Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reflections on Chapter One

This book is pretty wild, no? The one called Life, I'm talking about. I'm sitting here rereading many of my old ramblings and realizing that I'm reading about a different person. Strange...

A lot of people subscribe to the philosophy that writers should write for themselves. Yeah, fine. Nothing bad can be said about seeing it that way, but that's not what I do. I don't just write for others, I write at others. Or, at the very least, try to. We can avoid the argument about whether I'm successful or not for the time being.

But I do write at people. I'm finding several entries in which I'm being seriously dishonest (read: outright lying) about someone or something for the sole purpose of eliciting a response. Hell, there are a few cases where I use one thing just to piss off another. To be frank, I find those entries rather embarrassing, but at least I know which ones are true and which ones aren't. Several aren't total deceptions, merely partial ones meant to get someone overly nosy off of the trail I left. Though still embarrassing, I find those a bit hilarious, and take joy in my subjective cleverness, but again... I know which are true and which aren't. Can't say my readers do. Not without asking, anyway.

Of course, as most know (or will learn), being dishonest gets rather tiring. My writing has opened up as of late... since early June, I guess... and is definitely as honest as I've ever been. Maybe that's part of the reason I'm always awake: I no longer exhaust myself by maintaining deceptions. Seriously, I'm even having problems writing fiction, strictly for the fact that I know it's not true. Such a reaction is probably overkill, but I'm sure a few of you know what I'm talking about.

I've been scolded in the past for being "too honest" (usually by liars themselves), and so what? I'd rather be known for having secrets than for telling lies. And I have few secrets left, anyway. Why bother? Too many people seem to think their secrets are more important than they actually are and waste precious energy trying to cover them up with lies. Trust me, most of us don't give a fuck, and we're certainly not impressed. Hell, the more I go back and reread my own work, the less impressed I get.

Still, it's interesting to at least see my states of mind at given points of time. When reading a rant, rave, a lie, or a truth, I can remember where I was and what I really wanted to say, if even it was effectively left unsaid. Hidden messages for myself, in some sense. Perhaps I wasn't writing at others, after all. Who knows?

This book's been crazy, that's for sure. It's time for a new chapter... a reboot, in current hip Hollywood parlance. And despite all of chapter one's shortcomings, I can take heart in that I've never settled for second best. Almost did a few times... but never did. I've never followed anyone blindly, never copied anyone knowingly, made all of my own decisions and all of my own mistakes. And I've certainly never been been so dependent on others that I had to dupe a backup into waiting pathetically in the wings, just in case things didn't work out.

Still, I've definitely fucked up over the years. This chapter's ending pretty much how it began, save for a protagonist slightly wiser. Lessons have been learned. Time to turn the page. Maybe I will write this next one for myself.


Wings said...

Quite the reflective post there. Very true, too, that looking back at old writing is like looking at a different person. No rewriting in this book though, only new chapters building on the old.

But hey, if you ARE gonna 'reboot', we should make a list of things to change for the better! HAH!

Bitsy said...

The best writing is always born in honesty IMO.

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