Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Writing

It has been brewing and stewing for a long time, and maybe due to the fact that I just turned 40, I find myself more and more unable or perhaps unwilling even, to ignore that voice inside. I want more than anything else to be a writer. It's all I can think about. I only feel like myself when sitting down and letting the words flow. It is during those moments when I rediscover someone I feel I know very well yet who at the same time feels like a stranger. Sometimes I am aware of what is happening and I write a planned out story and sometimes I go into a bit of a trance and am surprised at what has appeared on the screen. Either way, it is in those moments that I am truly happy, when I feel aligned with my spirit and that I am doing what I should be doing.

On the other hand, there is the fear. The insecurity. The little voices of doubt and they keep me from jumping into the pool of that dream and swimming around for a bit. That is the war that has raging inside me for some time, pulling me in different directions. It's one thing to write out bits and blurbs for my blog and another thing entirely to throw myself into my hobby, my passion and let fate unfold. I am miserable when I can't focus on my writing. I am at my most miserable when I have the time to write and there seems to be nothing there. The times when I actively look for any piece of inspiration however serious or stupid, hence the appearance of Paris Hilton and Britney on a number of occasions. I try to follow the advice of Paul Smith who has a book titled Find Inspiration in Everything*: (*and if you can't, look again!). It is that point of view that has let me hold onto my sanity at times. It has certainly helped me in India.

When I see things, I think about how I will describe them. When I experience things, I keep little notes so as not to forget. When I write I feel both exhilarated and intimidated, free and imprisoned and the feeling is delicious. An epicurean feast that I enjoy with complete abandon. I started this blog at the suggestion of a friend and spent almost a year intimidated by it. Putting one's thoughts and feelings out there for public consumption is scary. Terrifying, in fact, and yet the more I do it, the more I need to do it. It's like a drug that keeps me going. When I am not writing at the keyboard, I am writing in my mind. I started my blog to try out different styles, different ways of writing and found that I prefer making people laugh, or at least smile. My friends and family have been great sports by allowing me to write about them, even if it is not entirely flattering.

Where is this all leading up to? Well, I feel a bit like Alice at the looking glass. I know there is an adventure if I just go through it. I know in a way I can't really describe that it will be amazing and difficult and frustrating and fascinating and tiring and completely fabulous and so I have decided to step through and see where the journey will take me.

I am not sure exactly how that will happen, but I know I can't live someone else's life anymore. I can't do what everyone thinks I should do, I need to follow that dream. I can't wake up one day and wonder what would have happened if I had only taken a chance. I would rather crash and burn and fail miserably in this than to not have the courage to do it. I am ready to leave my job, leave my salary and all that is comfortable to me in order to pursue this dream. Something I didn't really realize until very recently.

So if anyone has any ideas for me on how I can do this, please let me know. I don't care how it happens, I just care that it happens. In the meantime, if I write something you like, let me know. If I write something you hate, let me know that as well... I am not looking for praise or criticism, I am looking for feedback. I love to write. No, I can say I live to write and I want to improve. I want to write and write and write.

Thanks for reading my words. It means more to me than you will ever know.

1 comment:

  1. As an Appendix to Umberto Eco's novel "Name of the Rose" there is some advice on 'how best to write'.

    I once read that piece with a lot of interest because -let me be brutally honest about it- I harbored very similar ambitions to become a writer.

    Now, many years after reading that 'writers manual', I now have a much simpler and practical opinion about the art of writing:
    it is most likely just something you do..
    (insert Nike slogan here :)

    The hardest part is most likely to really let it go if you send the fruits of your labour out in the world where it must find its own place. Al the worrying if the art created will able to stand the tests of time, or -for that matter- live up to your own scrutiny and critique 10 years down the road, is best left for readers to decide. That is to say, if they want to read it at all
    [btw, publishers aren't really to be considered as 'readers', though they will obviously have to read the work first before they can decide to publish - but that is a different story].

    I always found much encouragement when reading great stories written by Jack Kerouac, James Joyce (couldn't understand what he was doing until being really drunk & lovesick one time) or Hunter S. Thompson (one of my favorites). These guys were obviously having fun in the act of writing itself, finding their own unique style seemingly without being bothered by conventions. And as they didn't seem to give much care about the rest; publishers, promotion, book retail shelf life, et cetera; they managed to create unique stories that we can still enjoy.

    Reading this very blog entry me thinks you're already on the road to becoming a great writer. The only thing is that perhaps you still worry a bit too much :)

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