Sunday, May 7, 2017

Evolution in Progress

Lately I seem to be asking the question ‘What’s the point?’ more than I usually do.

Writing is a difficult passion and writers throughout history are notoriously moody fuckers – I guess it’s because writing involves spending a lot of time in one’s head – observing people and situations, constantly reading random information under the guise of “research”, reading other people’s work to compare your own to (and torture yourself with), formulating ideas and then trying to press those ideas onto a page with a combination of letters – a secret code to transmit your idea into the minds of others.

Sometimes the ideas and words flow and it gives me great satisfaction, at other times it feels about as futile as scratching stick drawings into the dirt. And sometimes I feel like giving up – life would be easier without the self-imposed torment of writing I think.

I give it away for a few days or a week, unstrap myself from the writing rack and try to walk around like an ordinary person doing ordinary things...

When I was a young adult writing seemed like such a romantic idea.
 I pictured myself living alone in an urban apartment, wearing black, drinking coffee, spending hours at a desk with a typewriter furiously filling empty sheets of paper with words, slamming the return lever at the end of each line of type, tearing out each newly printed leaf and adding it to the growing pile on the desk. My fingers stained with nicotine and typewriter ink, I would be a productive writer, churning out dozens of best selling novels…

I hadn’t known then that the reality of writing is more akin to a monkey getting termites out of a nest with a stick.

The lure of those damnable little termites, protracted and measly as they are to procure, keeps me coming back for more. And it doesn’t matter how sophisticated technology gets, whether I use a pen or a laptop, I can’t upgrade the stick.

I curse the stick and the termites but my tantrums are pointless – the termite mound remains immovable. I am a primate with opposable thumbs who can use a tool but all my evolution and intelligence gets me no closer to the feeling of purpose or completion, it just makes me question more. And when I have come full circle, stripped away the complexities of every facet of life in an effort to reassess the purpose of it all, when I have returned from a journey round the dark side of the moon there is only the glimmer of hope to guide me back.

And the stick is where I left it, lying in the dirt.

Photo creative commons license courtesy of GorillaSushi

Sometimes life feels lonely and difficult. Sometimes the voice in your head isn't friendly. Sometimes it feels like the pieces aren't fitting together. You're not alone. Leave a comment if you like. xx 

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