I have written a few posts on writing in my life. Some of them I even published. For the most part, they all are rather appreciating towards the art of writing words down. You know, something along the lines “writing down your (way too frequent) thoughts, crazy ideas, wildest dreams, greatest fears and brave imaginations makes you so much richer a person”.
This one, however, is not like that. This one is the opposite. It’s (fucking finally, I’d say) about how difficult, uncomfortable and utterly fucked-up writing is.
And also, how fucking desperately I need it in my life, precisely because it’s so shit.
Let’s start at the beginning. Sort of. Last year was pretty shit. Would even say exceptionally shit. And one of the main reasons behind that, I realize now, was the fact that I ceased to write. Not fiction (I haven’t been writing fiction regularly for years), but personal kind of writing. The kind I do all my bloody life, or at least as long as I can remember. It’s like I really came into existence, became aware of myself, once I started to write.
It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t really get the whole diary / journal idea. If you’d really badly like me to visualise it, I could use Harry Potter analogy (everyone knows Harry Potter in either book or movie form, right?): do you remember this super old guy with white, long beard who was the headmaster of Hogwarts (for the most part)? So, in both fifth and sixth part, Dumbledore uses this magical thing called The Pensieve, in which he can put away and store his thoughts and memories, so that he can come back to it and analyse it later (and even invite someone to have a look with him). That’s basically it – the best visualisation of my writing habit (obsession?) you can ever get. My Pensieve, quite literally.
Back to the point: 2017 was the first year (during my 15-year-long journey in personal writing) in which, at some point, I almost entirely stopped writing my thoughts down. I felt so uncomfortable with my own mind that I figured it’s better not to make it worse by writing it down and make me re-live those shitty thoughts all over again. I daftly thought it’s a wise choice. That it’s helping.
Couldn’t be more wrong.
It is quite possible that up to that point, writing a personal diary has come too easily to me, and it was only last year that it got really difficult. It must have subconsciously scared the shit out of me to such an extent that I simply ditched it altogether, reasoning with myself, of course, that it’s for the best: better not to write at all, than write desperately. No wonder I feel ashamed of it now: such a typically passive kind of move!
Writing about yourself (at least the way I eventually taught myself to write about myself) is not supposed to be easy, or get easier with time. It is the other way around. The more I write, the more I understand, the less easy it gets. And that’s how I know it works the way it should. It’s like one of my favourite lines by Placebo – “a heart that hurts is a heart that works”. Writing works when it hurts. And, however weird that may sound (considering that fiction by definition is something not true in literal sense), writing has always been my ultimate tool of truth. I can’t – really bloody can’t – get any more sincere than I am on paper (virtual or real). Writing is my auto-therapy. My truth.
Not so long ago, my good friend asked me how on earth do I still manage to write a diary, because every time she’s been trying to write, it felt fake, like she was constantly lying to herself. Well, my diary used to be fake for bloody years. Gaining that sincerity with myself was not something I did overnight. Oh no. I worked on it. Really hard. For bloody years.
What I’m trying to say, is that writing is a fucking mess. Especially writing about yourself, to yourself. It’s all about self-discovery, and although people tend to idealize that particular process, don’t be fooled: most of us (if not all) hate the things we discover about ourselves. Truth is rarely comfortable.
If 2017 taught me anything important, it’s this: writing is shit.
Real life-shit that I have to go through if I want to get anywhere at all.