Saturday, December 24, 2005

Why I Write

In the course of my life thus far there have been a few constants. One of those has been that I have always been a writer or felt the need to get the words, ideas, expressions, thoughts, and imaginings that rattle around in my brain down on paper.

Not to sound like a new age artist, but I have always felt the need to express myself. Perhaps it’s from my troubled childhood or deep suppression, but I have always had a fire that burned inside me to get it out. And that’s what I do.

A universal rule in writing is to write what you know. Yeah, you can make up entire worlds, scenarios, characters, whatever, but all of that must come from somewhere. It comes from your creative (subconscious) mind, the storehouse of everything you’ve soaked in your entire life. From that you can create anything you want, but it all comes from one place: your head.

That may sound obvious. Well, it should. From this literary rule I have formulated the basis for my writing. I write what I know. Everything I’ve ever written has been created out of true-life experiences and real people, twisted and churned into the story or world I’m trying to create. And it is so with every writer out there. We all draw from our personal lives to create our worlds.

What I have begun to discover is the consequences and hardships of such writing. Good writing involves drawing from key experiences and people in your life and putting it into words. The problem arises when those key people read your work. Depending on how personal, how honest, how realistic you portray these people you run the risk of offending them to a various degree.

Now, you could say that it would be better not to use people, not to use their likeness, and to create someone totally from scratch. And that is done. To an extent. The bottom line is that most great literary characters are based off of real people and then added or taken away from to create someone new.

Some people are flattered to be used, some offended. What I have learned is that this is the most difficult balance of all.

I have always been a seeker of truth. Call me idealistic, but the truth has always been a close friend of mine, even when I’ve lied. The truth is what we all seek. We all want to know what is really going on, what others really think, and why things are the way they are. We all want to know and it angers us to no end when we feel that the truth is being kept from us.

In writing I feel I can tell the truth absolutely. I can give a glimpse into the true workings of my mind, whether they’re right or wrong. At least they’re true. I am someone who always wants to know the deep, hard truths. I guess I just want to know everything. I can’t be God nor do I want his job, but to know, unequivocally, what people are really thinking, what is really going on in any given situation, what the real meaning is behind this or that, well, that is what drives me in life. That and a passion to create and to inspire. If I do nothing with my life I hope only to inspire as many people as possible to follow their own dreams, to create their own body of work and continue the trade as I have or simply to be fulfilled to some capacity and given a perspective on their own lives to drive them forward.

That is my hope. However, what I have found in life is that the truth, while it may set you free, can also lock you up. In drawing from my own personal life, experiences, situations and people, telling the truth about said things has gotten me in more personal dilemmas than I care to recount. And why? Because I told the truth.

So, why am I telling you this? Why should you care? Well, I’ll give you the match that sparked my current thought process. An Anonymous commenter left a comment to my “nice little Saturday” blog that said: “Your wife should leave you because all you talk about is other women in your blogs.”

Now, I don’t let things get under my skin, especially from cowardly people that don’t identify themselves or clarify their argument. They’re the people in the crowd that shout an obscenity at someone and then run and hide behind everyone else. I’m always up for a good debate, but obviously not with a coward.

However, this person’s comment did get me thinking, but not about what they wanted. It made me think about how much I share with my audience, however large or small it may be. I have always asked myself if I share too much and at what point to draw the line. There is no doubt that my style is crude, harsh, and unpredictable. I like it that way. It will stay that way.

I have taken into consideration everything I’ve put down on paper and in doing so, allowed my own personal thoughts, however righteous or downright wrong they may be, to be seen and read by anyone who wanted to. I see it like TV. If you don’t like it, change the channel, but don’t ruin it for everyone else. While you may think that Teletubbies suck, as I do, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t a multitude of children out there that do enjoy it and it’s not up to you to judge whether or not they should.

What I’m dealing with now as I work to advance my writing to the top, and it will make it to the top, like it or not, is the effect my writing, my truth, has on those close to me. It’s not easy; it’s very personal, and a delicate balance that I have yet to strike. I am doing the best I can, but in the sacrifice of giving my audience the truth (as well as the entertainment) I must hold to my strengths, I must hold to what I know, and I will tell it like it is.

I know I will have my critics. Everyone has his or her critics. But, to anyone that wishes to shine me on or judge me based on what I write, at least bring a solid argument to the table instead of throwing a rock and running away to hide. Have the courage to back yourself up. I certainly have the courage to stand up for myself and what I write.

So, a lesson being learned for me. This is my life. These are my words. I make no apologies, unless libelous, and I take full responsibility for every word that comes from my brain and lands on paper (or computer screen).

This blogsite is not myspace. For anyone looking to start petty, hair-pulling contests, please vacate the premises immediately. For those looking to have a good time, a few laughs, maybe gain some insight and hopefully walk away feeling at least a little inspired, read on. I write because it’s what I do. It’s what fuels me. It gives me strength and it is my strength, amongst maybe a few other things (like caulking and hanging Christmas lights).

I write for you, dear reader, and in doing so share my life with you. Take from it what you want, take from it what matters to you. Believe me when I say that it is a difficult thing to satisfy the masses. And so, I won’t even try. I will continue to write whatever I want, whether that is my unnecessary and bold comments about “other women,” the crazy adventures I share with my wife, or how good the Batman comics have been this past year.

If you seek the truth, entertainment, insight, and personal thoughts/beliefs of a man such as myself, I welcome you to my world. It’s going to continue to be a wild ride.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow...and a merry fucking Xmas to you, too!

Hey, preach on brutha-man! Gotta make you wonder what drives some people to be petty, but it's probably due to some self doubt issues, etc. So, I guess in one way it can make you feel good that you arent so troubled.

I, too, have found that the only real way to write it to use your experiences. Because those experiences and your words combined create a power, a force to which cannot be reckoned. Kinda like the power rangers of the written word...

I think I had better start using an alias so I dont get misinterpretted in the mix, for it WAS I who made the Batman crack (and I really meant what I said about Star Wars and it's capacity of suckage).

But, from one writer-freak to another...hold your banner high and wave it like a jolly-roger in the wild wind and dont be afraid to use this flag pole to knock a nigga (and I use this in the non-derogatory slang sense of the word)in the face if need be!

Sincerely,
agent y

ps...maybe if you buy her somethin' reaaaaal nice (like that coach bag she's got her eye on) the wifey might hang around a little longer...;)

Paul said...

Thanks Agent Y,
As one of my most loyal readers I appreciate your comments. However, if you dis on Star Wars anymore I might cut your head off with a lightsaber.
I will continue to wave the banner and the wife will have to live with the $700 coach purse she already has.
Or perhaps I'll only talk only boobies, instead of boobies and bum-bums.
Either way, she'll be a spoiled little princess after all is said and done and we've sifted our way to dry land out of the excess of crumpled Christmas wrappers.
A Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Cherie says....and just because she's to lazy to register for an account.....

I think it is ridiculous someone would write that. I told you this before....write what inspires you, write what you feel...and don't worry what others think. To be successful as a writer you can NOT censor yourself. It is good for you to get feedback on this stuff now, because when your screenplay sells and your novel gets published you'll be subjected to this kind of criticism. You'r writing rocks ;)

And to the person who wrote that about me leaving Paul....mind your own and stop being a coward. I'll stick with my hubby....even if he doesn't buy me the new Coach purse I've been eyeballing.....

Mr. Boy said...

Yeah...um...I think your wife...is...um...hot.

...and I miss hearing you guys "do it" through the wall.

...it used to put me to sleep at night...it was nice.

Anonymous said...

Cherie says....
Shut up Sean....you NEVER heard us having sex. We would neer have sex before we were married. DUH!
It was the turtles damnit!

Paul said...

Mr. Boy,
You're offending my readers with all the sex talk...good job! Anyways, I am happy that our ugly-bumping could usher you off into dreamland. We are thinking of making a Landscapes CD of it and sell it in the nature store. Any buyers?

K said...

Hey Paul, what a great post! That's why I am a PLATONIC fan! And, as a bonus, there was no profanity, nor women-lusting! Kelly