Who am I and Why do I write?
I have been looking at my old writing and feel a bit impressed with myself. Its been years since I have looked at some of these things and the strange thing is, I don’t recognise my style at all. Many are written clearly by a younger, less mature but ultimately more experimental version of me. It’s strange to notice the lessons half learned in a piece that i thought would be the final version of my book. To think that ten years on the story has changed exponentially and for the better is a sobering one. I can see how the characters and the world has developed into a complex and varied entity, there have been hundreds of changes some minor some major and yet the spirit of what I was trying to create, the message remains in tact. I wonder how that has come about. The various exerts of writing seem to catalogue the places I have been in my life when writing them. Theres sorrowful ones written when I was in a dark place, and joyous ones that were written when I was happy. It seems that I have made a map of my emotional history, which takes just a little bit of reading between the lines to reveal. It made me think about the nature of writing, and why do I write?
There are many different art forms out there, from the bizarre to the mundane to the crazy, and yet I have chosen to write. The question is why? This is a question I have often asked myself, but seldom came close to an answer. I have had a yearning to write for a long time. The books I read as a child filled my head with new worlds, some I liked, some I despised. But the point, it would seem, is that they inspired me to write, to challenge and above all to THINK. Even when I was young, I remember asking questions about the way things work, and the why things are the way they were. I always had a yearning to write, but also I had an inner sense of right and wrong. My parents were not affluent, but they ensured we knew the worth of things. I was a happy child mostly, subdued and perhaps a little moody. But through all this, I remember that my parents were fair. They never pushed me to do anything, but they did support me if I wanted to do something. If they thought it was not right they made me question it, and this intern fostered, I think, a natural sense of looking at something from all sides. My parents did not have much, but I recall my mum helping people out, even if she knew we could sorely spare it. In many cases, their generosity was their downfall. I think the values they imbued me with, and through their constant struggle and their cast iron will to not allow the world to drag them down, has enriched my writing. I have realised I often write on the darkness, and the bleak. But the point is never about surrendering to the blackness, it is always about accepting what can and cannot be changed, changing what can be changed and having the wisdom to know the difference. My writing talks a great deal about finding that tiny, insubstantial speck of hope in the bleakness and nurturing it. Because if truth be known, at least to me, hope is one of the most powerful inspirations to people. It gives us the tenacity to hold on, the will to see the good in a world consumed by greed and corruption. It allows us to dream of the future and do what is right.
My writing goes where it hurts, takes that emotion and explores it through the fantastic. It is my style and looking back on why I write, i think in some sense, I do so to explore who I am and to challenge myself. I wonder whether subconsciously I ask myself, “is this who you are? who you want to be?” In dark times I know the answer has been no, and I know I have stopped myself going down a path that would lead to despair, or overt arrogance. I am a middle child, and find I am happiest when I am in balance with the world around me. I think perhaps, the middle path, is the best for me. My identity is always evolving, but, at least for now, it is in balance that i find the most reward. That may or may not make any sense, but then by it’s very nature I guess it is not supposed to make sense. Even balance is nothing more than a perception. As Banana Yoshimoto says in kitchen, “Growth and overcoming obstacles are inscribed on a person’s soul.” I can say I hold some scars from the obstacles I have faced in my life, but i also hold some warm memories and tender feelings.
I have spoken a lot about my parents, but not named them, nor have I mentioned the copious amounts of family and friends who also have had a positive effect on my life. I don’t name them, because I don’t need to. They know who they are, and what they mean to me. Names are labels given to a person, but who and what we are is something undefinable. I write and am therefore a writer, but I am never the same writer, I change constantly and my writing style reflects that…
I am not I, I simply am.
write and ramble soon,