Why Do I Write

The question arises in me. I’ve written since I knew how to write. The hunger was always there. To put the world into words, to lock it in, to understand. To create. To capture rhythms and beat, the steady steps of an absent-minded wanderer, the erratic fly, everything in between that resists definition. I want to create my own kind of beauty – and truth. I want to confront. I want to explain. I want to share.

There was a moment when I did less writing. There was a moment when I had no time. I felt the need burning in me. Still do. Some kinds of writing are more demanding than others. I tend to not begin what I cannot give my focus. The full sacrifice. Somehow I’m always biting down a scream.

Why do I write. Why do I not write. Why do I love it, why does it make me bleed. Sometimes I want to bleed words onto pages, if only it were real. Something real. I got to this point. When life I’m building is beginning to be alive, but it isn’t at all how I imagined, isn’t what was promised. I can’t achieve my goals, half the time I don’t know or understand them. The world is burning but slowly, the embers blink, I don’t know if hope is folly or the only thing that can be. I don’t know at all. I know the words, and before I fall, I’ll throw my breathlessness onto a page. Alongside laughter, desperation, rage. Rhyme, always – rhythm. Arrythmia of feels.

If I still prayed, I’d want something real.

Halfway To Thirty (Also Brexit, Fuck)

6 months left until I hit the big 30! Feeling lost, confused, helpless, sad, confused… Granted, some of it might be due to Brexit. And no sugar diet (hello, withdrawal).

The big leading Thing of Things that seems to be happening in my life: in my race to Become A Cool Person (which is not always successful, let’s face it) I seem to have lost the person that I actually am. Cue rude awakening. See confusion. Example: I want to be the person who gets up early (I do function better in the mornings), but right this minute I am not that person. Responding in my favorite way (with guilt and bitter self-recrimination) really does not yield the desired effects. Changing the response incoming. Frankly, I’m not sure who I am, who I think I should be, who I’m becoming, who I want to become. There are things going right – I have to work on the appreciation of The Good Things – but mostly I’m looking around, wide-eyed, going: is this me?

Also, this just in: I might be an introvert. Please stop laughing. Is there a late onset? I love people; I tend to be at my best in (good) company, enjoy being centre of attention, etc etc. But people exhaust me, too. Maybe just now I have a lower tolerance – crowds definitely a no-no. Also, I’ve not been leaving the house due to freelance/mugging and subsequent fear of dark & outdoors/post-Brexit low mood.

On the bright side, there is writing. Writing is the best. If I rouse myself from reading-induced stupor (favorite escapism, now that eating a pack of cookies is not an option) and start writing, I know I’m gonna be okay. Writing, verbalizing – they keep me sane. That’s why I talk so much. Well, I talk for many reasons. I hide in plain sight sometimes – if I speak of it all, no one suspects there’s anything deeper. But writing… is the easiest, most accessible way of coping. So if I have enough energy to write a blog post, an article, recently (!) a fanfic, I know I’ll be okay eventually.

Ongoing creative projects: #GirlfagThePlay (egads, it’s slow-going! I’ll get there), Safe, the one-woman show (might rename it Shame, or something related). Newest idea: a stand-up show called A Fucking European. Oh, and the Polish-language show, No Such Place As London. Now just need enough focus to do these. 🙂

What is it about?

It needs to be said: I stopped writing, because I don’t know what this journal is meant to be.

I got stuck. Yes, perfectionism, but also – I want people to read me. This blog has been more of a place when I come to “write out” my thoughts. Write through the blocks. It’s a me-space that has not become a public space. It’s good enough for me-writing, but if I want an audience, I need to do better than this.

And so I’m stuck. Somehow, the freedom of writing just disappeared. And I’m not here. I don’t know what topic to pick. Picking at scabs, reaching for the moon, writing my play. Not writing my play. Not working. Learning to work. Learning to fly. Learning to crawl. Learning to be still.

I fought with my boyfriend today. Me not working is putting a pressure on us, and it all spills over. There are other reasons, but guilt remains, and is ugly.

I have a set point of misery and just keep going back there. I’m afraid to be what I can be, which is fully, unashamedly

– joyous.

Back to Mother Water (#swimmingwisdom)

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Google searches: Breast stroke technique (disappointing. I need to learn underwater breathing before improving the rest…)

I went swimming today, after a long-ish break (haven’t gone since Edinburgh Festival). Giddy from the in-the-water euphoria, I deliberated how swimming is a perfect sport for a writer. Which it is! At least for this writer… 🙂

But still. You can do it with minimum equipment (granted, if you want fancy gear, don’t let me stop you!), your sweaty body gets immediately refreshed and it’s easy on the joints. Back pain reduction also doesn’t hurt (a PUN! Okay, let up, I’m still giddy), you get abdomen muscles with minimal fuss and repetitive movement can be soothing (that bit is personal, it would be annoying for some).

And the most important thing: WATER.

I love, love, love being in the water.

Lying on the water is a favourite; it’s beautiful to let it just carry you, feeling the minute changes of currents, that even an artificial environment like a pool will have, water sloshing this way and that, with gentle waves from your fellow swimmers coming your way. *** But swimming itself, conquering the space with the strength of your body alone – such a perfect counterpoint to writing, as well as a representation of it! You are the steering wheel, the sailor and the ship (to misquote a Polish poem). You are the inspiration, the work and the editor. You are the moving, straining body; an ever mobile, reaching mind.

You are the child in the womb; the grown human being, daring to look life in the face and comment.

You are everything at once.

And you get a lot of new writing ideas in the shower, after….

*** just make sure fellow swimmers aren’t giving you the evil eye, because you’re in their way…!

I’m writing. Trying to write. Writing. Trying to. That thing I’m doing. Yes.

Yes.

So I’m waiting for ice cream van to come by my house writing and most of the time I feel blocked.

The only thing that seems to be working is telling myself: WRITE SHIT.

WRITE SOME MORE SHIT WRITING.

I’m so used to being pretty good right off the bat, that doing an ambitious project leaves me blocked. BECAUSE WHADDOYAKNOW – IT’S HARD. I’m not used to writing being hard. Writing was always… easy.

Now it isn’t. Boo-fucking-hoo.

Back to write some more shit writing. Believe me, by the time it hits the stage, it’ll be gold.

How Girlfag Came (Out) To Be

So… first things first:

My play (a 20 minute version of it) will be shown during Angelic Tales New Writing Festival – in Royal Theatre Stratford East!

Died and gone to heaven, me. 🙂

Its title (if you’ve not caught it yet) is… Girlfag. Which, very likely, is what I am.

Let’s back up a bit.

Being a girl was this puzzle when I was little. I loved clothes, colours, make up. But I also got asked “do you want to be smart or beautiful?”. And I wanted both, but if I had to choose, I chose smart.

That’s when it started – a conscious rejection of everything “silly” and “girly”. Later, these were the things that I boosted – thirsty for female companionship. Then I turned to feminism. Even later, I rejected all the social norms (as much as I knew how) and tried to embrace queerdom; conversely, it turned out that I lived outside (in opposition to) my body, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

In case you didn’t know: when you don’t know your gender, your orientation, or even your body, sex becomes complicated.

And I found myself mostly attracted – to gay men. Or at least new, non-standard editions of old male product (which remains the case, still).

Writing Girlfag brought it all back. Who am I? Some days I think I long to be a boy in a dress. It feels subversive, and I want subversive. When I put on a dress, I’m a girl in a dress. Not subversive enough. But I do like dresses.

I’m not quite coming out though – I don’t need to. Most of my friends know I’m a little gender-challenged; it can be observed with a naked eye. I rock my short hair and male shirts alongside-form hugging leotards and crazy skirts. I’m coming in. Into my body. Into myself.

Trying to understand. Trying to express. But most of all?

Trying to feel.

I will not be denied all that  there is to me, in me. Not because someone, somewhere, found my wants and needs unacceptable.

And this, as much as anything, is a good fucking reason to write a play…. .

I’m afraid to finish my play

Today is the day. The deadline has arrived.

That may well explain why I’m sitting with a flurry of notes, a new document open on page 5 (five! I’m using a format that reads 90 seconds a page, so ideal document length here is 35-40 for a 1 hour play). I am panicking. I am scared. I am…

I am an author.

My significant other, locked in his own room, with his own play, said today “I worry I might not finish on time. But it’s such a nice problem to have”. He is right. Writing a play is a necessity (we’re artists!) and a luxury (we can afford to do it). It is, by rights, a pleasure.

That doesn’t explain why I’m writing a blogpost, as opposed to working my way through connecting and correcting scenes.

I’m deadly scared. And what I’m realizing is, it’s part of it. It’ll never go away.

I’m scared that it’s cheesy; that the characters don’t connect and will end up, as one reviewer stated, “2D” (the other reviewer loved them, but it’s hard to focus on positives).

I’m scared I’ll fail what I set out to do: make a difference, offer a story, share pain and beauty. Fear that I’m suffering without this elusive artistic satisfaction to look forward to.

And the only thing I know how to do is – use that fear. Infuse my work with it. Live it, breathe it, exhale it.

I’m scared that I’ll fail…. if so, I better fail big!

Six hours to go. Clock ticking. Wish me luck…

Photo 27

a blogpost I write, hoping it’ll nudge me into writing the play

Still writing the play. Not much writing today. Wanted to burn it yesterday. Everything goes wrong.

I’m writing about my sexual history – because I want to see it represented. When I talk to other people, I discover everyone has stories they can’t make sense of, stories they don’t understand. We don’t all get happy endings, we don’t all get romantic comedies. We get dark comedies or no comedies at all. We want to have a summer romance, so we ignore that the handsome Mexican man is a bit of an asshole; we want to be wanted, so we do what they want us to do; we don’t know who we are, so we let others define it; we get awkward, desirous, surprised. We want that pink picture, so we pretend that everything that doesn’t belong in that picture – doesn’t exist. I know this. I lived this.

I want all this in a story – for you. So you know that it’s fine. And believe me, I love romantic comedies, especially if they aren’t too stereotyped. Funny/awkward/messed up stories will always have my attention. I just want to push it more. Sometimes you realise that things are actually dark, and where were you when it started, what were you thinking? Sometimes you’re somebody’s plaything and don’t know until much later. I know this. I lived this. You did, too.

I want to tell the story, it deserves to be told. Happiness doesn’t look the way we expect it to look. I’m with someone now, and it’s not glamorous, or flashy, or anything like that. But that’s fine – I’m not, either. We never saw it coming, and it’s good, because of being ordinary in its weirdness. But that’s a different story, isn’t it? Let me show you how I got here….

Finally, I need to forgive. Wherever you are, you, who hurt me – I forgive you. It was my choice. I got hurt – and yes, in some cases, you should’ve known better. But I grew beyond this, beyond you. It shouldn’t have happened, maybe, but it does, these things do happen – and I will not take away from my own grit, skill, strength and achievement – in living past it. In getting over it.

For the love of words, I just want to write…..

write

I need to talk, talk, talk so I can write, write, write

Google searches: Creative work is torture

My household is quiet. Both I and my significant other are writing a play.

We’d both decided we need to be selfish, so after breakfast/conversation we don’t even look at each other in passing. I’m locked away in my room, venturing out for coffee.

I feel the need to talk, talk, talk, but don’t have it in my heart to distract him. Hence blog.

It’s a perfect, sunny day. My characters are on a birthday party from hell, living their youth, embarrassment and strange sexual choices. They are flawed, scared, freaked and about halfway through the play.

I need to, like, write another 20 pages. For Tuesday.

It’s not impossible, it’s just scary….

I keep writing sex scenes and realizing that every time I push myself further, there is more. There’s further I can go. I can still be more honest, and these characters have more to give. And this is me. This is how I wanted to write, always. I’m finally doing it. It’s really fucking scary.

…. but exhilarating, too. Just like anything sexy carries that element of not knowing what’s gonna happen. I am suspended between ideas, work and deadline, focusing them into output. My friends are amazing, supporting, reading, helping, but in the end there’s only me. Wait for me on the other side – I’m tunneling through my subconscious until further notice….creative-process

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