Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is how I feel sometimes about writing

Photo credit.

Rule: Sometimes you are saying "AUGH!" about writing and thinking about writing. This is okay, because it is intimidating.

You're putting your thoughts somewhere kinda permanent (or maybe really permanent - the internet is forever). One day you're going to come back and say to yourself, "Oh my god, that was so tacky/cheesy/awful/incomprehensible/dumb." And as much as you revise it, you can't scrub yourself of that feeling of "Why did I do that? I put my thoughts on paper and this came out? EW MY BRAINS ARE GROSS AND HORRIBLE."

And you know what? They were gross and horrible. I'm not going to give some life-affirming speech about how you're too hard on yourself, you've heard that and you know that. The thing is, it's okay that your brain was gross and horrible. I mean, have you seen the damn thing? Pretty gross. But you recognize it produced something you don't like. So fix it. Improve. Strive for excellence... or in my case, something marginally better than what you had before and add some secret prayer that nobody will notice how hacky your paragraphs are.

So if you are feeling "AUGH!" about writing, you should. Feel the paralysis, the petrification. Then, write something. It will be terrible. Then, THEN make that terrible writing beat on you until you are limber. You are tough meat, and your own bad writing will tenderize you. Brutally. This is ok. You'll loosen up, and words better than the words you had before will come out.

(Hopefully. AUGH!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time for another random piece.

I'm just as scared as you are. Sometimes, when you hand me that cigarette, I worry about what I'm breathing in.

We smoke behind things, in front of things. We're rarely ever even in the place we paid cover to get into. I hear muffled music inside. The air is so much less stifling outside, though ice-cold. I feel crystals form on my cheeks. You squint at the sky.

"Brian is such a little bitch," you say.

"Yeah, I know."

"Think you'll still go home with him?"

"Ha! Well, he's fun to have around."

"Yeah, I'd still go too," you say through the smoke.

I look at your clothes. I think you're more stylish than me.

You squint into the street now. "You know, one of these days, your tits are just going to float you away like balloons."

I turn the lighter over and over in my hand. Start to put it in my pocket, but decide the muffle-song doesn't sound that great, and we both light up another cigarette.

"Yeah, well, what does that make yours? Anchors?" I try to see which blinking light you're staring at.

"That doesn't really make me feel better," you say.

"Yeah, me neither," I say.

You pace a tiny trail and duck your face in your scarf while you stub out the butt along the wall. I think I've located what light you were looking at.

"Do you want to go in?"

"Not really, but we should," You're in a squinting mood tonight. Either that or it's so cold your eyeballs are freezing.

"We don't have to," I say, slipping the lighter in my pocket.

"Eh, it's fucking cold."

"Yeah," I look at the door. You look at the door.

"Think I'll find some asshole to buy me a drink?"

"As usual, but then you'll have to deal with an asshole." I hold my pockets to my body to warm my hands.

"Yeah, but it's not a huge deal." You reach for the door and we head inside.