Being the Writer is a pain in the ass. Because the Poet, as Bukowski beautifully portrayed in many of his stories, survives and escapes from madness through the Poem. He survived with the Poem himself. And the booze. But the Writer, well, he is a different character. He’s not necessarily a suicidal punk, nor does he lives under the shadow of insanity. The Writer can be anyone around you. The Writer can be the must fun dude you have and will ever meet. The Writer can be me, for example.
My mum assumes that, in this very instant, I am walking careless at the edge of a cliff. She strongly believes that my constant state involves staring into the Void and deciding if I should kill myself ASAP or wait for a while. Like in “wait until misery is so deep and merciless that the sweet embrace of Death will be my ultimate relief” kind of waiting. Or maybe she doesn’t. But if that is the case, she doesn’t show it. Her condescendence is exhausting, asphyxiating. Makes me wanna block her on Whatsapp until I am back in Chile and can show her that I am a merry fellow. Or, at least, a non-suicidal fellow.
I am not depressed. Yes, a breakup can fuck you over. It has taken a big chunk of my energy and focus. But, isn’t that normal? Of course it is! No breakup is easy. Then why the fuck my mum, and some friends and family, treat me like I had some terminal disease? Because I am the motherfucking Writer.
Everyone has a gift or a hobby. A passion. My passion -and, as far as I believe, my gift too- is writing. I finished my first novel when I was 20. I wrote a column for an online magazine at the age of 21. I self-published a book of short stories at the end of 2014. And, for the last thee years, I have been actively writing in my blog -yes, this one. I am, for better or worse, the Writer.
Being -slightly- good with words is both a blessing and a curse. The “Novel I am Working On” is floating around my head like a gray cloud. A fucking self-awareness cloud that reminds me of my writer’s block, or simple laziness. So, not to feel I’m not living up to my dream -becoming an actual writer-, I indulge in some creative procrastination. I work on the Poem a bit and, mainly, hit the Column hard. The topic, though, is risky. I’m the main character in these stories. Stories that are not fiction. It’s my life what I talk about.
When I’m not busy with my boring routine, or my more interesting social life; my mind is writing. In my brain, words come together and I can read the sentences and the dialogues clearly. The Writer then comes to play, tweaking everything to give it more spice, more taste, more consistence. The flavor is usually a mix between poetry and reality, all cooked in prose that can -or aims to- be easily read, and easily felt. Because there’s no purpose in writing if the Reader doesn’t get shit from it. If it’s bland and tasteless letters put together in some sort of logic order, and just that.
The risk, then, is that the Poem, the Column, the blogging and all that, may sound way more dramatic than the actual stories and feelings behind them. I believe that pretty much everyone feels the same way under the same circumstances, but not everyone is able to translate those feelings into words. The Writer tries. Sometimes, he succeeds. But the Reader gets fixated in the Writer, not his words. The Reader forgets that he has experienced the same emotions and then he thinks the Writer is a poor little hopeless fuck, dispirited and on the brink of self-murder. So the Reader misunderstands the whole purpose of writing as a form of Art. And the Reader becomes a judgemental and condescending fuck.
Being the Writer -of the family, group of friends, workspace, relationship, or whatever else- ends up becoming a burden. But the words, those magical little creatures; the words won’t stop coming. So the Writer must put them somewhere. Rearrange them. Give them form, meaning, purpose. Perhaps curse a bit, just because it fucking feels relieving or fun. But, most importantly, the Writer must be patient.
“How are you today, son? Feeling better?” the mum asks.
A minute of frustration, self-loath, hatred towards the World and every human being that has ever existed. A couple of deep breaths. Some heavy cursing in silence. Then, looking back at the phone screen. Some more deeps breaths.
“Yes,” replies the Writer, “I’m okay.”
“You know I love you, right?”
“I do. I love you too, mum.”
Patience, you see?