Saturday, December 6, 2014

Freewrite

photo by Chris Leggat

I've grown a little bored of education lately.

I'm tired of learning about writing, and writing things that are meant for other people to learn from. I'm tired of writing essays in school that require a certain format, and I'm exhausted from researching facts to base my writing on. I'm annoyed with conventional grammar, standardized formatting, and everything that tells me that my writing needs to match someone else's expectations. Of course I understand that, whether at school, at work, or in the business world in general, writing needs to be created a particular way in order to accurately convey whatever it is that it's supposed to be conveying.

But I can't do that every day and be satisfied that I'm truly writing.

So today, I'm blogging without any regard for my audience (sorry) or with any intention besides my own selfish desire to write something that matters to someone (in this case, me). Perhaps I'm publishing it online to prove that there is more to knowing how to write than anyone will ever teach you at school, that there is more to loving the process than just "being good at it". Perhaps I'm publishing it because people keep telling me I can write, but until I feel like I can write something from my heart I know I will never be the kind of writer I want to be; only the kind others see me as.

Today, I'm freewriting.

photo by Doug Robichaud
I want to write stories that drive chills up my spine, stories that bleed out through my fingers because my soul carries so many more words and ideas than I realized. I want stories that make people feel things, makes them curl up under the covers unable to think because my words chase them into the night, haunting the attics of their minds, little lost tales trying to find their way back to their author.

I want to write in a way that makes your heart beat faster, makes you catch your breath because you’re so shocked or so afraid of what might happen next. I want to make you feel like singing, like hiding, like dancing and crying. I want to create words that dance across the page and spiral out of control until you look up from the pages and realize that you’re in a different world altogether. I want to design visions and legends that make you feel like your life is nothing in comparison, like you need some kind of adventure to fall into your lap, now. I want to make you thirsty for dreams and hope, and I want my words, my magic to feel like the only answer.

I want my writing to be the kind of drug you grow addicted to after the first dose.

I want to scare you, inspire you, hurt and heal you. Writing is a skill, they’ve told me, but you can use it as a weapon too. I want to prove that I can change you more than you’ve ever imagined and I can do it with a few strokes of a pen, mere seconds of pecking away at a keyboard. I want you to know I'm not the only one with this power.

When I write I want to catch your mind in my words and treat you like a guest in a story you didn’t realize you were starring in. I want the world I create to become yours when I write because sometimes there is nothing more important than the fact that you escape, that you get away, that there is someone out there who understands your need. When I write, I want to be that someone.

My words will never be clichéd. What happens in my work will not be what you expect, and if it is then I will turn around and surprise you with something else in a minute. I refuse to be predictable. I refuse to be ordinary. I refuse to abide by conventional rules and formatting, even proper grammar, if it doesn't suit the style of the things I have to say. I refuse to be what you need me to be, but I will be what you didn’t know you needed.

I want to make you think beyond this world and the next, to search for answers to questions you may never need; but I want it to be worth it for the journey.

I want my writing to come from the heart.


My stories are woven from memories and the ideas I keep stored in my head like an attic filled with boxes, all ready to be opened, filled with puzzle pieces waiting to be shoved together so they can resemble something coherent. Memories are more useful than you'd expect.
         
Until, at least, you drown in them, wallowing in the history of your own life until it closes over your head. Why is looking back so painful? It’s an ache for time you can’t get back, love that once was perfect but isn’t the same any more. Friendships that fell apart because of nothing worse than the passing of time. Memories can't be replicated because they were only perfect in that moment; that scent, that touch, that whatever that now exists only in a tiny space inside your head.

They’re so fragile, these thoughts. If you consider them a certain way, thoughts and memories only exist as intangible moments inside our minds. They’re different experiences for different people. They mean different things and change over time. There are things everyone remembers differently than the way they actually happened, right? So memories are unreliable. Thoughts are unreliable, and easy to lose.
 

Yet... we base our entire lives on thoughts and ideas, memories and intuition. Isn’t that a little like lying to ourselves? It’s why I don’t trust science- because it’s all based on shit that other people decided was true. Just because a theory hasn’t been proven false yet doesn’t mean it’s concrete and can’t ever change. Someone once asked me, when I said I didn’t believe in science, whether I believed in gravity. Obviously this was meant to make the point that I should believe in science, but I believe in what I need to believe in order to make my own reality something that makes sense to me. If I didn’t believe in gravity, the world wouldn’t make as much sense. Or would it? I probably wouldn’t ever wonder why my feet stuck to the earth the way they do, I’d just accept it as the way things were. 


I believe that the world adjusts itself according to our expectations. We see what we want to see, for the most part. People turn away from ideas that scare them. I’m guilty of this, too. Would you rather go mad trying to accept that fact that maybe nothing we know is tangible or as real as we think it is? Or would you rather impose a few “rational” limits on this world we inhabit, to make it easier to understand during this short scrap of time we’re given on this earth? 
 
It’s like trying to decide what to do with your life. Do you go for it all and follow the expectations that society places upon you, trying to get a job and make a living and become the kind of person you think you’re supposed to be? Where’s the purpose in that? But does it make any sense to live quietly in relaxation all the time? Not really, because then you remain complacent and I can’t see the logic in that either. I suppose we’re meant to find some sort of balance, some sort of way to deal with the fact that we’re born into this world and nobody really knows why, so we’ve got to do what we can with it.

But then, why is it so important to leave a mark when we’ll be gone from here so quickly? Unless, of course, that’s exactly why we need to leave a mark. I know I want to be remembered; I want to change things and make a difference here. I'm lucky that I've been given enough words to try. Maybe we’ve got some sort of internal clock ticking, some part of us that is born knowing just how long we have, some inaccessible part of our minds that knows the answer to that existential question, why are we here? I wonder.

I wonder, and always will. I've accepted that fact that I can't know all the things I wish I could, not that I'm always thrilled about it. But that is, in the end, why I write. Because how else are you supposed to deal with or understand this crazy world of emotions and people and adventures? 

I will keep on writing, because in writing I can find both answers and my own way to push the limits of this world. 

If you've made if this far, thank you for reading.



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