Writing About Writing


Ah old friend. Here you are again. That voice that begins as a whisper and builds to a shout saying “write…WRITE”. It is still feeling like writing is only half finished when all I create just sits in my laptop folders, with neatly, methodically labelled titles, never read by anyone, not even myself. Is the writing solely a necessary vent for me to express what spins around and around my brainmeat, or is there something that needs to be written for someone else to connect to? Is this only for me?

Much is happening right now. I feel fortunate to be tucked away in the Abel Tasman Park for Christmas this year, enjoying time with (well in the vicinity of) my husband whilst he works. I have five days to be here…write…create…photograph…read. The book I’ve just picked up is The Way of Transition by William Bridges, and I’m digging it. Much discussion around transitional spaces and the rituals surrounding them (which unbeknown to us Westerners is often shown in things like burnout, depression and midlife crises). Anyway, I’ve been inspired lately to explore ways to step up my desire to step out of modern society and into a new paradigm, and this book gives me hope on how to do it well.

The other night I had a delusional night’s sleep. Two messages came. The first:

If society isn’t working for everyone, then it isn’t working.

This was strong in its wording and message. The second was around creating a community with all 260 characters on the Tzolkin (Mayan Calendar). This I’m not feeling going in to right now, but it was interesting.

Then the following day, Julian and I were exploring a subject I had avoided for fear of ruining the dream – the Tasman District Council’s tiny home building code. What a mess that was. As far as I could tell, the document had been created to further confuse anyone from beginning on this journey, as contradictions were rife (all packaged up neatly in appendices, flow charts and FAQs of course). It seemed that the document itself couldn’t make up its mind on whether tiny homes were vehicles or buildings, nor what to do if they were both. Apparently if you live in a vehicle for two months or more a year, it is a building. But if you can move it, it’s a vehicle. (?!?!)

I concluded after reading this that I lived in a society where those with the power were unconscious to their own insistence to perpetuating compliance to a system that cared more about keeping people in line than it did protecting them. I believe it’s unconscious because I don’t believe in a world where everyone is consciously choosing to support this system for the benefit of the few. Makes no sense that.

I’m digressing. I feel inspired now to go further to step out of the system. Previously I still falsely believed I had choice, and was supported to have choice. “Fine, if you choose not to use restaurants or

Wait, who am I talking to here?

Just from stepping out briefly to eat dinner and now returning to writing, the energy seems different. I’m re-hashing the stories I’ve already formed, as if I’m telling someone in conversation. These passages are not conversation with unknown others. Sorry reader, but they are not. They are conversations within my being with other parts of my being. The distinction is important as to angle this writing with intention to be talking to someone in the future speaks from my ego and is ingenuine. Like I’m writing a script. I find it infuriating when I watch a film and I can see the script coming out of their mouths. I say this, you say this, you react eloquently and perfectly, and I immediately respond in predictable rhythm. Real conversations aren’t like that. They’re messy and fluid, often with moments of…”wait what was the word I’m looking for”, “urm”, *hand gesture*. And they’re an interplay – two beings crafting the flow together, creating something unpredictable and embodied, feeling into what wants to be said and listening for cues from the other conversation playmate. To try recreate that magic here with an unknown player reading this in the future doesn’t work for me. It’s too one-sided, perpetuated and, well, boring. Whereas if I dialogue and play with my inner playmates, that’s where I can evolve.

I get it.

I know.

See there are plenty of writers out there that write for their audience. I don’t know if their egos are more strongly formed, whether they are narcissistic and pushing their opinions on others or are genuinely awakened enough to put forward an idea and listen out for its short-comings, I don’t know. What I feel comfortable doing is writing as I do. Even now, where I’m writing just for the sake of it. I just need to. It’s like breathing. And this process here, where I’m going all meta by writing about writing (really, again?), and wondering, well maybe trying to convince myself, that I can actually do something with this. Share my way of writing to my selves whilst I try and comprehend ‘life stuff’. But I wouldn’t be doing this very well if I didn’t question my need to do it at all. Why is writing just to comprehend things not enough? Is this an intuitive sense or an ego drive?

If I could paint a picture of what this subject matter feels like, it is exactly what it looks like. Me, on a laptop, sat in a room writing about writing about writing whilst the world out there is buzzing with activity. I’m sat alone in my fishbowl discussing at length what it could look like to write a ladder into existence, and then writing about walking up it and contacting the outside world whilst I see other people in their fishbowls just doing it. No writing. Just doing. Am I writing myself into a perpetual prison? Is writing feeding my neuroses, keeping me locked up in dream-land where everything is fiction?

See this is what happens when you don’t share it with others.

It’s like Jung in the Red Book (2009). We go mad if we just sit and create deeper and deeper into our own subconscious. We need relationship. We need to come into contact with context. If I had the power to turn all my senses off, what would that then be? Is that what death is? Senselessness? I’m imagining Helen Keller, and what kind of experience of existence she had. What is consciousness if you have no way to express it? What is consciousness when you have no way to know anything other than it?

Oof, so many questions, but you’re on the right track

Yes, it feels palpable. That’s the whole point of writing for me – a way to flesh out and formulate the right questions. The questions that have no verbal answers, but instead transport one to a way of feeling.

I feel tired now.

Writing with purpose. That is what I am missing. I’m writing from need, but not from purpose. Need is different – it’s self-led. Purpose is other-driven. I sense that something that is truly satisfying fulfils both need and purpose. I have three potential purposes that I can see at present:

  1. PhD
  2. Blog
  3. Book

I’ve applied to the first as the second seems too lost in the sea of blogs, and the third I am not ready for. The PhD seems like training. A way to marry these masculine strong-ego based script writing and feminine fluid writing-consciousness-as-it-comes writing styles.

Oh universe, please support my focus, giving me a way to earn a living writing as I do.

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