365 days of Adventures in American Writing. What’s the point?

A spontaneous essay about what I’ve learned so far

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Rule for writing:

Many writers smoke, and I’m not saying that you should smoke. You really shouldn’t, because  it’s terrible for you. What I’m saying is that maybe the reason that many writers smoke is because it allows for you to take a step back from your work, from writing, allowing you to see better what writing is really about, which is of course the greater world around you. Simple rule: If you want to become a writer, you have to be able to take a step back.

I’m just going to write this out and let it flow…

A full year on WordPress  A full year and a half since I got back into my hometown. I wish I said I was closer to anything in life than back then but really only further away…

And goals, not sure what those things are anymore. I’m up and down, my mood goes and sometimes something sparks my attention and I focus in on it and I live for those moments, but I forget about just how difficult life can be, about growing, and sometimes writing comes natural but so often even living doesn’t come natural. I think a bit too much and I think about not doing  what I set out to do, and I’ve read philosophy books and I’ve studied theories for almost fifteen years and sat with professors and lawyers and doctors and judges; I’ve thought and thought that I knew what I was doing, thought that I’ve known what was going on, and then the only thing that I really discovered is that I didn’t really know what to do or even what way to think.

And so you write, to be a writer, for what? What do you write about? And like this blog is called, adventures in american writing, and the sub heading is adventures of the human mind, really, that’s what this is about, this artform is only about my mind, just one mind, but a human mind none the less. When you’re younger you write and you get your first typewriter and you’re poor and starving and it’s all so easy and romantic and being a writer, so many people call themselves this concept known as a bloody writer, and I’ve inspired so many people to become writers, but when they jump down that dark wishing well, they don’t know how to get out, how to see, and then they can only laugh  because once you jump, you jump, it’s over, it’s only you, and you will be alone on your journey.

See you don’t really have a clue what style is because style is a fashion and writing and life is about something unattainable; it’s about capturing a moment that has past and explaining to yourself what this life is all about. Writing to me is something that I don’t know what else to do with it because of the blocks in time that it gives you. I would say to those who are about to set sail, that yes, be a writer, sure, do it. Go out there into the unknown but don’t expect the rewards you talk about after workshops and in classes and television, ha! I watch these television shows with my best friend and some of the shows are about writers, and I’m thinking of Californication and the new show on HBO called Girls. I recently watched the new episode of Girls and the lead character gets a job being a freelance writer and the head editor tells her to do a bunch of cocaine and write about that. The thing is the lead character never writes anything that she does. She becomes just another party goer and trendy bathroom-stall hipster, and she wants the american life, the good life, the what you can’t really have right away if you are a writer, what is only a dream anyway.

It just isn’t realistic, doesn’t capture how writing really is. Writing is so much darker and more beautiful than people understand. I’m saying that I want to watch a television show about a writer who struggles and sits by themselves listening to the wind wondering what to even write about, what the point is, why anything matters. I want to watch a television show where the writer struggles with sleep habits and worries about forcing themselves to remember to eat because they constantly are thinking about words. I want to watch some strange show about obsession and dreams based on this history of american writers and world writers that have come before that character of the modern writer. I want to watch a television show about what I live, something I can relate to, and it’s not always crazy, and it’s actually kinda troubling that you don’t know if you can give it up or not, and if you’re too weird and strange to participate in society now. I want to watch a show about a young writer who actually lives in the decline of america and is an outsider to it all.

You want to be a writer?

Writing is about not giving up, and so often you might want to, but you can’t because now you’re in your thirties and what else do you do but do what I call, the tap tap tap. See nothing captures what the writer is because there aren’t very many writers left in this world, and perhaps there hasn’t ever been that many writers like the one I’m trying to become. It may be only about persistence and its messy and gets old and so often you’ll get so tired of the whole damn thing. Trust me. You’ll get down and dark and sing the writers blues. But you wont give up. You’ll keep painting with your words just like I try to paint something that I see, and sometimes I have to force myself to do this, just like you force yourself to do what you love, and love is hate sometimes. Sometimes you have to fight with what you love, because love can be a burden, and it takes work…..

Television shows about writers, ha! I want to see a show about how life really is. I want to see art about the world that I see. This is why I write. Why you should write. This is why being a writer isn’t really about books and prose and poetry and fashion and jobs and fame. It’s not about dance clubs and sex and agents and being cool. It’s not about blow and fucking and making the mainstream uneasy. Writing is about becoming a good person, telling your story and progressing society. Writing is about the human being, seeing what life really is, painting your picture, and sometimes you won’t know what that picture is and sometimes there will be madness, and sometimes you’ll think you are the best writer ever, but there never was a greatest, just a collection of wise people much like philosophers of the ancient times.

One day you may be there. Maybe you will be a great writer. Maybe it will be you who will write the next great novel. Maybe you will be nobody. Maybe you’ll quit writing and become homeless. Maybe you’ll get consumed with the act of how can I make more more more of anything. Maybe you should quit writing forever. Maybe you don’t have what it takes. Maybe you should do whatever you want to do. 

Alright, the only thing I know is that writing is about writing. About sitting down and reading and thinking about writing every minute of your life. I think about writing in the shower and when I eat my toast, always words and getting back to my work is on my mind, and this is what you have to do, you have to become consumed and as its been said, if you’re going to go, go all the way, or don’t even go at all.

You have to slowly become what you want to be. You have to become a good editor, a good listener, and you have to fight your lesser qualities constantly because writers are held at higher standards than the rest of society. You have to let the life become you. You can’t try to be this or that and your style wont be really what you have learned but it will be what you have lived. Writing is about growing. Writing is about living. Writing is not dead, look around you, some of the top television shows are about writers. There’s a reason for that. The writer lives a life that is constantly in the search for the mystery of what’s not really out there but rather what is inside of the human head, the mind.

If you jump, you jump, and nobody can save you.

Writing is the will of the mind, an adventure of the mind, an act where you can meet your subconscious and actually become that which people don’t even know is them. Writing is about the sameness of life.

Please, remember this, that if you want to become a writer, it will never stop, and it can’t, because it’s not about what a writer is, it’s about what writing will do to you. Writing will change you. You’ll see what I’m talking about…

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