Write. Bleed. And don’t mind the crowd
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed
That’s what Ernest Hemingway said. But I suppose that he said it at a point where his bleeding had started to give him life. Or else no one would have cared that he said it. In reality, bleeding is not that straightforward.
Especially when you bleed for an audience or with the feeling at the back of your mind that someone out there is going to draw circles in your blood or skate around in it with scant regard to the hours or mental effort you put in to type out sentence after sentence after sentence that made sense to you but then had to make sense to them as well.
And not just a series of letters and words and sentences and paragraphs and stories that make sense, but plots that also possess raw beauty and emotion and truth and urgency and that strike a chord and is also something that is popular enough to warrant debates and discussion but not sycophancy-stamped to pander to populist desires so blatantly as to declare without subtlety that you are trying to win brownie points. You can’t just write out your ideas and hope people will see them as you do. You can’t make ugly sentences that are lovely to you but lack popular appeal.
And you can’t make sentences that are longer than twenty words and stretch them along to make them almost half of a paragraph or the whole of it by linking phrases along with conjunctions and then elongate them like elastic using metaphors that are cliched and hope to hold people’s attention without inserting anything even remotely interesting to them (except for the fact that this sentence does everything mentioned in it), because people can’t be expected to read through to the end of anything (unless their name randomly pops up in the middle of it), if it has lasted more than two lines without a full stop.
Except that you can and you must and you should.
What is writing for an audience if you can’t face rejection? What is bleeding if you don’t expect to die of it? How can you expect to put a piece of your soul out there without someone and then so many someones trampling on it, maligning it, mangling it, rupturing it and not bothering about repairing it? How can you blame someone for being indifferent to your words when you couldn’t make them bleed as well?
But even so, not all writing has to be for putting out there, across the papers and fibres and satellites that transmit your creations, be it words, music, art to souls out in the wide world who are ready to consume, critique, crucify but not to contribute constructively. Sometimes you bleed for yourself. You don’t always burn candles into the night to create a flame for the city to see. Sometimes you let wax drip down your fingers just to remind yourself that you can still feel the heat, that you can see and feel burn marks, that you aren’t dead yet. Sometimes you splash your ink furiously to know that your pages can be written and thumb marked as you want it to; with vigour or laxity, with clarity or blurriness, irrespective of whether you receive accolades or apathy for your efforts. Sometimes words written on paper sound better when spoken by someone else and yet they still need to be written down first. Sometimes you need to rant on without necessarily making connections between your current stream of thoughts and your previous ones. And sometimes that creates something beautiful, if not on paper, then as an imprint on your soul. So ooze out. Splash. Bleed. Profusely. Publicly or privately. Without expectations of living another day. And maybe something special could come out of it. Or not. Don’t be dejected either way.