If I have to be perfectly honest writing, for the most part, has always been hard for me. On occasion ideas and creativity just come flooding through and I have an easy time of piecing sentences together to form paragraphs that form a body of work from head to toe. I try to build something out of nothing. I’m not trying to be a serious writer, I just want to write stuff people might hopefully find interesting or can maybe relate to. To possibly give people the words they were looking for but could never find.
The ideas and words must come naturally to me and it really does for the most part. But then there are times like in the last while I have been sending pieces to Running Wolf’s Rant. I would like to send a piece once a week. I want to be constant in my writing, I do not want to stop but I also do not want to force it. I sometimes just sit there, forlorn, staring at the screen, just waiting for something to pop into my head. A phrase, a sentence, a subject. My mind races through hundreds of topics, words and quotes. And I just keep telling myself “don’t try”. Like that Bukowski quote says:
“You don’t try. That’s very important: ‘not’ to try, either for Cadillac’s, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.”
Even though I take it to heart while writing stuff like this, it is a phrase that wouldn’t work in other aspects of life. Trying is how we get through life. How we survive and grow. Sure there are people who were born into families of wealth and get everything handed to them on a platter but even they have to try sometimes. If I never tried then I wouldn’t be the person who I am today, that could be a good thing or most likely a very bad thing but I’m still alive. I have a job, friends, family, a social life and experiences (good and bad).
I have a lot more than many people out there on our streets and neighbourhoods. Yet, I always just look around me and see what I do not have. Things and people that I want but can’t get. Things and people that I actually need. I go on Facebook and scroll through my timeline and see everyone being somewhere I am not and doing something I would like to be doing at that moment with a special someone and it pisses me off. But where it used to piss me off that people were posting shit like that and seemingly bragging, I noticed that I was actually mad at myself because if I had made the right choices or if I was occasionally at the right place at the right time then I would probably also have been outside in the semi-fresh Pretoria air relaxing.
But that is unfair towards myself because I do make the right choices at times. I moved away from people I knew I wouldn’t have been happy around. I got to see the UK. I fell in love over and over again and even though my heart got broken every single time I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world because it taught me a lot and like they say, love lost is better than no love at all. I made the right choice just this morning when I woke up, took a shit, brushed my teeth, tried to fix my hair, wore a beanie instead and went to work. I could’ve decided “fuck it. I don’t feel like work today” and stayed in bed sleeping off my hangover, but I know how long I struggled to get a job and how scarce work is out there and I do not want to do anything to jeopardize what I have unless I can find something better.
The truth is I am incredibly hard on myself and at times rightfully so. Because for every good choice I make, I make three wrong ones. But it’s not getting me anywhere beating myself up and focusing on the “what if’s” and the wrong decisions. It’s not going to help getting pissed at people sharing their happiness on Facebook while I am sitting here miserable at the office because I am surrounded by people I dislike while they have the time of their lives. I am generally a very dark person due to my mind being fucked, but I’m trying to go easy on myself because one thing I realiszd is that every single person has their own demons and some just hide it better than others. I have never been good at hiding anything, so I am not alone.
I always believe when I eventually write something, that it is never good enough and that it could be so much more. I see people younger than me with natural talent, write things that just make me stand back in awe and make me want to kick myself for never thinking about that line. There are many writers who inspire me but also just make me want to give up because I will never be able to be that good. Writers like Charles Bukowski, Chuck Palahniuk, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Sylvia Plath, George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote and lyricists like Keith Buckley and Jordan Dreyer are what I aim for. I want to be THAT good, but even those writers had people they looked up to and believed that they could never be THAT good. They saw younger writers around them write stuff that made them want to kick themselves but they still became our heroes and eventually they became the people we look up to.
What is the reason that we can’t become someone else’s heroes in something we enjoy doing? I genuinely believe self-loathing and self-doubt are our worst enemies. Because I have more than enough experience with it and I believe it has held me back from being or becoming someone great. It has caused me to alienate friends and become a bitterly disliked person when I could have been so much more. We are afraid to take chances and we play it safe. We settle for what we have.
I saw a clip of Jim Carrey giving a commencement speech at some graduation the other day on YouTube and what he said really got me thinking and gave me a whole new outlook. Even though I am still sitting at a job I hate, it motivated me. I am now trying. I am starting to make plans and I am creating chances for myself and I hope these words can do the same for you:
“My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. So he made a conservative choice instead he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail in what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance in doing what you love.” Jim Carrey
Do you feel motivated by this? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. If you’ve enjoyed this piece, feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.