It’s time for me to take writing more seriously. I hate writing, because of the headache it gives me. How to begin a piece, elaborate on it, make it coherent, make the language better, more efficient, easier to read, and end it on a witty, snazzy note. The mere sight of a word processor makes me want to close it out. But yet, I still write. In some ways, I feel like my nature opposes writing. And truly, it does. I think a large part of this is my desire to be carefree, and relax (I can probably thank my father’s genes for that desire (it ain’t a bad desire to have, I might add)).
I can’t do that if I’m going to write.
I think this is why I have been avoiding this dreaded day for so long. I have started to become tired of my writing for various reasons, and I don’t think I’ve known how to fix the problems that I have with it. Perhaps (cringe), it is that I need to study literature more. Read more. I can hear my best friend when I hear my own internal voice. I really do need to read more to know what the fuck I’m doing when I decide to write. As much as I want to vomit at the thought of becoming an “avid reader” (because patience is not one of my strong suits, nor is feeling like I’m not productive (I don’t feel productive when I read fiction, although, for example, I am being productive when I read if reading helps me become a better writer)), reading is a great way to become a better writer. If I read people who are better writers than me (as if), I will become a better writer (impossible: I’m already the best). I know that, as a writer, there comes a point when I become tired of my writing. Or, rather, that there comes a point in time when I need to do something about the fact that I’m tired of my writing, as I’ve been sick of my writing for quite some time.
The problem is that there were (and probably still are) things I needed to say before I could get to the current point that I am now. Even though this sounds crazy to me, I feel like all of my writing is related in some way. Indeed, it may be as simple as this fact that I have overlooked until now: that it all comes from me.
But I have not been ready to commit to writing. Although it makes me cringe to write this, perhaps it was because I had nothing to say. There’s clearly a combination of factors that have prevented me from “getting sucked into the world of writing.” I feel like I have written about these a million times before. Part of the problem is that I’ve been focused too much on marketing instead of writing; caring more about the views than the pieces themselves. Now, that isn’t entirely true, because I don’t write simply for the numbers. But the numbers discourage me from writing.
I’m a typical victim of words just not coming out right from my head. Communication is a huge problem for me. I don’t care to practice it very often, for I’m content with being by myself (or I “talk to myself” in the form of creating things for my own enjoyment). From a creative standpoint, I only talk “to” other people as a seller. “These are the jokes I have”, “The insights I believe I have”, etc. I don’t particularly care for “back-and-forth”, getting to know readers and other writers, etc. And I personally think that because I don’t enjoy communicating, I’m not as good at it as I desire to be. Writing is the best way for me to practice getting better at communication. Why would I desire to communicate if I hate it, you may ask? I may have written this before, but writing is a desire that overwhelms me at times. Even the introvert has things to say after he stews on things a bit longer than most. But I don’t write as often as I feel like I want to deep down. And I believe that it is a fear of commitment to “getting sucked into the world of writing” (that was a joke. You see, the quotation marks exist because that’s the title of this piece- ok you got it).
Writing fiction makes me want to vomit. The initial process is the fun part: the “first draft” (I’m not quite sure how to label my writing, so I’ll go along with common vernacular that I’ve heard (or read) authors use). I’m very eager to share my works, even if my works aren’t very good (lol). Probably because I’m eager to get that “million dollar deal” that isn’t on the table. Probably a good deal to do with it. But I need that motivation to keep me going.
I suppose that I’m merely developing as a writer (something that I truly didn’t think was possible, oh, 4 ½ years ago now). My best friend, a fellow writer, always talked (and still does) about improving as a writer. When I heard that, I thought “How can I improve? I know I’m not the best, but I’m good enough.” (Good enough for what? My own standards, I suppose). But after 4 ½ years, the state of my writing (particularly fiction), as I said, makes me want to vomit. It’s a tangled web to unweave; a commitment that I haven’t been sure that I want to make or not. It’s not that I don’t love to write. I really, really do. But there’s aspects of writing that I don’t like. I like the initial idea that I come up with for a particular piece. And then, I write that idea down. And that’s typically where it ends. Very little editing (if any, because I haven’t wanted to “get sucked in the world of writing”). No revisions. Just “Hey, I like this thought. Write it down.” And done.
I’m not satisfied with that anymore. Currently, I think the biggest reason for this dissatisfaction is my boredom. I’ve got things to do, but I’m becoming bored of doing them. And I always start writing again when I’m at my most bored. When I enjoy doing something, I don’t want to do it so much that I lose my love for it. That is what I have always feared about writing: that if I do it more often, I’m not going to enjoy it as much when I do it. Is there too much of a good thing, in this case? I haven’t dared test it, just in case. For what would I replace this with? What could I do that would replace writing? It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing other things; but writing is very important to me. It has its own purpose. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why I write. And that bugs me. I enjoy being introspective. But am I really willing to spend the time and effort to figure out why I enjoy writing? ‘Tis a very daunting task. Perhaps it is just better to enjoy it and not question it. It remains to be seen for me. (Why Do I Write How I Write?)
I love non-fiction, and the possibilities for fiction are marvelous. But it’s the fiction that bugs me, because fiction is a lot harder to write for me. Perhaps it is because literally anything can happen. And the thought of selecting things, and organizing things into a good story irks me. I have countless notes in a word document that say “Write a story about __________ where ___________”. And then, I’ll open up the blank word document to start it, and that’s when it hits me. “Holy shit. This is a big commitment. This is a sanity commitment. A creative, insanity commitment. A commitment to language; developing it, organizing it, thinking about it (and thinking about it…and thinking about it……and thinking about it………………..). It’s terrifying to me, because I know that I will, much like my best friend (much love), become insane. I can see the insanity in my best friend. I worry for the poor boy. A man lost in countless fantastical worlds, that cause his hair to prematurely turn gray because of the stress from not getting everything read and written. I’ve desperately tried to avoid that fate for myself, but I’m afraid that the fates are drawing me ever closer to that dark hole of “literature”, and I beg for God to have mercy on my soul. But, then again, perhaps I’ll feel most alive right before my literary-induced spiritual death.
I truly do have to thank my best friend. His love for language, I know, will help me with my own writing problems. Clearly, he’s already influenced me, much like countless authors have influenced him. I’m beginning to understand his words more now: literature truly is a lifetime commitment. And I’m always terrified of committing to something for fear of missing out on something else. I think a big part of that is how I was raised. My mother always told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and my father encouraged me to “use my brain and not my brawn.” So my mind wandered, and I envisioned all the possible careers I could take. Most of them didn’t interest me (regardless of how unrealistic the prospects actually were). But I’ve tried to keep my mind open to the possibilities, which has, up to this point, resulted in me not committing to any one particular thing.
And the world of writing does terrify me. The patience required to read, the things that you are sacrificing while you read due to time constraints. It terrifies me to think of committing myself to writing more because of whatever else I may be missing out on. Now that I think of it, what is it that I’m really missing out on? Sleep? Laziness? Truly, those may be the biggest things; coming up with anything else is probably just an excuse. But writing terrifies me. You’ve got people critiquing your works, asking for clarification (and you better be able to provide it), and, in my opinion, the two worst things that can happen: a reader getting bored of your writing, or a reader never knowing of your works at all.
Maybe another reason that I haven’t “gotten sucked into the world of writing” up to this point in my life is that my brain just doesn’t think good. I’ve written a little bit about reading here (this has a lot to do with it). But maybe I don’t have a brain well-equipped for reading. It’s not that I’ve always hated reading. But I think for me, the problem now is that I know that my future hangs in the balance at this very moment, and I need to do everything within my power to be successful; and reading feels like an unproductive waste of time, if only because I’m not creating anything when I read (even if reading would help out future creations). And, once again, I’m lazy, so there’s that.
My brain craves excitement. I’m constantly looking for new things. And I get tired of reading the same thing for an extended period of time (including a piece that I’m working on while I edit, like this one, currently). I guess I’m naturally a different type of reader than “avid” readers or “real” readers. It seems as if many “readers” stick with one thing at a time until they finish it or until they can’t take it anymore due to it being “bad”. My threshold is much lower. Once again, it is because I am afraid of getting lost in fantastical worlds. I’m afraid of the commitment. Because I know that my life will forever change, and change scares me (lol). I am afraid of transforming into a “reader”. The life of a reader is a different world. I am afraid of the improvement I’m sure it would offer me. Why? Well, I’m sure that (depending on what I read), reading will make me smarter, and will make me “sound smarter”. And, ironically, I have found that the smarter you sound, the harder it is for people to understand you. Now, clearly, I realize this is unfair on my part (or, at least, I hope so). My life experience is very limited, and I’m basing this mainly on my childhood, where I was schooled with kids of all sorts of demeanor, intelligence, etc. My confidence was affected by my peers in school (and, at times, my family). Once again, I’ve always dumbed myself down, and, therefore, have not had much practice in “sounding smart”. Acting like an idiot has made people more friendly towards me, and that explains why I love stupid humor, and acting like an idiot so much. I’ve been working my whole life to come out of my expressionless shell. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, but I can’t accurately describe a measurement which would tell you how much further I have to go. Language truly is a full-time commitment. Scary.
Another thing that terrifies me are you, the readers. Because I know that when I write, you are free to comment, and tell me what you think. It’s not that I don’t respect criticism; it’s that I wish to be left alone. It’s not that I, as an introvert, do not desire communication. It’s that I just desire less communication than “normal”. Even the introvert has a voice. I’d like to think that I think a little bit before I speak, but I can recollect too many instances where this isn’t the case to shatter my own view of my humility. Perhaps this is “bad” of me, but I don’t really care what you, the reader, think of my writing. Obviously, I care from a monetary standpoint. And, of course, I respect it when someone compliments my work. I’ll even read the criticisms, and determine whether or not I think they are valid (I think it’s about 50/50). It has been my experience that many people do not know what they are talking about: people that I have taken advice from in the past. I know this is “normal”. I know that “everyone goes through this”. But I don’t understand why you (I’m being presumptuous now, but with good reason (past experience)) feel compelled to tell me this fact simply because I’m stating that I’m one of the many people that are experiencing this. Why trivialize the experience of one by saying that many or all go through it? I think it’s a symptom of trying to be helpful, but not being very smart at being able to actually do it (I think that’s kind of a common, tragic theme that I’m learning (but slowly accepting) about humanity). Let’s just put it this way: it has been my past experience (many, many times) that when I spoke, the listener did not understand what I was saying. Perhaps they hadn’t considered it, and couldn’t relate. Of course, I could have elaborated on what I was saying. But when I did, I was just called a “smarty pants”, and then, they basically stopped listening. So honestly, that explains a lot of this. I stopped speaking because people weren’t willing to listen.
That’s pretty fucking depressing…
Welcome to my dark world. Lol
All I wanted was for someone to understand what I was saying without having to elaborate on it. In other words, someone to relate to. Sadly, those people were few and far between. I felt like they were more of a student than someone who could empathize with me. And that bugged me for many, many years. A large reason why I lost my voice.
From my childhood to my late teens, I felt crazy and self-conscious. I repressed my expressive desire, including what it was that I wanted to express. People either weren’t interested or didn’t understand what it was that I was trying to express (once again, it could’ve been my fault, but I was looking for a friend, not a student, as I said). Also, a lot of it was other kids just not liking my personality (still true to this day. Kids still hate me). I grew a desire to express myself comedically because when I was the clown, other kids laughed at me. They gave me attention. I acted like an idiot to amuse other people for social acceptance.
…That’s kind of fucked up and counter-intuitive, isn’t it?
However, the comedy grew not only as a way to try to fit in, but I truly believe it would’ve came out regardless of whether I was accepted or rejected by my youthful peers. Sarcasm; exhibitionist idiocy; humorous, creative associations between multiple things: I think all of these “funny” things (and other “funny” things) would’ve came out of me regardless.
Also, strangely enough, there is a sympathetic guilt on my part. My heart has always went out to those that I have felt were less fortunate than me. Currently, I think of those with language skills less developed than my own. Now, I’m not saying I’m a literary genius. But despite how meager my word skills may be, I pity those who are even less effective than I am at communicating. Like I said, I’ve always felt sympathetic for those that I feel are less fortunate than I, and I feel very fortunate to be able to communicate like I can. There’s tons of room for improvement, but I think I have a little “knack” for writing, and I pity those that don’t share that same knack. This pity has often made me feel guilty, which has contributed to my “not writing very good” situation. Dumbing myself down not only to be more sociable, but to be more “humble”. Independent gifts from God have always bugged me: probably due towards religious conditioning to “always be thankful”, directly contrasted (although immediately followed) by a message of fiery fear.
People don’t like it when you talk good. My desire to be readable contrasts with my intrinsic desire to be exact, thorough, and pertinent (I suppose that I am implying that you, the reader, are dumber than I. At least I offer a formal apology right now). I suppose time and practice will determine the balance between “readable” and “exactness” at any given time (perhaps an acceptance of a “readable = exactness” equation), but I’m really hoping I develop the confidence to be smarter in my writing. Once again, language truly is a full-time commitment. Still scary.
You, the readers, are a hindrance to me. I know that’s a bit harsh. But you, as people, by definition, contrast with my introverted nature (lol). My desire to be left alone, even though I want to write, and even though I want readers. This is probably a struggle that all creative introverts face. I know that when I write, you are free to comment, and tell me what you think. It’s not that I don’t respect criticism; it’s that I wish to be left alone. It’s not that I, as an introvert, do not desire communication. It’s that I just desire less communication than “normal”. Even the introvert has a voice. I’d like to think that I think a little bit before I speak, but I can recollect too many instances where this isn’t the case to shatter my own view of my humility.
The fact that I can’t figure out why I want to write hinders me from writing. Because I want to write about why I want to write. My brain can’t let things go, and I have to build upon previous thoughts to move on to something else. I truly believe that things that I write are connected, but I need the beginning blocks to get there. And that’s just another step towards getting sucked into the world of writing…
(Thank God I found my best friend when I did. He may have single-handedly saved my writing. If not for his persistence in the face of his own self-perceived limitations, I may not be writing this today, and may not have written some of the things in the future that I will write in the future).
All of these things keep me from writing. And, truly, I’m probably not ready to “jump right in” at the moment. As I said, I think I have a way of starting from the beginning from a personal analysis perspective, write about that, and then move on to the next phase of my own personal development. Because when I think of it, I truly don’t think that anything I’ve written up to this point is a waste of time. They all have a purpose, even if they are kind of shit. But boredom and restlessness create works, and make them better. A part of me wishes I was motivated to create without the boredom and restlessness driving me, but in another sense, I am content with my own personal reasons for writing when I write.
I will have to consult with my best friend about how to move forward, because he is the one that spends all his time doing this (within my small circle of people). I’m sure that reading will be a part of it; developing patience and the willpower to get lost in a book. Once again, I always fear what I’m missing out on, regardless of what I’m actually engaged in. I’m growing tired of this, however, and I need something that I can commit to. Sadly, I have a feeling this is going to include reading, writing, acting, filming, and comedy, and just thinking about how much work will be involved makes me want to, once again, close the word processor and go back to watching Youtube videos. But there’s also the side of me growing restless.
My best friend and I have talked about this before several times: eventually, you just become bored with what you’re doing. Everyone does. All creative people go through phases. They do something, then they change it up. This is my first small, slow step towards changing it up.
I can’t keep writing the same things over and over and over (or, at least, I want to work on not doing that).
Also, something that I consider that may (or may not) surprise you: what if I’m actually an idiot? I don’t think so, but past experience makes me doubt myself. And what of the writers that I think are intelligent, but are widely ignored or dismissed? How will I handle the thought of me writing things that are intelligent, but also widely ignored and dismissed? I suppose the simple answer is “practice makes perfect”, and I don’t know how I’ll react if I become as reviled and ignored as someone such as, say, Murray Rothbard (for you simpletons, I’m not comparing my writing to Rothbard, but am merely asking the question: what if I become as obscure and disrespected as he is? How would I handle that? That feels like the worst-case scenario for me as a writer, which is why I brought the example up).
Word choice, editing, and confidence will (obviously) be a big part of “getting sucked into the world of writing”. But the next big step is to figure out how to do it without becoming overwhelmed (and, thus, disinterested) in it all……
I think the key, for me, will be small steps.
I want more confidence in myself, and to be less concerned with what others have to say about my works. Contentment and bringing my creative visions to life (and a lot of money) are what I desire. I know that I will become more confident the more I practice. Now, it’s just finding the desire to treat this as a full-time endeavor (God forbid?). Once again, I have uncertainty regarding writing. How much do I want to do it? And when? Maybe that means I’m not a “real” writer. Maybe I’m just a poser. But I’m a poser with things to say, so I’d consider myself a writer, even if only part-time.
All I know is that I want to do it. I couldn’t say how, nor what, nor how much, exactly. Time will determine all of those answers.
Thank you for reading the thoughts of a bumbling idiot. I may or may not resume bumbling idiocy after intermittent messages similar or dissimilar to the ones you’ve just read here.
(There’s the witty, snazzy note I was praying that I’d end on, thank God. Oh yeah, and this one is as well. And this one).