Considering how often I complain about writing, you may be wondering why the hell I bother engaging in the torturous activity. Masochistic tendencies? Self-hatred? Chronic antisocial behaviour that requires a legitimate excuse?
Besides the word addiction problem that all writers seem to suffer from, there’s a simple reason: a sloshy bucket.
See, at some point during puberty, I went into an emo phase, without the black clothes and white makeup. Or is the black-and-white theme goth? Mime? Who the hell can distinguish between all these groups…what I mean is, I became a person who is sad with the state of life. In a middle-aged person, maybe the cynicism that accompanies said mentality comes across as distinguished and intelligent; in a fourteen-year-old white girl with braces and an obsession with wearing sweats, being emo comes across as ludicrous ad vaguely creepy. So, I did what any normal person would do: I wrote down my “deep” philosophies in a journal.
Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, writing in a journal didn’t fulfil me completely. It was too girly, too cliche. I was Enlightened, and therefore was obligated to feel constrained by the closed world of lined pages and smudged pencils. So, I got a journal without lines, and was much happier. The journal doesn’t actually play a big part in this story, I just wanted to demonstrate what a self-righteous prick I was.
Now, I’ve always been a writer – ever since I figured out that squiggles on paper made stories, I’ve been writing. But when I became a teenager, I needed to branch off my writing into something New, something Grand, something that could change the world forever.
So, how was one extraordinarily “mature” adolescent going to change the world? My plan was “brilliant”: I was going to change everyone’s mind about religion. No longer would religious wars take centre stage in global affairs, because Ella the Amazing was going to write a satirical piece (I had no idea was satire was back then -actually, I’m still not sure what it is- but it sounded cool) on Jesus. Because obviously, Christianity was the only religion that existed.
I started writing a story about Jesus’ life based on the Bible, from Jesus’ point of view. It was going to be poignant, making him more of a man and less of a deity. However, the more I wrote, the less poignant it got. Jesus slowly ceased to be divine, sure, but instead of becoming a tortured soul, he became a rebel. Jerusalem, land of the oppressed, became a slum (or as close to a slum as my sheltered young mind could imagine). I didn’t have access to the internet, not without my parents being able to access my browser history, so I didn’t bother doing research on slum culture. As if that wasn’t insulting enough, I even made up a new character for God that was too awful and blasphemous for me to describe online. And I’m the one who spent a post making dick jokes (Asshole, I’m Coming), edited the post, and then actually followed through on publishing it on the internet! I’m not exactly the model of blushing modesty, but this character was too insulting for even me to describe- can you even imagine how haywire my imagination went with him? No, of course you can’t, because you’re not a fucked-up hormonal teenager with anger-management issues and a log lodged so far up her ass, she was spitting splinters with every sentence. If you are a ditsy adolescent with a kink for self-flagellation and an insatiable desire for anal with forest-grown dildos, you should be shuddering as your imagination supplies the details of this horrific character I invented.
At any rate, this story about a deity-turned-sarcastic weirdo fulfilled me in a way I’d never felt before. I was complete, and the well of seductive darkness within me had become just a little bit more manageable. Enough for me to pretend to be the sweet angel that I look like. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that self-description is the truth, or another example of self-deprecating humour.
You may be wondering what this anecdote has to do with a sloshy bucket. Allow me to enlighten you:
The bucket is the hole in my heart where my soul used to be, and it’s sloshing with all the deliciously vile crap that my imagination creates. When I write, I dump portions of the content of my bucket into stories, making it a little less sloshy. It’s easier to carry that way.
So, that’s my writing story- what’s yours? Why do you continue writing, despite all the downsides, setbacks, and inner demons that dodge your every foray into the literary world?