some reason. There’s something about that level of stupidity that I can’t ignore. It feels like a duty for me to point them out, if only for my own “ethical cleansing” (make sure you don’t read that as “ethnic cleansing”. I know some dumbass probably did). I’m skeptical of the idea of someone telling me “how literature should be”. I’ve always been skeptical of people in charge, and I think that’s always warranted. People who blindly follow orders are terrifying.
“Do A.” “Do B.” “Do C.” Anytime you have any uncertainty, you best believe there’s gonna be words of others coming. (in Archie Bunker voice) “But don’t you see that that just compounds the problem, Edith?” In order to communicate this to you, I have to think about it. But the problem is that, most of the time, the effort is spent on explaining things instead of actually making an argument. That, perhaps, is what I hate most about writing. I want to fucking make points. Interesting, thoughtful points. I don’t want to explain every little goddamn detail. But, of course, that’s what readers need. “Duh, Cody, if you’re going to make a point, duh, you need to explain it.” No fucking shit. Readers like you drive me crazy. Stating the obvious to such a degree that it’s a waste of energy to say “Yeah, I fucking know that.” It would be easier to ignore them, but it’s not that easy after all. Explanations take up so much valuable point-making time. Take this paragraph for example. It’s “explanation”. Is it really an argument? I guess it could be argued that it is. But it isn’t the fucking argument that I want to make. “Then why are you writing it, Cody?” Because it will help make my arguments make sense; that is the point of an explanation. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, do I have to explain this shit to you? (You see my point).
Hopefully, you do see my points. But if you just think me crazy, I’ll fucking live with it.
Don’t read me. Don’t read this. Go read something from someone else.
(If everyone’s got their demons, then why do we envy?)
…Don’t mind me. Just talking to myself again. (Do I insert humor here does that make sense does it flow well does it distract from the point too much…) (To beat a dead horse, recall previous paragraphs).
It’s easier to be bad. I love being bad. I’ve learned to thrive from it. Sure, it means that you’re bad. But c’mon. Being good is really hard. (Let’s talk to yourself for a little bit, Cody. Don’t you love being insane? Don’t you love talking to yourself in everything you write nowadays? You’re bobbing and weaving as you write this. You want people to think you’re crazy, huh Cody? Are we having fun? Are your readers laughing at you now? You’re truly a madman, aren’t you? Look at you go. Some readers love this. I wish I could have his mind for a day, they say. But haven’t you been reading what I’m fucking writing?, you say. Stroke that ego. Ah, yes. You’ve ratted yourself out to your detractors now! It’s all about your ego! They knew it! Ha! It all makes sense now! Now they’ve got you! Ahhhhh!!!! What are you going to do now? How will you ever get out of this fucking corner they’ve backed you into yet again? If only they could see the way you’re bebopping around now. Like a fucking madman. Like the fucking madman you’ve always wanted to be………. But you fucking love it).
It’s easier to be repetitive. It’s easier to stew on the same issue for a very long time. I’m a very gullible person, so I need to spend a lot of time with the same ideas to make sure I grasp them enough to actually believe them and defend them (even though I hate communication). I’ve always taken the easy way out with writing. I’ve always taken the easy way out with communication. Just keeping my mouth shut. It’s usually easier that way. But sometimes, it isn’t. And that’s, obviously, when words start coming out. But without the practice, they just don’t make sense sometimes.
I want to contribute good ideas to humanity. I don’t want to be famous simply for the sake of being famous (I want to be famous because I know I could become rich through fame, and I want to be rich so I can “retire”). But I want to contribute good ideas to humanity. Ideas that are smart. Meaningful. Significant. Not for praise; not even for money. But because it feels good. Feeling like I have contributed something intelligent and thoughtful makes me feel good. That’s the only reason I need to try to do such a thing. I realize that there are countless people who have contributed “better” ideas than my own, and this trend will continue with future “idea shapers”. But it’s just in me to think and write. And that’s what I do. Even though I hate everything else about it.
I just wish I didn’t have to spend so much goddamn time explaining everything. But I can tell that it helps me become a better writer, and I still have a lot of “thinking” to do to get better at “thinking”, so I’m hopeful for the future, at least from a “quality” standpoint. As long as I don’t become “evil”, I’ll be good. (That was obvious, Cody).
The important part of all of this is to feel honestly. That is something that has frequently escaped me. I’ve written about religious conservatism enough for now, but being completely honest and comfortable with my emotions is very challenging for me. Perhaps there’s some truth to men in general being less comfortable with accepting their own emotions as compared to women, but religious conservatism has made this task so much harder than any role biology (probably) has played. It’s hard when every single emotion leads you back to “fear”. It, surprise surprise, makes you not want to feel any emotion at all. And I think that made me angry for many years. That, and some other things that made me angry for many years took over my life. Anger and sadness seemed to be the only things I felt before I started getting into comedy. I’m only 25, so I suppose “anger and sadness” during the teenage years are normal. But still. My emotions during that time period shouldn’t be completely dismissed.
(So much of my writing is about my struggles with writing. It’s weird, but I’m ok with this).
And then, of course, there’s the soul-crushing aspect of putting your heart and soul into something just to have it demolished. That’s always hard. “But Cody, you open yourself up to that stuff by writing in the first place-” Jesus fucking Christ. You goddamned stupid people. You’re so dense and naive. “Aren’t we all-” Go fuck yourself.
I am starting to realize the importance of independent thought. That truly is a beautiful thing about life: that we all have our own separate wills. We all have individual traits and desires, and that leads to a lot of diversity. I think that’s wonderful (and no, some college professor isn’t forcing me to write this: I actually believe it). My childhood way of looking at things was that things followed very specific blueprints. Maybe I was just a dumb kid, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that idea is “common” among kids. You follow the rules, the “adults” have a lot of similarities with each other (especially to the child mind), etc. And then, of course, you start to gain independence when you get older. Start thinking about things, choosing your sources of information to absorb, your ideas change, etc. There’s always going to be countless things that frustrate everyone. We all have our individual troubles that we have to try to fix. But I’m starting to truly realize that there is no blueprint. I live my life, do what I want, make my choices, deal with the negative consequences, and I value learning, so I try to learn as much as possible about things I am interested in. When I have a thought that I want to develop that sounds interesting, I write. And I have many life circumstances that I’m unhappy with, but I’m working on those. As I’ve written before, the key to me is feeling like I’m independent. I know I’m going to have many troubles throughout my life: problems that could’ve been more easily resolved or avoided altogether “if I only would’ve done this”. But who doesn’t have that? Once again, I keep hearing these hypothetical voices from others in my head trying to direct me, and I just have to think “Where did you get this magical fucking blueprint of what I should be doing, and who ordained it?”
I can tell just how long of a “long-term” project writing really is. I’m desperate to write good stuff, but I’m so stupid. I’m so ignorant of so many different things: technical linguistic skill, knowledge of topics, etc. But I can tell that I need an overall perspective. I need to have a deeply personal, independent, overall perspective about things that I do. There’s no blueprint to be handed to me about where to go, either with writing or with anything else. I’m pretty sure confidence will come with age. It’s just a waiting game, in many ways: being a biological slave. But that isn’t a bad thing as long as you’re having a good time on the ride you’re “trapped” with.
I’m not looking forward to being critiqued. I don’t like it. I know, you’re fucking entitled to your own opinion. I fucking get it. I know I’m not perfect. But I just fucking hate listening to most criticism. There’s always a fair-share of just dumb criticism. And, as always, there’s people telling you stuff that you already know. There’s people that don’t get what you say. And the minority of criticism is actually valuable criticism. Stuff that you can use. Stuff that you hadn’t actually thought of before. Most of it is either envious bunk because you’re trying to do something or it’s a strawman or any other stupid shit that people do. There are plenty of times where people bring up valid concerns, and you go back, and forth, and back, and forth. And many would find that “productive”. But anytime I think of “debates” or going “back and forth”, I think of religion. How many fucking years do we have to “debate” religion? I’m so sick of the “debate”. I’m fucking tired of it. I’ve heard it over and over and over and over and I just want to say “Why in the fuck are you people still debating? Just fucking live and let live! Let go! Who fucking cares if you ‘save’ an atheist?” Why can’t we just agree to disagree, and surround ourselves with people that agree with us? This idea that we should always “challenge” our beliefs is so prevalent now, and I don’t get it. Once again, “let me explain”.
This is what I don’t understand about the idea of an “echo chamber”. The idea of an echo chamber is that you just listen to people that confirm “what you already believe”, or some stupid shit like that. I can certainly understand how that’s a “thing”. A “negative” thing. But I’ve, personally, had more experiences in what my friend and I call “ambiguity land”, where there’s so much conflicting information that you go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth in your own fucking mind so much that you start getting bags under your eyes because you can’t figure it out. Trying to weigh all of the different factors, etc. etc. Who fucking cares? At some point, you just have to make a fucking decision. You don’t need to justify that decision, you get to decide who you are going to debate with, and when, and what about, and you need to accept that people are going to say whatever the fuck they want to about you. It’s going to anger you at times, and you’ll probably feel the need to defend yourself often, but this is how it is. This is just how it is. The back and forth is fucking exhausting, and I hate it. I don’t want to do it. Everyone does it from time to time, and sometimes I enjoy it. But overall, I’d say that I don’t. I’m tired of it. Especially something like the “religious debate”. People just spin their wheels over and over and over, and I’m done listening to “the argument”. I want my religious experience to be more personal and meaningful than the traditional “Christian vs. atheist” debates.
Biology and experience help out a lot. I know they’ll help me out with a lot of issues I have with writing. It’s going to be like ripping my fingernails off one by one, but I know the end result will improve. Practice and genes. And just learning in general from the sources that I wish to learn from.
Deciphering truth and “Why” questions is a whole nother matter entirely (that consumes me).