Look Ma, I’m writing!

I came to write fiction. First I wrote nothing. Now I write journal. Andres no write fiction no more.

Somehow the laziness that had initially kept me from writing is now giving me a heavy “nonfiction” bent. Actually this isn’t all that illogical. Fiction requires a lot of a writer. In order to write it you must contend with a creative mind constantly being drained, yet hardly ever being replenished. You’ve also got to deal with the paralyzing fear that what you’re creating is absolute shit, or even worse, not creative. Then there are the fiction purists who demand you adhere to certain guidelines for plot and character and all that other shit I can’t name since I got a degree in psychology. It turns out that the “creative” in “creative writing” is referring to fanciful stories, not the exploration of syntax and grammar and all that other shit I can’t name since, again, I got a degree in psychology. I suppose I’m not particularly well suited to comment on these matters considering my lack of traditional training (“these” because I don’t know the proper term, or terms, fucking psych). In fact I always detested English classes, all the way back to high school. In those early years it was because I hated learning about the technical aspects of language. In college it was because I didn’t want to write all those assignments. Now it’s because I’m an adult, damn it.

Somehow, somewhere, I managed to develop a decent grasp of the written language, “the” being English, not “our” because I’ve been taught that assuming your audience is incorrect, although I think that comes from my psych research methods classes, however my English classes did teach me that a sentence like this one isn’t proper syntactically and ought (not aught, I’m such a dilettante (thank you GRE flash cards for that D word)) to be broken into further sentences but I want to get back to my initial point which I already forgot what it was supposed to be. So if I don’t know jack about proper punctuation; or grammer, or syntax. or whatever else is out there (see what I did there? Eh? Eh?) then what right do I have to challenge the norm in that regard? Hell I was confusing “its” and “it’s” until recently when my uncle told me to “get my fucking its in line for fuck’s sake!” Nor am I particularly inclined to put much forethought into what I am writing, which I assume is an important part of experimental work.

What I like about writing isn’t so much the product as it is the process. Everyone wants to create work that will be idolized by the masses. They want the world to recognize their genius or their incredible abilities as authors and they therefore strive to manufacture something “amazing”. In this way these writers become fixated on the final product to the detriment of the process, or to be cliche, they forget or fail to realize that joy and discovery are in the journey, not the destination.

I write as a means of exploration and play; exploration of myself, my world, and the manner in which I interact with the world. I prefer to keep my writing fluid, without conscious drive if you will, as I find that what comes out to be far more interesting than anything I could purposefully create. I am after all a creature molded and guided by the unseen cultural dictates that constitute my psychology, and those dictates make for very contrived and uninteresting work. This is what happens when people set out to write “a believable character” for example. They try to think of what makes a certain person disagreeable, or smart, or flawed, and then use the stereotypes they’ve been taught to try and capture those personages. But we’re human not because of our traits, we’re human because of the manner in which these traits interact with and affect others and our environments. In other words, process over product (the analogy needs a little bit of logical leaping, but think about it).

I also find that the unwitting personal notes left behind in writing are far more true to form, and intriguing, than what is actually in the work. Whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, every letter, word, intonation, punctuation, formatting choice, all of it, is an extension of its creator. It’s a subtle clue into the mental workings of another human being, someone just as mundane or inspired or dumb or smart as yourself, someone who has the same desire to express him or herself and to try to make sense of this crazy world. It’s a way to get behind the civilized persona we all assume as we leave our homes and to see the raw, true essence of being. Sometimes I think that the only way to get the unadulterated truth is to read behind the lines.

Ultimately my hope is that in writing free form crap I will see something new, something enlightening.

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For the Intermittent Writer


Short books about albums. Published by Bloomsbury.

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