I don’t exactly remember how I started writing. I remember finding a notebook my sister had converted into a 12 chapter romance novel at the age of fourteen. My parents had been furious. For some reason after reading it, I tried to write my own detective novel. I was about 9 and probably only got through the first few paragraphs of whatever the fuck I thought I was doing before I abandoned it to play NBA 2K like a normal child. Other memories along the years that led me here are still vivid, but I don’t think I remember the order they happened in. Why is any of this useless information important?
Well, something broke in me.
I don’t know how it happened but it did. I remember waking up one morning in May with an empty gut. I knew it was not hunger. What I felt inside was a different kind of emptiness. It was the kind you feel when you’ve been cracked open and hollowed in, and you know that even if your halves are glued back together, the emptiness on the inside would remain, no matter how whole you seem on the outside.
Suddenly I was drowning in a sea of untold stories with no words coming out of me. Every sentence became even more difficult to craft. Every time I opened a draft, it ended in a long staring contest with a blank page and a cursor itching to move. At first, I thought I’d run out of ideas. So I started to create new experiences; I took a trip, tried new things, even fell in love and got my heart broken. But nothing inspired me. Then I considered the possibility that maybe I was just being lazy, so I got more writing done in volumes and learnt more about language technicalities and writing forms. For a while, I found a working rhythm and I thought I’d finally cracked the code. But I quickly learnt I was merely becoming a better communicator, the feeling I used to get when a story I had not written caused warmth in my chest was gone.
I had lost my voice.
I ran to my editor with my problem and his only recommendation was honesty in my opinion of all things. Thing is though, at the mere mention of the word ‘honesty’, I swear, all I feel inside is panic. Life has always been black and white to me. You’re either alive or dead, you’re either rich or poor. No matter how many philosophies you can come up with as an for excuse something, it will remain an excuse. Black is black, white is white.
Yet, I have walked grey lines all my life.
I don’t put an effort into being an asshole, but I do a lot of asshole things. I respect women and I pride myself a feminist — an idealist post-modern man so to speak — but I watch a lot of porn and manipulate my way through serious emotions to keep a string of girls mainly for sex. I know smoking kills and drug addiction is real, but I write this in the lucidity of loud and wine, and I can tell you, the only drugs I haven’t tried are the ones I can’t find a dealer for. For every thought that crosses my mind, there is an even louder voice yelling an utterly ridiculous but logical alternative line of thinking no matter how dark or illegal it sounds to a saner mind. My self-awareness has always been a blessing and a curse. I understand the world better than most, but I am haunted by a sense of right and wrong that constantly guilt trips who I am at my core.
But I know my editor wasn’t bullshitting me. The purpose of art is to find the ultimate truth, but first, the artist must find their own personal truth no matter how difficult it is to confront. We’re all infinitely trapped in a war between this ideological prison of society and who we really are when the night is quiet and the lights are off. I don’t know If I’ll ever find the courage for honesty in my writing, but there is a story about a sloppy blowjob and a friend’s younger sister I have been dying to write and I have to get to that. I’d keep writing this to at least share a realisation or a preachy lesson or two, but there is none.
Yup, this was a click bait.