Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Answer To That Question I Didn't Mean To Ask

I need to stop posting at 1am. I need to stay up till 4am at the very least. Can't see that happening. Not without some random don juan climing in my window and keeping me awake, and let's be honest, if any one were to try and climb in my window now, they'd get a hockey stick in the face before they could say "Mon amie! I'm here to be your love pony!" And then I wouldn't be able to go on my trip, because I'd be in the remand centre, waiting for my court hearing, and trying to not get shanked by some scary butch woman's shiv.

The answer is: yes.

The question was "Am I writing because I write? Just as couples stay together because they're together and it hasn't occurred to them to go their separate ways."

All the workshops I've attended, all the little introductions I've had to adlib, I've said the same thing. I never started writing. I just never stopped. It's something I've always done, it's always been the larger part of my identity, and so trying to imagine myself as 'not a writer' is a bit like trying to imagine myself as 'not female'. Its fundamental in just that way.

Writing is the comfortable option. The easy option. I know writing. I can even kid myself that I've acquired one of the first few levels of skill and technical knowledge. I'll never be great, but I can aim for good.

Which can't be too different from settling for second best.

Because there are alternatives, sharking around the edges. They lean against walls with a thumb hooked in their jeans, showing of their sexier than thou hipbones, and giving me 'come get it' eyes.

I could write...

...or I could draw.

This isn't as new as it sounds. Drawing was a large part of my life as well, for a good while there. I doodled on everything in highschool, did pretty well in my art subjects, and made the greatest birthday cards ever. I don't know where the drawing went. It just...slipped away while I wasn't looking.

I want to draw. I want to be great at drawing. If I'm honest with myself, and I'll let myself be honest with myself, I want to draw so I can draw my stories. I should be writing comics instead. The accustations of writing too visually and too video game-like are regular visitors.

Part of me wants to turn away from words and catch the world with lines instead. Teach myself a new way of seeing things. A new way of catching stories. A new challenge.

Another part of my thinks this is just...excuses. To give up before I get anywhere. I think I'm afraid of success.

Don't take that statement as arrogance, it isn't intended that way. Failure doesn't daunt me. If I fail, there's anger and disappointment and my god, I throw myself at it again till the damn thing is conquered. But success? That's a scary thought. I aim for success. While I keep my expectations realistic, I don't see the point of chasing a dream unless it's a really big fucking dream. I'm trying to catch the sun with my own two hands. I'll probably fail, but I might...

I think it was Clarion that trigged this. There were too many compliments. People were paying attention to my fun little ditties, and suddenly they weren't little anymore.

A couple of weeks back I dreamed that Daikaiju 2 was finally published. I walked into a bookstore and there it was, big and garish on the shelf. At first I was delighted; at last! After two years of waiting, the story was in print. But then, as I stood there holding the book and staring at the table of contents, the implications of publication started to sink in. People were going to read it. Oh yes, people were going to read my story, and some of them might like it, and some of them might dismiss it, but gods, people were going to read it. The story wasn't mine anymore.

I woke up feeling anxious and mildly panicked. The book isn't even out yet. I can't be the only writer afraid of publication. But hey, I am. It's taken me a while to admit this. On an intellectual level, I'm laughing. I'm afraid of the very dream I'm chasing, but then, maybe the best dreams are the ones that frighten you.

I don't want to be good at a lot of things. I don't want to drift from medium to medium in my life, and master none of them. I want to master something. I want to be able to say, without a doubt, 'hell yes I'm good, and this many people agree." I want to catch the sun, this sun, with my own two hands.

And I will.

When I stop sabotaging myself.


  1. An artist friend of mine once told me, "All kids draw. All kids write. All kids sing and dance and get up on stage and act. But somewhere along the way, as you grow up, you stop. You get self-conscious, or convinced you're not good enough. Usually the only people who keep going are those who want to go pro. And usually they only focus on that one ability. But there's no reason why anyone has to stop drawing. Never say, 'I can't draw.' Everyone can draw."

    (It's Anne, by the way. Not stalking your blog! It's just one of those nights.)

  2. Hey you. It certain is one of those nights. :/

    My problem is I want to do everything.

  3. Anonymous19/7/06 03:10

    +++Oh yes, people were going to read my story, and some of them might like it, and some of them might dismiss it, but gods, people were going to read it. The story wasn't mine anymore.+++

    I got this when I started writing for the uni paper. It passes. You don't need to worry.

    +++I want to catch the sun, this sun, with my own two hands.+++

    When's your birthday again? I'll get you oven gloves.

  4. Anonymous19/7/06 10:41

    the best dreams are the ones that frighten you.

    Hell yes, they are. The tame ones, the ones that don't force you to test your boundaries, your skills and your talents, aren't worth pursuing. They will give you no sense of accomplishment. They will teach you nothing. They will leave you feeling cheated and somehow empty.

    At risk of frightening you- I like your writing. I think you should keep at it, and it's for entirely selfish reasons. I want to read more of it. I want to walk into a bookstore and pick up that book, too, and brag to the employee that rings up my purchase that I know, personally, one of the names on the cover.

    I want that very, very badly. I want that as much as I want to walk into a bookstore, pick up the book, and brag to the employee who rings up the purchase that I am the name on the cover. This should tell you how much faith I have in you.


  5. Anonymous19/7/06 10:46

    Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make an awfully good Dread Pirate Roberts.

  6. Meeeeroo, you twit. When your name is on the cover of any book, you won't have to buy it. You get free copies. ;P You get to swan into stores and say, "Ho there my good man! I am here to make my mark! Bring out the cabana boys!"

    Sabathius - I looked for a headscarf before settling on the bandito hat. Alas, this house has as many head scarves as it has tricorn hats, otherwise there would have been Dread Pirate Roberts all over the place.

    And just out of curiosity, who be you? I haven't been able to riddle it out myself.

  7. Anonymous28/7/06 10:37

    Not a twit. :P When my name's on the cover, I'll be able to afford to buy a copy or ten zillion, which is the point. :D Ring 'em up, my lad! Those are MY books. BUAHAHAHAHA!

    But you get my point, you wretched woman. ~slurp~