The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some Thoughts on a Lot of Things

I've been feeling a little crazy lately, which I suppose is nothing new, but my mood swings and day trips to the dark side have been a little more unsettling than usual. This has got me thinking about a lot of things, such as God, my place in the universe, and mostly, eternally, myself. I've had a lot of self-pity going on and I feel very much like a self-absorbed romantic poet circa 1832.

All of this has brought me to thinking about writing. Writing is something I feel like I have to do, yet I haven't done it hardly at all in over a year. Why? I think it's obvious that I'm avoiding it. I'm not just avoiding writing, I'm avoiding myself, because I usually end up completely disgusted with whatever I've written, and myself, almost immediately after I've finished writing. The problem is not that I can't say what I want, or that I'm having difficulty communicating, in fact, the problem is just the opposite. I communicate exactly what I want to say, exactly as I want to say it. The problem is that it's crap. Self-absorbed, self-pitying, infantile crap.

I don't think that self-absorption is necessarily bad in writing. In fact, I had a small epiphany a few weeks ago that writing about onesself *is* valuable, because while it may seem narrowly focused, I think going in depth with what one knows about one's own experience can reach out to others and really effectively communicate truths about life, behavior, etc. So I don't think that using the self as a reference point or subject matter is necessarily bad, because I think honestly it's all we really have. We only have our own internal lives to go off of, we don't ever experience the world the way anyone else does, only the way we do. And I don't think that's selfish because I think that many of our experiences can connect with others, and they can find communion in reading our trials and joys. I think that writing about what we know of ourselves is, in a way, an aknowledgement that we are not sacred, or elite, or completely alone/separated from the world because we are recognizing, by writing about ourselves, that we are relatable. I am one of many people in this world who experience things, and I don't think my experience is quarantined off from the rest of humanity; I don't presume that "no one has ever felt this way" which is the height of egotism.

So to get back to the problem, I think the key word in my above description of my writing is "infantile." I see it as underdeveloped. And of course, it would be. If it's and one-draft line by an unpracticed writer, it can't be anything *but* infantile. If I want it to progress, I'm going to have to stop avoiding writing because it's painful and work through the horrible rants, the bad prose, the worse poetry, until I give myself a chance to grow. Writing isn't going to get less embarassing if I just let it sit and fester in my head because I dread the moment of hatred that occurs when my ideas are manifest on paper. If I ever want to write anything good, I'm going to have to accept the embarassment, the loathing, and the dissatisfaction that comes in writing infantile work, then adolescent work, then developing work. And maybe, someday, I'll reach a point where I don't always love what I write, but where it satisfies me occasionally. Perhaps, if I give myself a chance, there is hope that I could one day become a mature writer, and I think my entire person will be much more fulfilled (and hopefully less crazy) because of it. Here's hoping.

And now, as a great demonstration of good faith, I will resist the urge to delete this, and instead accept it for what it is.... watch me....

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