Friday, March 30, 2007

Save As Draft

Words are like feces, Once you sit down to take care of business, they just come spilling out of you. Then you spend twice as long trying to make them into something they're not. Light a match - Drop that paragraph. Spray some Glade - Change a story about you into a story about someone else. Sanitize the bowl - Sanitize your soul.
A good writer isn't someone who can change the way you perceive shit, but rather someone who can stand to let shit be shit.
I'm not a good writer.

I've been working on the "1995" novel for three straight months now. Almost every night I stay up until 4AM pounding out memories into my keyboard.
Then I spend just as long the next day white-washing anything that makes me look bad.
That doesn't leave me with much at all worth reading.
Stream of consciousness writing leaves the situation naked and open. True. Reading back over it, it's compelling, but I feel a need to rationalize actions and downplay the emotions. I don't want to come off as spiteful, hateful, boastful, arrogant, reckless, or self-centered. Flawed. So I rewrite everything until I'm self-deprecating, insightful, clever, or disillusioned. Boring and pompous - Unreadable.
It's the curse. I worry about perception. Not that people won't like me, but rather that they won't understand. This is the good kind of writing that can damage friendships, kill relationships, cause family turmoil, lose a job, or get you arrested (hell, I have 3 or 4 stories that would jeopardize all 5). I am compelled to explain the rational behind every single one of my actions, until I'm (now) left with a 100 page insincere apology. The type of shit that no one wants to read.

I do the same thing with the blog. I have about 3 dozen great posts that I have saved as drafts and just left to rot for fear that someone might take 'em the wrong way (understandably). They were too real, too honest, too unfiltered to actually post. I write 'em out and then bury them down in the digital ephemera where they belong.

What makes you smart as a person, makes you lousy as a writer. And I, for one, have chosen to embrace mediocrity.
It's best for all of us.

5 comments:

Michael K said...

You are such a big tease. Always with the cryptic, "I could post some stuff but then I'd have to flee the country." We want dirt, pal.

Prairie Dawg said...

Yeah the mediocrity thing. There's no doubt it must be embraced. And there's nothing like writing a blog to get that done.

Meat Head said...

Embraceing mediocrity is the American way.

Why try? It could hurt someone. Hell even if it's good and dosen't hurt someones feelings you know. It will make some one feel bad about themselves they aren't as good as you.

If you are mediocre you won't upset anyone and live a very safe life.

You can live hard or die easy.

Michael K said...

Also, no one will know it is you if you start your story, "My name is Osh-jay. I am from Llinois-iay. And boy do I like uns-gay." I seen it work on Get Smart and the Partridge Families. Ya got nothin' to worry about.

edP said...

This post is honest without offending anyone...

I think as we get older it should be easier to be honest...and not just because those who may be offended die off or somehting like that...

We need to hope that in saying something truthful out the past it will help us to learn the most important lesson - being truthful in the present...

Being truthful

Being

It seems like there is a great potential for pain when we sift through these obeservations or tell some of these stories - but maybe the project itself is worth doing.