Kate in So Many Words, About Words
aka: I was trying to warm up but I accidentally rambled my 1.3k word life story in under an hour. whoops.
Hey. Today is a sunday, I have English homework due tomorrow — a magazine article on a defining moment in my life, cliché as per usual — and I thought I’d do some warm up writing. Because I can’t remember the last time I wrote without a definite goal at the end. A script for summer, an article for a school publication, an application for whatever will get me good grades, and I’m kinda sick of it. There, I said it. My passion turned into work and I am not enjoying it one bit. Maybe my commitment is to blame — how I am committed to outdo my last piece every time I sit down to write. Which in hindsight, isn’t a bad thing at all. But it is mentally exhausting, to try and fit every single simile and metaphor in between words. It’s the examination mindset. Nonetheless, look at me now! Writing whatever comes to mind nonstop! What an inner monologue! I’m such a great writer.
I think my half-barely-even-stop-complaining writer’s block is not to do with writing. From this you can see I'm doing fine. But a problem with discipline. I’m not used to sitting down and finishing something in one go. I must leave over fifty percent of that time for distractions, and telling people I’m a writer. Without doing the one thing that makes me a writer. It’s a problem with my behaviour and by god, I’d do anything to change it. I hate being the slacker kid, but my lifestyle will not qualify an authentic Kate without her slacking off and hating what she loves. And there is no instant gratification either — I hate ninety percent of my work, no matter what it is, so there has always been little motivation behind finishing something I know I’ll find shitty and a waste of time later. But that’s how you practice. Thank god for my thirteen year old self. I didn’t even know what good was so I just churned out bullshit on the daily. And that’s how I got here, recognising that bullshit excuse for writing and critsing it with a slightly better shit of a piece of writing. Don’t think ‘inception!!!!’ reading that last run of a sentence. I hate that meme. It’s part of my angsty teenage career choice.
Sometimes I wish I could have that mentality again — naive little me, writing out her dreams and aspirations in a form of characters I wanted to marry and the Mary Sues I wish were me. I was lonely, and I created my own friends in my head. I shared them with other thirteen year olds, and we’d rally paragraphs and paragraphs of our friends going on roadtrips, smoking cigarettes, breaking hearts and living out the life we couldn’t.
This is real. I have characters in my head. Ask me about them and I’ll tell you their names. Even my English teacher knows about one of them. I’m sorry, therapist. I’m a lost cause.
I’ve been doing this for three years now. It’s a consuming lifestyle and one that I doubt I’ll leave behind easily. There’s a thrill knowing that your writing has a loyal audience, even if it’s just an audience of one, and that your favourite writer will write something for you in exchange for something of yours that you coddled up in five minutes. And that every night you’d go to sleep, there would be a beautiful paragraph with your name all over it awaiting you when you wake up.
That was what got me up when I fell into a sad-cycle (because that sounds funnier than depressed) when I was about fourteen. Knowing that someone cared about me, despite having never met me. I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to leave the house, but I wanted to read and write and talk to the real friend out there, who knew me just by a screen name.
It sounds depressing (sorry, sad) but I was pretty depressed (sad) then so it didn’t matter. Internet friends are not in abundance and certainly not in style, but I had them and I cherished them. Dallas, Jack, Sumer, Ry, Nerb, Newee… I’ve known the latter three for over two years. There were some things I’d tell them and not my parents. My emotional involvement with them was staggering and terrifying. But as I write I still have our group chats open, archives of our hundred or so conversations. I may never meet them, but that’s not the pinnacle of a relationship. They might be a creepy old man hiding behind a selfie of false eyelashes, winged eyeliner and a pout, but they listened. It’s hard to find someone who listens in the internet landscape of n number of people with the choice of celebrities to listen to over you. Even if I don’t become a writer in my next life, and all the writing we did together went to waste, I’ll always have them to thank for softening the fourteen year old blues.
I don’t think I’m someone’s favourite writer. Most of the things I write are kept private, or filled with mark grabbing schemes and words for an examiner’s eyes. And I’m even hesitant to post this — confess that I write with strangers on the internet and that it’s been one of the most important decisions of my life. It’s not a crime, but I don’t think it’s something to be proud of. I have no quantitative proof — no word counts from the day I started, no chat logs of my droning writing from two in the morning. In fact, I’ve deleted a good forty percent of my old writing, just to replace it with newer stuff. And some are trapped between crashed apps and forgotten passwords. But it’s there. And it’s why I can write this much in half an hour, completely focused still despite my tabs to Facebook and YouTube open.
But this is still a rambly mess of an barely-article, and I still have no idea what I’m about to conclude in the conclusive last paragraph (editing Kate here: sorry, this isn’t the conclusion, I lied. I lied to you all), because I really need to actually start doing English homework now. But I will say this — I hate my thirteen year old self with a passion. Back then I was rude, immature, terrible to my parents and too pretentious for anyone to like. I’d kick thirteen year old me. But I also love her. I love her terrible writing and bad formatting and lack of cool punctuation. Because in order to make good things, you have to make bad things. I’m making better things now all thanks to her. And being fifteen now, I’d never dare to make anything bad. That comes with judgement, embarrassment, “wow I thought you said you were a writer”, etc. etc. etc. watch my self esteem crumble before my eyes. I’m privileged to be able to complain about writer’s block, someone using semi colons wrong, or to whine for my writer friends to come online. So, what you take away from this. Yes, second person, direct address — watch out, it’s going to get confrontational.
Do bad stuff. Sing off key, take blurry pictures, write garbage, and you’re better than the blinged out artist stuck on a verse. Why? There is no such thing as bad art. You are creating — what you do will always truly be yours, and no one can recreate that. Not even Wes Anderson, and his little centimeter rulers he needs for every single frame. His precision won’t match your sloppy painting. Write nonstop for thirty minutes like me, and you’ll find yourself immensely gratified and eager to write a magazine article on a defining moment in her life. Or maybe, this might be it.
Just kidding. I swore like, five times in this piece. But it made for a good ending! Fuck.
Back to the drawing board again.
Update: It’s now 11:00 pm. I haven’t written a thing. What did I tell you about discipline?
Join Kate in rekindling her love for writing again! She is challenging herself to write what she wants, however she wants. Screw you, metaphors!
Challenge yourself too! Tag her on medium @katehon with your own rambles and she’ll read them! And probably leave a comment with way too many exclamation marks.