Friday, March 4, 2011

The Solitude of the Writer

'There are many things I want to tell you,' she once said, when rather there were many things I wanted to tell myself. I have for long been intrigued; caught up in a quote by artist Imogen Heap: "I couldn't care less/I'm transfixed in this absolute bliss". That concept of being transfixed not just in a bliss, but in anything, drew my attention today.

My business is to create; to observe; to notice. My business is to be transfixed in everything. A heightened sense of things, so to speak. To be inclined to notice what goes around me is an asset to my writing. It clarifies the blurry and provides me with enough detail to portray a situation; a sensation to the extent I wish to describe it. Like how my feet feel on my shoes or the sound of a bird taking off and flying into the distance; the interaction between a couple two tables away or the rate at which raindrops hit my terrace rail.

The dark side of this quality, however, is the constant state of observation it leaves a writer in. A continuous notice of how long its been since someone you love called you; an utter awareness of the tone and sight directions in the guy I'm prepared to fall for. The discontinuity in a friend's argument or the sounds of my bedroom cooler at night. And because my imagination is supposed to work for my profession, it runs wild in my reality. This can be in terms of needing no more than a description of a thriller movie scene to have troubles falling asleep at night, to immediately assuming that a friend has gone missing because she didn't call me when she said she would. An open cupboard means something supernatural might have been lurking around my apartment and the sound of footsteps on leaves behind me at night can be explained only by a mysterious character having entered my reality. Everything becomes a story; a conflict; something to tell and wonder about until the narrative has a beginning, middle and end, preferably with an acceptable solution to my highly imaginative and entirely absurd questions. It becomes a conscious choice of every day to control that imagination and utilise it strictly in and for my writing.

But that was not the point. The point is the detached reality of writing. Disconnecting oneself from the world and its content and observing it, narrating it, critiquing it. A critical view on your surroundings can turn out to become poison, as it leaves no room for that childish bliss and naïve thoughts. No one or no thing is safe from being picked apart by the writer and evaluated for the sake of a story. I find myself no longer being able to simply accept a statement as fact; I need to question it, to come up with a narrative I can tell behind it. And with this need for imagination, stories and fiction, also comes a strong feeling of complete solitude, as it seems no one asks the same questions as I do. Not to say that other writers don't ask questions. It is merely difficult, close to impossible, to find someone who not only observe and reflect upon reality, but to find someone who do it within the same frameworks and contexts as me. I am immensely excited to see if any such person will exist among the many interesting characters I have now embarked upon university life with.

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