the past year or so I was really hard on myself for not writing with as much vigor as I had used to. It has come with months of quiet reflection that I had pondered this and come to a sense of peace about why this may be the case. A lot of writers, especially those that feel a moral sense of obligation to document truth, are initially inspired by writers such as Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac who write, often very young, with a present, verb-like method. These writers write in the immediate, often chaotic and messy, but very much in the moment. This style of writing has always excited me, I scurry through the pages seemingly as eager to get answers as they were to jot their experiences down with rushed, bare, and honest writing. Many younger writers are encouraged to write through the story, write what they know, and young writers are wise to heed this advice, but one must know and trust their process – as varied as it may be from the proposed and hailed scholars of writing.
As I attempted this method, and failed, I began to understand my own process, and in that way about myself. For others it might be something else that teaches them this lesson; this learning to unlearn and relearn, but for me it manifested in writing as writing and personally, spiritual and emotional growing and writing are one in the same for me.
It is possible that when I graduated I clung onto the words and advice of past professors out of fear that if I strayed from the academic path the knowledge I had acquired would elude me and I would somehow reverse progress I had made. This is fatalistic thinking and rather destructive as all I had done for months after graduating was stunt the reall learning – the learning about what information I would retain as truth and which I would modify – where the “magic” happens for any creative type.
However, this writing method wasn’t working for me. My attempts at writing had lacked any introspection and reflection – something that I have grown to trust and value in my writing. Whenever I would reread what I had written it sounded forced, with forced and underdeveloped insights. Erroneously, and prematurely, I had become dark and hard on myself. I wanted to change what had made me “me” while altering the method as had worked for others and, yet, maintain something…..I suppose the metaphor for this that I wanted my cake and to eat it also.
I have always felt rushed throughout my life. For the longest time I wasn’t sure why I would feel so rushed and hurried along to get to any other place than where I am. Until I couldn’t write. Until I couldn’t do the one thing that truly brings me release and I had to think about these things. I really had to think about them.
It was myself applying this pressure to some imagined wound, afraid if I let the creativity bleed out I would deplete myself. And in some way, taking my time has allowed me to be in the present instead of trying to rush my present into the future and label it something else. To be able to sit and reflect on where I am in live has allowed me time to observe it, to accept it, and strangely become content in it.
Sure, there are forces out there telling us by some particular age we should have superficial indicators to mark us to society about where we’re at in our age and indicate our success – but it is upon the individual to decide whether or not they will believe these presupposed ideas. It is an individual lesson, one every human feels to some extend regardless of any segregating qualifiers.
somehow my peers and I have become so immune to the joys of delayed gratification. This immediacy just gives birth to a disingenuous and anxious culture. When we are so eager for connection we believe a facade, a snapshot, of who someone is online we rob ourselves of the truth we crave in attempting to get it faster. Our eagerness needs to calm down, but our passion and excitement of life doesn’t not need to. They are mutually exclusive.
I have learned to trust my writing method. I am an individual that needs to reflect, to slow down, that is where my deepest truth comes from – reflection. There are those that portray truth in the moment and those that need to dwell deeper for awhile and despite what we are told we need both narratives for only one narrative would breath life into the same fucking story over and over again