Friday, 31 October 2014

I am a writer: National Novel Writing Month.

A while ago now, I was told four, uncomplicated, clean cut and mundane words: "Well, you're a writer". More than anything, these words cemented a murky belief within myself that the solace I find in crafting letters into words and words into sentences, frequently brewing a sense of ambition and pride within the folds of teenage-angst-ridden muscles in my body, is not a phase. Because that is the truth. My favourite quote from Wuthering heights is a simple depiction of this: "“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” The 'his', whilst literally referring to Heathcliff, could easily be reference to my writing. When I write, I am an enhanced version of myself: a deep, honest and clear version: speckled with my soul and ambition. This truth, that I am a writer, is a truth that I think of when life blocks one path and opens up another, casting shadows of murky thoughts and webbed questions upon me. Because I am a writer. I write as a way of documenting my ambles and adventures: to consolidate my presence on this earth and as a way to continually place my feet forward. I write to fuel my undeterred passion for life and literature: to allow my inverted thoughts to tumble out in paragraphs streaked with emotion: love, loss, fear and strength. I am a writer.

Writing, as far as it goes in simple terms, is the act of ordering a sequence of symbols into an order. Those who order these words into a pleasing order, are the good writers. Those who struggle and create jumbled knots of words and punctuation, are the bad writers. You can be a good or a bad writer, but that fact does not stop anybody from being a writer. Yet there is a stark difference between knowing, and writing, words. There is a difference between writing as a chore as there is to writing as an extension of breathing. When all of my (most probable stereotypical teenager-y) emotions knot and tangle themselves within my head, it is the sole act of getting words down on paper, or on a computer screen, that resolves this terrible, locked up part of me. Because we all have thoughts that run and jump and hop and skip around in our skulls, ricocheting off the walls and deafening us in their heavy web of silence to others: their undefinable volume to ourselves. We all have these thoughts that seem inescapable, that we have all felt in the hushed early hours of the morning, when we awake, shuddering from unpleasant imagery in our dreams, and hear the rustle of the wind against the trees and the stoic tapping of the rain of windows; our thoughts colliding in dreams, the future, the past and the present. Chains of troubling thoughts swinging like Tarzan from your veins and using your blood cells as rafts, carried away by the current. It's a jungle up there, in our heads. And for me, the only way to calm the screeching baboons and slow down the cheetahs is by getting it all down in words. I am a writer.

As aforementioned in 'The Chaotic Whirlwind of Adolescence', everything seems to be building up; sending straightforward thoughts into great knotted atrocities. And the way in which I am going to solve, to de-knot and to de-tangle these great atrocities? I'm going to write. Hell, I'm going to write until my eyelids droop uncontrollably and my fingers are blistered and black and bruised. I am going to use the power of words to climb out of this great big black hole: stringing letters together into sentences and using these sentences to build ladder rungs, paragraphs and pages to build the ladder that will guide me back into the open. Back into a world of curiosity and appreciation: ambition and hope. I am a writer.

So in this ambiguous and hopeful state, I signed up to #NanoWrimo. With no real clue, a head of muddled thoughts and a desire to write, I self-set myself the task of writing a novel in a month. The ultimate aim? 50,000 words. The first draft of a novel. I've called it 'Novel 1' and am going along the lines of mystery/contemporary/realist. I have no real idea of the twists and turns, nor the paths nor format of it yet. But I am setting myself the challenge. I have a feeling that it is either the best or worst thing I have ever signed up for, yet only time will tell. Will I succeed? Who knows? I am clueless. What I am a little less clueless about is the one simply motive: I want to have tried. Because that's often the best thing that we can do in this mish-mashed world, is to try. Because, here, in this moment, I want to tell you three uncomplicated, clean cut and mundane words: I am a writer.



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