Why I write. (My reply to Jeff Goins)

A reply to Jeff Goins, here:

http://goinswriter.com/why-i-write/

I write…

Because I only know what I think when I write, and I only know what I feel after I’ve written, mused, and write more. I’m closer to what makes me, me. And what I want to say, to assert that.

To clarify, for peace of mind, to muse. So that when I express, my private thoughts have been given the right attention on paper, to both validate and let them free. I write to let go – I can only let go when I have written it down. That goes for to do lists, emotions and poetically annoying wisps that blind my sight when I have to focus.

For joy. When I write, with a greater control and freedom over what might happen to those words, I really feel joy. And if there is something I need to express – anger, sadness, desperation, happiness – it is all enhanced with joy when I write. Not necessarily directly about those things either – sometimes when I write something completely different, it seeps in and I recognise my intuition churning in mysterious ways.

Because… I just like it. And when I don’t like it, I don’t.

Because I’ve learnt to say no to writing.

I can only drive the supercar at a top speed when I know the brakes are working. To be a writer, I believe it is important to write, often, and deliberately and consciously not write. Both are important. You can’t be a writer without both. Or maybe I just can’t be me, without both.

Because I have a purpose, even if that purpose is simply art for art’s sake. Because morning pages and streams of consciousness refresh me like a shower that pours over the top of my thoughts and in the process, cleans them.

Because I flourish when I appreciate the words I use. And I flourish when I listen to a mastery of language. It is the highest beauty… that I appreciate. Maybe it’s different for others. But I know myself better when I absorb, and become inspired by, the best writing and performing of writing.

And I write…

To thank you, Jeff Goins. You’ve been an inspiration, although you haven’t known it.

 

Why do you write, create, or otherwise do what you do?

Please share with us, either in the comments, or on your blog and link to it below. <3

Keep it together, writer

How does a writer keep it together?

Writers have egos (at least, I do), a brand, a face, and a myriad of options to write and experiment, particularly online. Bits and pieces here and there submitted to competitions, freelance work, your own blog, writing to perform, and all this just to write that one truest sentence. An online portfolio is totally different to your CV and your brand should convey that all – but how can this all be coherent? I am asking you, I am not sure myself. Because it’s like every time I write my ‘bio’ and think about my direction and image, it changes when I am commissioned or I do another piece of work, or when I see a job ad that I realise I want but I never thought of that before. Just like choosing your GCSEs with your future career in mind, it’s impossible to portray a coherent brand that encompasses everything you are… and everything you will be. At the very least, you’ll be bored with the same brand your entire life, and philosophically, what is your identity anyway?

It’s easy to see the literary greats on Brain Pickings giving advice and see them as their consistent whole, as if they were always destined to be that. But they must have grown and changed and doubted. And as an artist, you do what you like, but you never know the value and popularity of any given piece of work. And these literary greats are known for their great works but who are they, really? I’m not even sure who I am, more than half the time!

How do you coin phrases when you don’t know what phrases will be used after you coin them?

 #confused

There’s my ephemeral question for you artistic readers to answer.

On being lonely

I want to write but I don’t want to be lonely. I get lonely.

 

When I have poured myself out onto the page or work in isolation, I look up in a haze for interaction to fill up.

 

Some writers like that. And I feel worse about it then. Like, I’m meant to like it.

 

Writers write to connect with people but the actual process of writing involves aloneness.

 

00688-funny-cartoons-writer

 

It might be my situation that is lonely and writing doesn’t help (although it does, once I do it – but afterwards, not so much).

 

Yes, real art and real writing is about real life and real pain and it’s brave and embarrassing and that is how I resonate and connect with you. And sometimes it’s braver to point out what’s good in a cynical world.

 

But on the other hand…

 

nobody-cares

 

A book written badly can be enjoyed by millions of readers. That’s connection, with the book, and with the other readers between themselves. Nice words don’t matter if you don’t have a story, a journey for the reader to experience, and you need to think about that before you write. You have to reveal it slowly if at all and seduce the reader to think and feel. Good writing is not even words. It’s thinking. Alone.

 

Losing a very social and great job at the same time as moving house are the two most stressful things in the world by objective standards. They were the most overwhelming and isolating things when I experienced them. And at that time, my partner preferred alone time while alone time for me was painful.

 

I looked up loneliness and I learned something. With self-awareness, it is a closeness to yourself and a distance from others.

 

I wonder if that’s true for work.

I love it at times and hate it at others. I’m a bipolar writer?

 

At the end of the day, when I haven’t made ends meet, I conclude I have nothing to show for my work and achievements pale in comparison to others. I forget why people read and why people write and then I don’t understand what I do.

 

That’s probably a sign. Often, people feel lonely when they put others first and they come second. Maybe that goes for my work too. When it feels bad, I need to put myself first and my work second.

 

I’m going for a walk.