An Ass-sult on writing.

“That opening paragraph was so bad, if I had the ability to gouge out my own eyes and shove them up my ass, in order not to read it again, I would.”

It was an ass-sult on the writing attempts of Molly in episode 4 of the latest season and had me and Son rolling on the floor.

This slurrer was none other than Susan Sarandon, who plays a cynical writer.  And with cynical I mean, someone who’s high on Vodka and low on life.

I don’t follow the show, but thoroughly enjoyed this episode.  Molly stalks Susan’s character to get an opinion on a draft of a novel, she’s writing.  Conversations follow and in another exchange Susan chirps a very controversial one-liner: “Every person with a laptop and soft chair think they can be a writer.”

Controversial for me, that is.  I mean, I have a laptop.  And a soft chair.  And I write.  Or blog.  Do I consider myself to be a writer?

I’m lost in thought… and that’s how quickly it happens.  Walter Mitty has nothing on me.  I am Indiana Jones by comparison.

I don’t think the intention of a sophisticated show, like Mike and Molly, would be to get individuals to spend hours trapped in self-analysis and deep contemplation.  No people, that shit’s all me!

After the show I took up the sword, crafted from the likes of my almost 835 followers, and fought the demons of doubt and insecurity.  I battled bravely, and now I’m proud to shout from the mountain tops: I won!  I conquered!  I beat its ass.  KO.  I wiped the floor with all the bodies of uncertainty that ambushed the battlefield of my mind.

Why do we write?  Why does anyone write?  Why does anyone bother to embark on a journey that’s filled with hours of soul searching, editing, re-writes and heaps of anxiety.  But furthermore is it true that we define writers as searching souls?  Do we define them as individuals hiding in cabins, isolated, removed from reality so they can be creative?  Do we really consider writers to be sufferers and cynical beings?  Do we still consider writers to be deeply intellectual, philosophical people, who’s constantly craving a better understanding of the true meaning of life and all the other mysteries of human existence?

I certainly don’t.  I think it’s bull shit.  It’s exactly like any other stereotype and another one I don’t agree with.

I write.  In fact, I LOVE to write.  And I’m certainly none of those things.  I am as deep as a dry riverbed in the middle of the Sahara dessert, three years into a severe drought.  As intellectual as the generic cast of Barney the Dinosaur.

So am I a writer?  What makes a writer?

For me.  Honesty.

For it’s the only place I can write from.  I understand that my imagination plays a pivotal role in anything I put to paper, but if the father is imagination, the mother would be honesty.

Writing is like a kind of sacrifice.  Offering pieces and parts of yourself to anyone who ends up reading it.  I’ve scanned my almost 400 posts often, considering deleting some of them.  Especially if it portrays opinions I don’t necessarily agree with anymore.  Ironically, just like with my kids, I couldn’t get myself to trash any of it.  Maybe it’s because I’m not sure where they’ll end up, but more importantly, it remains snapshots of my life.  It is views I had during very specific events, or moments of extreme emotion.  Even nostalgia.

It remains my little creations, and they were all conjured from a very specific place.  And because I believe the atmosphere of their births is clouded in honesty, the connection I feel is very real.  Tangible.  Reading it, re-creates that mood.  They mobilise pieces of me.

Maybe all writers are masochists at heart, enjoying the process/struggle of finding something to write about.  Then writing it.  Then reading it.  Then editing it.  Then re-writing. Editing. Reading. Editing.  Until finally you’re ready to let it go. Because the acceptance of others never bothered you anyway.

And you kick your little creation out the nest.  And a small part of you hope it will soar and reach new heights and find unchartered glory.  Whilst the reality is you pray it doesn’t fall flat on its arse.  Shrivelled up, broken and unliked in the dirt of rejection.  And it happens.

But then, ironically, whether it soars or drops dead, you always start again.  For that’s what writers do.  We do it, cause we love it.  Not because we’re cycinal or depressed or suffering or trying to find the meaning of life.  We just do it.

I want to say to all the wannabe-writers, of which I’m proud to be one, “Get your head out of your ass; it’s not a hat.” * and write.  And don’t worry about the readers, in the end it’s your soul on the page, not theirs.

*Quote borrowed from Pitch Perfect.



7 thoughts on “An Ass-sult on writing.

  1. So true. I definitely don’t claim to be a writer or even a wannabe. I love reading stories and telling them, so I prefer to think of myself as just a story-teller. Your love to write certainly comes through all your blogs 🙂


  2. This is why writing is so alive today. Thirty years ago you would have to write this out on paper and hope that someone might see it. Today, you sat down in your soft chair in SA and pounded out your thoughts so that when I woke up in the US I could have my mind controlled for a little bit by yours. Strange world where all of this happens and it seems so natural.


  3. I’ve never read it, heard it, or seen it put like that, but, yes, I think honesty is the key. If I hung around waiting to get “inspired” I’d still be in my soft chair starring at my (I can’t afford a laptop as well) PC. Bravo! Good article.


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