29 Dec 2014

Write Woes

This happens way-too-often. It is not acceptable; but I do not at the moment have any inkling what the real solution is. Of course, I can think up a good number of reasons for why it happens. But thinking up reasons do not naturally lead to a solution.

It is true that being a relatively weak swimmer and generally afraid of the sensation where I am not grounded, I must at least be tethered to something reliable, like a building. I did try diving once, and in a rather foolish manner too. The jolly folk took me to a swimming pool, taught me in an hour about how to breathe only through my mouth, and to beware of some oxygen bubble, and off we sailed towards the Great barrier Reef. Between all that money spent and the choppy waters, I let myself down clumsily, clung on to a rope as I bobbed hopelessly about. Since I could not ever remove that mouth piece, I screamed silently down the ten meters or so. So the reasoning that perhaps my struggle would break forth into a new freedom if I dared dive in wasn't a picture that quite worked for me. In fact, it felt akin to an invitation to take a walk in a black hole.  I have not been near one; but the vast ocean with no four steps to climb out of and a rim to make for feels a lot like a black hole to me; and it is a total waste of time to visit a black hole. What can one get out of it?

It is also true that I am a small person; and by this I do not merely mean my physical stature. I am fully aware that I can only stand in the shadows of the many great men and women who wield the pen and honestly will be at an utter and complete loss as to what to say if I should get a chance to talk with any of them; which is to say that they can say it and have said it all better than me anyway, so why bother.

It is also true that I live in a small country where we have for decades been feeding off the hands of what we deem to be our cultural superiors, the ang mohs. I am sure there is some psychological phenomenon with a label on it for this. The result is that local writers very rarely occupy any shelf space in a bookstore and if you write for a subset of the reading population; then that precious bit of real estate will not be allocated to you – yes, the way things are.

So - I have these thoughts, faces, ideas that seem to rise like a mist and they coax and cajole me every day. I think I am supposed to take a closer look, to dive deeper, to listen and then find the words and string them. But I don’t. Instead all I end up with is an infatuation. I never make a date. The appointment is not set, the exchange is not made, and the conversation is never recorded. I am feverish with excitement for the moments when the muse visits but my page is blank, still.

What genre? Where does it fit? Why would anyone care to read about the very first real-life Irishman I ever met? What if the said Irishman read it and I have totally warped who he is? I wouldn’t like to read what sounds so much like me that also make me out to be someone I am not. What to do.

I tried to tweet myself out of this, just. I composed an elegant one hundred and twenty characters. It feels better, as if, I at least showed up for work. But who am I fooling?

Perhaps in the end, the solution isn't rocket science. I just made my nine-year old redo his English composition. I should just mother myself into being a good child and getting my writing done.

Your ideas are welcome. Please leave them in the comments. Thank you!

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