because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Monday, 15 December 2014

Why I Write

Superlatively Rude
image via @superlativelyLJ
What I hope for is a book deal. The working title is “My Vagina’s Monologue” and it’s the story of how, when the man I thought I’d marry dumped me and married my high school best friend instead, I did not think I would survive it. But I did. And that’s the point of it all, really. That however our lives unfold, that they do unfold. That they continue. And how we deal with that is on us.

My story of heartbreak isn’t special – and that’s the point, too. That nothing that ever happens to us is. Heartache – romantic, familial, platonic – is about the most common condition there is. So it’s exactly because my story is a common one that I feel compelled, from my belly, to find a way to tell it. Because human-ness is universal.

I looked through the archives of this blog last week. I had this idea that I’d compile a list of my favourite posts, into an eBook, to give away for free. So I started at the beginning and read every one of my 450+ entries, over more than six years, and I cringed. What features in my book also features on this blog, in different shapes and forms, and the difference between the two versions of my life is startling.

What I’m writing in the book, it comes from the other side. I’m looking back and saying “I did this, and now I see why, and then this happened, and I really screwed up when I behaved this way because of it.” I can see that my early to mid- twenties were this sweet, painful time of grieving. Of growing. Of becoming.

The voice in my first entries on here so desperately wants to be fun. Light-hearted. Liked. She’s trying on different versions of herself to see who people respond to more. Hasn’t yet worked out that she has to figure out who she responds to more. That she can be whoever she wants to be, if only she has the courage to.

I thought about deleting them. My past diary entries, in a sense. Then, I thought better of it. Being embarrassed of who I was, before who I am now, undermines the hard work it took to get here. So they’ll stay. My past will inform my present, and it will an awkward reminder that tomorrow I’ll probably be altered, changed, different, too.

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."

I’m trying to build a business on being myself. That’s the honest truth of it. What I want is to prove to a publisher that people believe in my stories, so they’ll print my book. And people will read it. After people read my book, I hope that they’ll visit this blog, where they can read more, for free, because I’ll have enough traffic to run some adverts, on the sidebar, maybe. And some people – the right ones, who get it – they’ll tell their friends who also understand. And so a publisher will let me print another book.

I want to tell stories to people who want to hear them. Just a small little group of us, who believe the same things about trying harder and trying better. You know – the tribe.

This blog is largely, and genuinely, where I figure out my life. I write to see what I’ll say, knowing that speech is my second language. And that’s why I don’t have a comments box – because despite what I share my “life” isn’t up for critique. I chronicle my story without inviting direct comment on it, and I think that’s fair. Fair to say, “Hey, my life isn’t up for discussion, but my writing is – only if you have a Twitter or Facebook account where I can see who you are, though.” And that’s what happens – when people reach out over social media, it’s the ones who get it. Who want to add something to the world of helping one another with their own words - not to simply tell somebody else they’re doing it wrong. Or right, even.

I know I’m doing it right because it’s the way I’m doing it.

I often feel like I write the same stuff over and over again. “Felt like this, did this, feel a bit different now.” But life is hard, and we don’t go to church once and then get to be a Christian. So I don’t think we get one “a-ha!” moment and then have it figured out.

The stories keep telling themselves.

And sometimes, other people make us feel less alone when they tell their stories, too.

That’s why I write.

Not to make others feel less alone.

I write to feel less alone myself.


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