Prose discussing my own problems as a writer and why I don't want to be one.
|Tonight I'm going to write about why I don't write. |
I don't write because I'm afraid of being validated as a writer. Not because I doubt myself or because I don't like the association, but because I have an intense pathological fear of being thought too cocky or pretentious, more than I already am, to the point where I abhor the idea. For the same reason I appreciate my friends who write and think very highly of them, I'm afraid people (even and specifically my friends) will do the same for me but think that's the reason I write.
I don't write because I hate the idea that other people will think I write purely for the notoriety of it.
And in some small ways I do. I love to share my work. Sometimes it's embarrassing when it isn't what I hope it would be, but I love to share my art. I love writers who share, I know the thought alone can be crippling for some. I appreciate the words of those around me, arranged wonderfully into poem or prose, and I love the insights it gives me into their thoughts and values.
Writers are often regarded as intellectuals, artists who have the gift of articulating the magic of the universe that occupies our minds. I love writers, they're some of my favorite people. It takes a lot for me to meet one and think "Boy do they take themselves seriously."
But that is the fear that I have. I've been called a cocky, pretentious asshole enough that I avoid most activities that would perpetuate that idea.
So I don't write in fear that one day the emotions that I poured into a keyboard will be read by someone and they'll think me an over-emotional, over-confident cock.
But I'm starting to hate that notion. It seems so unfair that you could look at an artist and think "They take themselves way too seriously."
Well fuck, why shouldn't they?
We don't write for anyone else. Even if we do choose to share our works, no writer has ever thought "Let me articulate someone else's idea, completely devoid of my own style and experiences in life."
So why am I so caught up in the idea that my writing needs the approval of everyone else?
Is it because when I was in fifth grade I was told that I was the best writer in the county?
Will someone read that and think I'm bragging and that I should get over myself?
Why the fuck will I care?
Why the fuck should I do anything less than take myself seriously? No one else will do it for me, and no one else can until I do first. In the end no one but me needs to ever read and be satisfied with the words I decide to use to articulate what's been screaming in my skull for six months.
And to anyone who will call me pretentious for writing, be it a journal or a blog or a tweet or a poem, first of all fuck you.
And second, I hope you realize that every artist is at least a little pretentious. Art requires self esteem. Every artist you love from the musicians on your music player to the paintings on your wall to the photography you chose as your computer background, takes themselves seriously. You have to take yourself seriously to say "I think that this thing that I created should be seen/read/listened to/smelled/tasted by someone else." Even the writing blogs with less than three followers says to themselves "I thinks someone would like to read this."
So fuck you maybe I am pretentious enough to say "You should read my prose, it's on a subject I care about."
Because I deserve that. I deserve to take myself seriously.
And I'm afraid they won't like me if I do.
And I think I just wrote myself back into writing for myself.