Friday, July 10, 2015

Fakery and the fire of life

I strove with none; for none was worth my strife,
    Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life,
    It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
-Walter Savage Landor
I don't know, man. Sometimes when I'm writing these posts I feel like a total fake. They take too long to write. They're overwrought and overthought. I feel like I can craft something until it's writerly, but that is not the reason I sat down to write in the first place. After all the rewriting and rereading and massaging here and there, it feels like I'm looking at a corpse on a table. I've got all the parts of something genuine in front of me, but the fire's gone out of it.

It's more important to me that something clear and truthful and human in some way than if the writing is writerly. I just think things are best when they balance themselves out, body and brain, natural impulses, reflections on those impulses. It would be just perfect if you could write and write and arrive somewhere that is as much a revelation to you as it is to the reader. That's sort of how I feel about expression in general. I don't think you have to be able to draw to draw a beautiful picture or have a nice voice in order to sing. It's not the voice it's the song. To me anyway.

I talk about this all the time, how to find the right way to express yourself that's thoughtful and readable yet isn't overwrought and doesn't make you feel fake when it's over. I wanna write the way I want about the things I wanna write about. But I'm not even sure what that means or how to do it. There's no reason you can't try new things and write in different ways, given that this is a blog, given that this is the internet. There's so much noise you can let wail and be assured, for better or for worse, few will see or hear what you have to say. It might even be a gift, for a while.

Still, I struggle between thinking I have something to say and thinking everything I make is awful. Some days I write something or paint something and it feels right. Other days I'm 35 and...what is it you're still trying to do again? But I know that you're entitled to the process and that is about it. The thought, the idea, and the joy of seeing it through. That's all you get. You're not guaranteed anything beyond that. So to make the very best of it. I try to keep that in mind, but I can't always.

Sometimes I feel like I'm only writing to myself, only making pictures for myself, and that is less than fulfilling. Sometimes I feel no better than someone who's never tried to do or say anything at all. I'm trying to figure out how to write and make a life from it somehow. I wanna play a part creatively. Actually, I need to. I can't sit in an office writing about something I'm not interested in though. I'm trying to write on this blog as much as possible. Sometimes it hits, sometimes it misses. I guess it's just one giant work in progress. But I have to find a way to write that works for me and doesn't leave me feeling fake after. I've been writing for a while, but I haven't really been blogging seriously for very long. Maybe fluidity comes with practice.

I have to try.

1 comment:

  1. “I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”

    ― E.B. White Yes, fluidity does come with practice. Keep practicing.