Why I Write...For Now 3
As of late I have found it extremely difficult to sit down and write anything that I believe will to some degree surpass my Being, or the fully fleshed out version of myself that exists at this moment. I find myself doing dishonest things in my writing, just yesterday I found myself writing something for the purpose of bashing someone, and trying to start a fiery argument. When I posted it I was not trying to provide any insight that was worthwhile, but listening to the thumping hatred in my head and heart. I prefer to be genuine and honest, that is my mode of being, perhaps not all of the time, but for the most part I strive to achieve these standards.
In my past “Why I Write” I stated that 1) How can you continue writing without direction or reason? 2) You must always be thankful towards those who give you a chance to express yourself.
I believe this is absolutely true, although I have not lived up to this as of late. This piece is to develop my belief that dark things can be used to expose the beauty of Being. I wish to develop my followers’ understanding of who I am and what I believe. This whole concept is based off of one of my favorite writer’s essays, “Why I Write” by George Orwell. In it he mentions that one must know an author’s background in order to understand their motives.
My love for writing was a slow one, at an early age I rarely read, although I did love creating massive story arcs in my mind and with my toys(generally toy soldiers and superheroes). As far as I can remember I always had a little voice in my head that I characterized as my guide, I imagined that my skull was a headquarters for a group of little human beings that helped me through my life. They dictated my actions and words. Oddly I believed that my whole body was like a machine, at one point I imagined the little humans in my head using an elevator to get down to the lower level of my body to fend off little robotic dogs-it was odd~ish. This was something that I imagined up until the age of about 16 maybe earlier. I still have my little human residing in my mind, but I am certain now that it is my conscience.
By the fifth grade I had reached my first real encounter with books and writing. I had a glorious teacher named Ms.Gonzalez, a wonderful new teacher that engaged with my class in such a manner that work was more of an exploration. She truly pushed me and others to read, the first and second book series I finished were because of her. The first was The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod and the second was The Hunger Games. I was somewhat amazed by these books, but the ones that still interest me today are the ones I read in her class and in the school book club. One being Among The Hidden(I believe) by Margaret Haddix and the other being The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. I was amazed by the totalitarian state in Among the Hidden, and the secrecy, it was strange to see how things could get so wrong to the point where a government was willing to limit the number of kids people could have. The City of Ember was a marvel to me, I have always been amazed by cities and the compact drama that occurs within them. Each book stretched my imagination and made me truly visualize the events that occured within the books. My first ambitious piece of writing was one based off the video game Borderlands 2, in which I created a band of characters that slowly united together to fight against the bad guy, that being me. I showed the piece to my teacher which I had written in a green notebook and was surprised to hear her say that she wanted more of one of the characters. I was expecting a beat down, but luckily she gave me a figurative pat on the back and a nice “keep trying kid”. By the end of the fifth grade major changes in my life had led me to what I would like to refer to as my dark days from 6th to 7th grade. It was mainly a major shift from being a clueless 12 year old to a clueless 13 year old with hair and hormones on the fritz. Seventh grade gave me a small chance to write some more in my creative writing class, but it was short-lived. I wrote a story about the Russian Sleep Experiment creepypasta and another one where I wrote a story about a man falling into a ravine and discovering an ancient temple, but in the end it was all just a dream.
By the 10th grade I began a magnificent adventure. I had discovered dystopias, the first being the beautiful 1984. I loved Orwell’s dark and realistic world. From there I moved on to Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaid’s Tale, Animal Farm, The Only Thing To Fear, and later on to Brave New World. I could not help but dig deeper into these books, the way people lived and carried out their day to day actions in a realm where everything was like a boot. They stood up against the hell that ate them alive and did what they could to pursue the truth. I had been deprived for years of books and the worlds inside of them. I looked for guidance in them that I could not find in my fatherless home, books were my teacher. They drove me to find who I was and how I should act. Tenth grade altered my perspective on the world, people believed in me and I began to do so as well. When eleventh grade came around I was embarking on a new adventure, I had read The Odyssey over the summer and a few other books. My thirst for books was growing, by the eleventh grade I had discovered the wonders of prose and poetry. When I went to my school’s south library I had browsed through the poetry section, and found a green book named Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman. Whitman completed my voyage for both honesty and character, it was Orwell for truth and Whitman for soul.
I am now in the 12th grade and have lost my momentum. I want to write more poems but I find that doing free verse is not enough. I find myself distant these days from old friends and who I was a year ago. I may have changed for the better but I am stuck in an unknown territory and I do not know whether to swim back or go forward. For now I write for the purpose of helping people transition from hell to some greater purpose, I may not be there myself yet, but I no longer diminish myself at least. I am worthy of walking with God, that is the way I understand it, in other words I deserve the same respect I give to others. I want to lead people through the dark and help them find meaning and to show them that they are not alone.
This is what I will strive to write about for now.
I want to thank the glorious prosers that have supported me both old and new.
Thank you all. Truly, thank you.
minimalism and nuance
sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
context be damned or
a rose is a rose is a rose
and the very thingness of a thing
so an adjective is ostentation
the heavy face paint of
a teen who cannot yet see
the beauty of her eyes
and sometimes the perfection
of a moment or a sense
defies shorthand sketches
so one must choose
words in tandem to weld and
shape into rough imitation
and hope to inspire connection
to the untouchable original
It’s hard to be a writer. Half the time nobody wants to read what it is you wrote. No matter how short or long. Ask a family member and you get looked at like you asked them to scrub the toilet with their tongue! Ask a friend and they will say “yeah! I’ll read that.” but they almost never do, or they skim it over and tell you how “good” it was.
No writer in the world writes for their own convictions. We write to tell a story that will insight emotion into the reader. That will leave the receiver with deeper questions, or will fill a void in the person’s heart.
We write for the world to read our stories, and yet, we can’t find a single person who wants to read what we wrote!
So do we as writers (who have a need to put words together) stop writing?
Do we stop begging people to read our labors?
Do we stop sending in our stories to publishers who will continue to reject it?
We persevere, not because we know our writing is great and needs to be read! Because if we don’t write, then we lose a piece of ourselves. We read what others have written and think to ourselves, “I could have depicted that better.” We can’t help but put to paper what is in our heads. And yes, we do it for the fulfillment of others. Not for us.
I have never written something I deemed well written and said, “This is so good, I am going to keep it to myself so nobody will ever read it!” and I doubt any other writer or published author has either.
Being a self-proclaimed writer is even harder. Nobody takes your writing seriously. You either don’t have a grasp on proper grammar, or your punctuation and formatting are all wrong. And you think to yourself, “that’s okay that’s what editors and proofreaders are for”, but you are wrong! They are there to help real authors who are published and have a grasp on proper grammar, punctuation placement, and the correct formatting, not for the newbies and the eager to learn.
As a new writer, you are excited and quick to want to share and get feedback, so you join Facebook groups and sites like NaNoWriMo or Prose.com. You pour your heart out and into your work, but when you run it through Grammarly and Hemingwayediting.com, you are disheartened to find your writing level is below average and your awesome “show don’t tell”, words are looked at as mediocre. You get advice and critiquing like this:
“Don’t use adverbs!”
“Don’t use passive voices!”
“Don’t use too many adjectives!”
“Don’t attempt to write if you don’t have the skills!”
So those of us who don’t have “it ”right, stop writing. Who is going to listen to what we have to say anyway? Especially when the libraries, book stores, and editorials are all filled with what others have already written. You can’t help but wonder,
“Is there enough room for me on those shelves?” The answer should be YES!
Yes, there is room, yes you are good enough, yes, yes, yes! But that’s not the feedback you receive.
Your rejections and your lack of supporters begin to weigh heavily on you. Your goal of 1,000 words a day, get cut in half, and then in half again, until all you are doing is thinking about writing, instead of actually writing. All those short stories, prose’, and poems that you thought were going to get recognized don’t. You begin to realize that the only person reading your work is you and that’s not why you write!
You join creative writing classes and enroll in local authors clubs, but everyone there is in the same boat you are. They want their works published too! And of course, if that means undermining your works to get theirs noticed, then so be it. It’s better than being unknown.
And so the unpublished, unrecognized, under-educated writers who write for the world, slowly start to retreat. They hide their notebooks of half-finished ideas away. The delve into other talents they have or other hobbies to occupy their mind. They read books that they think are okay but could’ve been written better. And they forget. They forget about all the rejections, the criticisms, and the critics. They busy themselves and their minds until they have buried all the negativity and self-doubts and they take out the notebooks, the half-written and almost forgotten stories. They rewrite and re-word and revise and they send their work out into the world yet again, just to go through the same vicious cycle.
Until one day, somebody reads what you wrote and gives you a simple thumbs up. On that day, you are a real writer! Who cares what everyone else said. Who cares about the rejections from the publishers, the critiques from the editors, and the looks from your family! Someone out there read something you wrote! And guess what? They liked it!
Why do I write?
I write because there is a passion within me that cannot be extinguished. There is an undeniable drive that cannot be tamed. My words are the expression of the deepest, most vulnerable part of me. You read my work, you see my soul. My heart is poured out into every prose, story, and poem. I write in hopes it may touch you, the way writing it touched me. I’m allowed to be so intimate and so vulnerable, yet hidden behind my words. My writing screams what I’m too scared to say.
to escape from this colorless world.
so people pay attention to the lonely.
to create firecrackers out of words.
to water my pain with the hope it will grow into flowers.
A Laundry List of Reasons
Ink stains the spotless
Like silver on glass
Reflecting pure gold
Though my heart’s made of brass
Quills mend the parchment
Silk stitched, verses thread
Pillow thought garments
Quilt comforts of bed
Wells unveil colors
Envisioned by saints
Landscape of language
Soul’s palette and paint
Tasting each line
Black on ivory soap
Washing my mouth out
’Til gleaming with hope
Slate spilled on chalk-white
Lead steeping, loose-leaf
White cotton tea-towels
Dyed with poetry
Darks bleed on white
Clean, I pin up my flesh
On the prose-line to dry
The bookworm’s ramblings
If I do not write
how will I live
with everything bottled up inside of me?
When I write
it resonates with people
make a difference
I have always been in love with words
as long as I can remember
Books were my refuge
I use those words to write my own path
It is hard for me to say why I write
because it is hard to imagine where I would be if I did not.
are my home
they are my anchor
they are the comfort that never leaves
they understand me
you guys understand me
and so I write on
e v e r y t h i n g
I didn’t mean to ramble
I want to delete this
But I’ll leave this
In case you want to see
I write because...
I write because if I don't my emotions will bleed out of me.
I write to shine a light on all the things hiding inside of me.
I write when I feel so heavy that I think I might break.
I write to understand all of my broken pieces and mistakes.
I write when I don't know how to get people to listen.
I write because I need to know that somebody will listen.
I write to let out the jumbled mess inside of me.
I write in hopes that one day I will finally feel free.
I can’t swallow a sandwich whole, trust me I’ve tried.
So instead I learned to chew it up first,
you know, like a normal person.
I can’t image i’d have gotten very far in my life without chewing my food
before I swallow it.
My thoughts are like sandwiches,
my brain tries and swallow them whole and unsurprisingly, it chokes.
Funny enough, it does this quite often,
this is why I write.
Writing and chewing are more similar than you might’ve thought.
writing helps me understand what’s going on upstairs,
otherwise I can’t process everything, maybe not even anything that I’m thinking,
my thoughts need to be in words first before I can even attempt to understand them.
I need to chew before I swallow.
When I create, I escape
to places untold or just can't relate
it may sound bizarre
most dreams usually are
but that's my pursuit of late.
This world has gone way too insane
holds riddles too deep and arcane
requires all faith and love
to keep our necks above
the sinking depths of pain.
With poems I try to evince
feelings of peace or transcendence
at times a nonstarter
but I should try a bit harder
as it's myself I'm trying to convince.