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The Presets “Aeons”
There are a few key points to consider when setting out to realize your ambition to be a writer. It has been well over a year now since I unlocked my inner-prose and I can honestly say that I haven’t stopped learning throughout my tenure. Where some prefer formal education as their teacher, that style of learning never really appealed to me. Sure, the do’s and don’ts are all accounted for and you will undoubtedly come away with a greater understanding of how to construct a piece of literature but, chances are, you’ll also come away with umpteen bad habits to boot. Moreover, you will no doubt have followed a set curriculum which can easily become restrictive should you not see the signs.
I’m not foolhardy enough to suggest that scholarship isn’t a valid rite of passage but it isn’t the be-all and end-all either. What I mean to say is that writing is not governed by age or how many diplomas you have achieved. It is a blank piece of paper and an infinite number of words at your disposal to paint your mural. It is also an exclusive opportunity to express yourself freely, no matter your age, gender or social standing. Normal rules don’t apply here as I have discovered during my own pilgrimage. Every single piece I scribe informs the next; in that respect I am self-taught. When I look back at work I posted this time last year it truly shows me how far I have come and I owe that progression to pure bloody-mindedness and a lack of boundaries.
Having spent my entire adult life asphyxiated by restrictions of practice, it was a breath of fresh air to finally do something which felt totally mine. No deadlines, right or wrong answers, protocols to follow or dicks to suck in order to climb the ladder. Not here. Here I could attain wingspan; create my own trajectory and make my own decisions. There is nobody in the world who can tell you your literature is flawed. The reason for this is that it is all subjective; sure there is common opinion and facts and figures can speak for themselves but if you write something that you are truly proud of then it is yours to own.
The bloody-mindedness part has come into play when I have felt at my lowest ebb. There have been times when it would have been far easier to call time, at least temporarily, on this pursuit of mine. Depression is as depressing as it states on the tin and its manifestation can knock the wind clear out of one’s sails if you don’t heed its signs. I never stopped writing, even when I reached the eye of the storm, and felt shipwrecked. That blind persistence may well be the only reason I’m sat here now and it is certainly the reason why I’m unblinkered. Of course, Keeper being the cantankerous swine that he is, there have been pieces scribed without a stitch of clothing on in a cemetery of all places but with far less seedy reasoning than it may appear.
I used my pain and didn’t cower behind it as would have been the path more traveled in such instances. Every scream, whimper, tear and tantrum informed my own words; a resilient ‘fuck you’ to the world, which appeared to be kicking my ass into touch for the sheer helluvit at the time. Being an optimist, I decided to mould angst into something uplifting and, even now, my blackest work still offers an out if things appear too bleak. That’s just me and each to their very own but, through forging a path of light through my own darkness, I came out of it stronger.
We’re all aware that life can really plant the old haymaker on your chin from time-to-time and I’ve taken my fair share of sucker punches although no more than the next man. Positivity and learning go hand in hand whereas those who are negative 24/7 often appear to have already gleaned all of life’s answers and many of them false ones. I spent many years taking instructions and being some other guy’s puppet but since becoming a scribe I answer only to myself. Am I over critical of my work? Undoubtedly but I consider that a strength rather than a weakness. I never wish to put one single piece of literature out there which I’m not contented with myself but, by doing so regularly, I have the self-belief that my work can resonate.
Every single piece is different from the last, whether light, dark or poised in between. I’m fully aware that it won’t always appeal and that is the price of varying your output from day-to-day but even pieces which I have posted which I consider muted by my own standards have often incited a surprising response. This brings me back to the subjective viewpoint and, once more, illustrates that there are no ticks and crosses, not in this field. These are your words, nobody need place them in your mouth. Find where they come from, own them, believe in them. We are all only one piece of literature away from writing one of the greats and who can tell you otherwise?
Recently I was approached to peruse the work of the daughter of one of our cherished Sisters of Grue. This piece is actually scribed with her in mind. She is young, starting out, finding her feet and has questioned her natural ability because of some knocks received, presumably by those who have no creativity of their own. I read the piece and it evoked a powerful reaction from me. The reason for this was simple, it came from somewhere deep and I can spot that effortlessly as she writes with the same tool I do. Her soul. That is half the battle won right there.
We all need reassurance, who doesn’t? We all doubt ourselves and, again, who doesn’t? We’re all beautiful individuals, each with our own gift; that’s what makes for such a mouth-watering prospect when we pick up our quills. If you’re starting out then find someone or a group of people who you know have your best intentions at heart and spark the fuse as it is the most wondrous experience when you do and will benefit your work unconditionally. Feed from those who you know will do so in return but never suck them dry. Sharing is caring as my four-year old tells me every day. Find that balance, trust it as anybody culpable of urging you not to is leading you up the garden path. Most of all… believe.