I’ve wasted a lot of time. I’ve spent so many months trying to find something, something that was there all along, and now, after a bit of eye-opening situations and the reality of my plight, I have realized what needs to be accomplished. I just need to keep writing and reading. This is a discussion—and argument—as to why I should keep the struggle going, and not disappoint what I cherish so fervently.
What I’ve Lost
The base template to write on.
While I was studying at New Mexico State University, I noticed a large desire to write towards the end of my senior year. I attribute this desire on the fact that I was reading large amounts of literature, so this is where I guess that old idea (and one that I toted on a constant basis) that if you want to write, then you need to read even more than you write.
I haven’t read all that much since I graduated, but I still have the desire to write. My trouble is finding a black template, a clear idea of how I would like to write and what about. The literature I enjoy reading are novels that are usually over 50 plus years old, and have been discussed for just as long in academia. Take for example 1984 by George Orwell, easily one of my favorite books due Orwell’s ability to paint a dystopian world that many people were afraid to visualize for themselves. Even though what happened in the novel did not in fact happen in the real world, the novel is still regarded as one of the best depictions of what could happen under a totalitarian form of governance; so, when I read these books, I get the desire to write in the way these authors have written. This leads to two issues:
- Writing Style. These authors were masters at their trade. They put paper to pen day in and day out trying to get all their ideas into a tight, nit fictional story that represents the angst they were feeling. They also read at an alarming level in comparison to today’s standards. (A question that I really need to delve into is what kinds of literature they enjoyed reading, and what they felt they needed to read. George Orwell mentions in his short auto-biography Why I Write that all art is political. If this is true, then we most likely gravitate to the political situation that most affects us.) Not only did they read at alarming levels, they also found part time jobs that usually had positive impacts on their writing. If I remember right, a vast majority of classic author—those who are studied in the classroom, usually—had worked in fields where their writing were accentuated. My question is: how can this be possible today? If I wanted to go about writing in a method that reflects the writing I enjoy, then must I find a job like ones they had? Because those kinds of jobs are few and far between these days. A side note: there is something I still haven’t done, something that, I guess, Picasso had done, which was to copy or trace your favor painter (in my case, that would be an author). So one of the practices I think I will begin to partake in would be this “tracing” of my favorite authors. But, what bothers me is the readership. These authors—that we study—have had such high levels of stylistic and artistic writing that they have changed the ways of writing, and these days, as I see it, writing withered over the years (this could be a whole-nother topic). Where do I find my voice?
- Time, Expectations, and Media. Like most authors I idolize, they had been writing and enjoying, so-to-speak, the process of writing, and most started at young ages, giving them a fair amount of practice, experimentation, and discovery, and doing this takes time, lots of time. Even though we live much longer than most did during earlier times, we still have only a finite amount of time left on this mortal coil. The idea that I am trying to follow in the footsteps of these authors is terrifying. I usually ask myself, “can I even come close to writing like they did,” “is our time period worth writing about,” “do I really have enough struggle and angst like they did?” There are countless amounts of questions like these that I ask myself, and the answer I usually come up with is NO! The expectations on writers (fiction writers mostly) are usually to follow what is popular, and just take that route, seeing it’s the easiest way to make a living. Nothing important today can come from a dying medium. Picture someone trying to make an important, political statement, or outcry, through telegraph and Morse code; it just wouldn’t be possible, that medium could not support such important messages; and today is no different. Upcoming generations, mine included, will be finding their answers on YouTube, Facebook, Tumbler, and Twitter. The older generations are looking more towards television than books, and the books they do look to are straight forward and are academia based. If you want to write, and write something important, and you would like to get it out there, what would be the point if no reads it wholly because it doesn’t follow the current media?
What Needs to be Done
I need to write every day. I may not be able to change the minds of many people, but seeing that I’m trading the sword for the pen, I need to take the responsibility and do what I feel needs to be done, but what is that? I get the feeling I might be some kind of reincarnation of Fredrich Engels. I come from the middle class, but I see and sense great injustice in our times, but there is not enough people willing to stand up and say fight, just yet. I had a discussion with my Aunt and Grandma over Thanksgiving about the death of the Philosopher and process of creating new modes of living (I sound like a great guy to have for dinner, huh?).
The Everyday: Every day—people think. They think of the bills they have to pay, whether or not their family will be there when they get home, if the bread-maker will bring bread to dinner, if a friend is doing okay with their break-up, when their next shift at work is, and, the mother of all, how much money is in their checking account. These are worries that infiltrate the thought process, and halt the catalyst for original and creative thought.
The Not-So Every Day: Political and social issues affect us every day. Even though these issues affect us on an on-going basis, they are usually the things that we try not to fix, because of the sense that they might not be fixable. We do at times try, usually in college, but, from my understanding, the processes ends once you leave college and start working for a paycheck. In a way, we begin to start the formulation of expectations, how our family thinks we should live, how our society thinks we should live, and how we believe we should live. This seems to be another method of blocking the creativity that is needed to try and discover new and improved modes of living.
So, what does the “death of the Philosopher” have to do with these two ideas? What has happened over the years seems to be a systemic deconstruction of our will to rebel and think of new kinds of societies. Think how often we hear how America “is the greatest country in the world”. Currently, this is not true, yet this is the kind of mentality many people want you to think; because, if we have hit the pinnacle of greatness, then we should we reforming anything—if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. My question is: if the populace believes were the best, but the facts show otherwise, then why would they want try something else?
I guess my writing is going to philosophical, political, and a desire to see change happen not just to other, but to myself as well, just like Engels. We’ll see, all I know is that I need some help.