What am I doing here?
I don’t want to admit it. But I know in my heart of hearts I’m procrastinating. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think there is anything wrong with procrastination. I’ve put off going back to work forever so that I can do others things now! But some things shouldn’t be chased away until tomorrow.
My wife has never been satisfied with my answer to her ‘why do you write’ question. I tell her it’s for me. Sometimes for very close friends and family. I tell her I’m reading loads and loads of different stuff ( ever since Stephen King told me to ) and I’m practicing my writing. I tell her that I’m not sure it’s good enough yet. I tell her I’m not sure how to judge if it is good enough yet since I don’t know what it’s for really. I tell her it’s for me and so maybe it is good enough for that.
I know by her frequent emails with links to creative writing events that she isn’t satisfied with my replies. I also know that she thinks I’m a good writer and that I could be better if I was directed and developed. She likes my funny stuff best. I tell her I’m just writing stuff, any stuff, going with the flow. See what comes out. Letting my daemon speak ( ha ha ).
But really, she’s right. What is the point if not to share with others? I get this now. But can the purpose be limited to sharing? Don’t we writers need to achieve something more concrete, something useful, some kind of utilitarian benefit? I know I’m not interested in financial reward, nor notoriety. I have no great ideology that I feel must be advanced and persuaded in others. I’m a generalist.
But of course, now I can see. I’ve been as blind as my many ex corporate colleagues whom I would frequently criticise for suggesting that the point of a for profit business was to make profit. Saying it this way should make even the most dogmatic see the flaw in their thinking.
The pursuit of profit
The Corporation is king
Full of faithless, blind believers
Their arses to the customer
Their faces to the leader,
He’s a fat cat loudly purring
A brutal hypocrisy,
Visions full of wonder
Acts of safe mediocracy
By this man of all his people
Too afraid to voice his credo;
“Fuck everyone else, always
And masturbate your ego !”
So blinded, he won’t get this
Sitting smug in the largest office
But the pursuit of power and profit
Should never be the purpose.
What we write should be offered as a gift. That has nothing to do with any qualitative judgement of the writer. Simply that what is written should be offered as a gift. That is what I want to do with my writing. And for a gift to be effective it must be received. So yes, my purpose in writing is to share, that’s it.
If as a result, someone learns something or laughs or gets so annoyed they feel the need to ventilate towards me or makes some money from an idea sparked, or takes up writing, or becomes a political activist, or, or, or, then OK. These may all be consequences of my purpose and they are fine, but they are not my purpose.
Now I have to deal with the fact that it is not enough to simply write, I must work on sharing. Tomorrow!
Thank you Jonathan Chew for initiating this confession.