The Whole Truth

There are some lies floating around about writing. I think the lying writers are the ones who have started them. Writers know they are geeks and they know they don’t really have friends. So they make things up about the thing they do in their brown cardigans when they are feeling lonely so that they appear to be cool and mysterious. Of course the liars have to rely (rather desperately) on someone reading and believing the lie in order to look as cool as they imagine themselves to be. But for some reason this has worked rather well. And so there are lots of lies. Myths. Fictions. Which I shall now proceed to debunk in an angry style.

You don’t choose writing, it chooses you.

I don’t even know what this means. Writing doesn’t choose anything, it can’t choose, it is not an agent capable of choosing. It is a hobby for a lot of people, therapy for a lot of people, a career for a few people. It is not a person. It is not like the national lottery pointing finger. Some people are born being quite good at writing (like painting or music or cooking or doing sex) and some people are interested in writing and practice a lot until they are better at it (see above). Sometimes you can tell the difference. I think even people who are born being good at it have to practice a lot. I bet there are a lot of people who would be ace at writing (and I mean really shit-hot) who have never even seen a lap-top computer in their lives, who can’t read, who have more pressing things to do than be chosen by writing.

I have to write.

No you don’t. If you don’t like it, go and have a cup of tea instead. None of this tortured soul stuff. It is even embarrassing to hear young people speak like this. People have to eat and they have to drink. If they live in cold countries they have to have somewhere inside to sleep. If they are sick they have to have medicine, or operations. They probably need to have other people to chat to them and touch them sometimes, or books. Almost everything else is frills. For leisure purposes. Very nice and important and worthy and interesting but not in the ‘have to’ category. If you think that you have to write you should try not writing and see what happens. I would be interested to hear if anything bad happened. I think excellent (and I mean really shit-hot) novels are not being written all the time. No-one cries over it. There are two many novels anyway. Too many poems. Too many blogs. I have to write really means ‘I want to write’. There is a cure for wanting to write and that is to do the writing. All problems solved. Next!

No-one understands me. I am a tortured soul. I drink/smoke/do drugs. I must write to express myself.

I would much rather you didn’t, for one, and for two, it is not possible. It is not possible to express a self in words because words are one thing and self is another thing. They bump into each other and the bumping is sometimes interesting to read about, but most of the time they miss each other. This is sometimes very sad and sometimes very funny and sometimes it is interesting to read about too. But selves are not expressed by putting one word after another, not ever.

I have writers block. I am uninspired. I have lost my mojo.

Pah! All this means is that today you would quite like to do some writing but you can’t think of anything to write about. That means you are tired or hungry or you need to drink tea or go outside or do something else for a while. Or maybe you have finished writing and it is time to do painting or music or cooking or sex. So you could stop. Or you could do some writing anyway, about not being able to write, or anything. Most people who can’t write have blogs, you could always do that.

I am going to post this bit of writing on my blog so that others can read the real truths and be converted. I will also keep these truths in mind the next time I get airy-fairy about my typing practice. It happens surprisingly often.

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