Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sad as hell and not going to take it any more

You know, an interesting thing happened on the way to this pen in my hand. Or, rather, the keys beneath these fingertips. See, I was a Dramatic Writing Major in college. And then I graduated and wrote, well, just about NOTHING. For years. After a time I stopped even calling myself a writer because, after all, writers write. Right? And I wasn't writing.

Except songs. They were always my therapy. And it never really mattered to me if people heard those songs because they made ME feel good and, when I was lucky, they made the people closest to me feel good too. Or at least think I was really, really deep.

And, yes, it's true, in case you're wondering, just about every guy who can play guitar and sing okay gets laid because of it if he wants to, especially if he write songs too. That's another one of those things we never admit to. After a while you don't even need the guitar... And writers? Everybody is a writer the second they sign a check, so you don't necessarily get the benefit of the doubt there, unless that is, you get paid to write or use really big words and wear glasses and wait for chicks who dig that sort of thing to come up to you and say "Hey, what are you writing?!?"

So what makes a writer? Necessity.

Writers write because they have to. Because they have so much gunk in their heads and will explode if they don't get it out, but people get friggin' tired of listening to it (and rightfully so), so they have to start telling the whole world. Ironically, that is precisely the moment those closest to writers are likely to start hating them. And why is that?

Because at least one form of writer -- the form that applies to me anyway -- is a completely selfish on some level, certainly self-absorbed, creature in terms of being aware of the world around them. Beyond that, the one who writes is often writing about what he or she knows and needs to work out of his or her system. In other words, reason #1 for why many writers don't write is this:

Happy people just don't write because they have nothing to work out of their systems.

Just as I didn't write over the course of a 10 year relationship from my early 20's to my early 30's. Which, of course, being a writer by nature, made me miserable. Which, of course, helped sabotage the relationship eventually. But still I didn't write. Even though I was miserable and even though I had a lot to say, which, of course, is reason #2 many writers don't write:

They never live life enough to have anything to say.

But that's obvious. Everybody knows that. Let's get back to being miserable and having something to say, but not saying it. Is that retarded or simply stupid? I can't speak for all writers, but as for myself, I was afraid to blithely attack people who had wronged me and afraid to humiliate those I had wronged, especially when, armed with eloquence and a Roshomonistic point of view that would likely favor my own position, I might humiliate those people even further. Which brings me to reason #3 many writers don't write:

We don't like to hurt the people we love.

reason #4...

We don't want to lose the people we love.

and reason #5...

We don't want to hurt the people we loved and lost.

In other words, writers often don't write because they care, as much as those closest to us may think we don't, and we know the things we have to say, even if fictionalized, might hit too close to home.

So, you might ask "how is it that you're writing? To make a long story short, it's as simple as this: I finally came to a point where by not writing I realize I will do more harm to those around me than if I do.

As a country we are hurting the people we love and we are losing the people we love. And the more I see it happening on a grand scale, the more I recognize it all around me on a personal, not just global level. Everywhere I look, in personal relationships even, I see hopeless, defeated people who say "you can't," not "you can." I see people who say see idealism as hubris, integrity as self-righteousness, honesty and fairness as a value add in business dealings, and failures of the past as proof positive of failure in the future.

And fighting against that, my friends, is why I am writing again after almost 15 years. I'm sad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.

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