Some thoughts.

As usual, I have thoughts bouncing around my head like a bunch of rabid weasels that refuse to just settle down and behave. So what the hey, I’ll write a post about them instead!

One of the things that happens sometimes, within the communities that I hang out in, is getting asked, “So what do you write?” and my default, instinctual answer is something along the lines of, “I don’t”, or, “Nothing really,” anything along those lines.

I have a complicated relationship with words.

Obviously by the fact that I have this blog at all, the aforementioned statements aren’t particularly factual or true; instead they are a reflection of my notions of self-worth, they are a mirror of how I tend to view my writing despite time and time again of people telling me otherwise about it. Even when I admit to the fact that I write things, be it this blog or my assortment of poetry or my seven trashfire nanowrimo drafts (yep, seven; and I still moderate a nanowrimo chatroom on IRC but in recent years haven’t produced anything remotely resembling a story let alone a novel) most of which I would prefer to never see again, I have a very difficult time seeing myself as a writer.

Part of this in turn stems from the difficulties that I have with composition. A lot of what I write is exceedingly short, and I’m not talking about the whole myth that “shorter is better”, either. The posts I write are short because I run out of the ability to string the words together and make them say what I want to. They don’t look the same on the screen as they sound in my head and I get frustrated and more often than not I close the window and do not post anything at all. I leave windows open for hours on end (like I have this one) and don’t come up with what I want to say.

There’s a solution to this problem for me, but it’s a solution that comes with its own round of problems. That solution is pen and paper. I’ve always felt better and felt like I have more of a compositional flow when I’m writing with pen and paper. However, I have a whole host of problems with doing that as well.

I hold my pen too tightly, and writing more than a sentence at a time often physically hurts. Additionally, one of the most abiding and severe manifestations of my obsessive compulsive disorder happens when I am writing on paper. I have a very difficult time coping with the natural differences in letter forms, and every letter has to be perfect and look like every other letter on the page. I cannot switch pens in the middle of the page. If I misspell a word or make a mistake or my pen slips I have to start over from the beginning. If my pen runs out? I have to start over from the beginning. Sometimes mistakes are so upsetting that instead of writing I end up focused on tearing up what I made a mistake on, or shredding it, or burning it. I start writing in notebooks and then three days later put it aside and do not continue, which is made worse by the narrative that I’m wasting paper— I don’t want to be wasting paper, and I really do care about trees.

Shopping lists are a particularly fun part of this. I end up writing shopping lists two to three times just to get them to look neat and so that the foods are organised by type and aisle and store, and gods above forbid anyone else writes on my shopping list. Then I redo it again.

So of course, the solution to that is technology. Write on a computer, they said; it’ll be fun, they said; it’ll solve all your problems, they said. And maybe for someone else it will solve all of their problems, but it hasn’t yet solved mine.

A lot of things that I write I still work out on paper first and then type up after I have the idea of where it is going. But most of the time I’m not willing to deal with the entire process of writing or the frustrations of writing, and so that’s the reason that most of the time, I’m not willing to call myself a writer.

Some thoughts.

Feelings and commercialisation.

Today is Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the day in which the internet abounds with cheesy rhymes and outpouring of mostly romantic feelings.

roses are red
violets are blue
this is a poem
I think.

The holiday can be difficult for a lot of people, for a variety of different reasons. Maybe you’re asexual or aromantic or maybe you’re just not involved in a romantic relationship right now. Maybe you’re still getting over a break-up. Maybe the relationship that you’re in is abusive and you’re trying to get out of it. There are so many maybes here, but I think that is enough to start with.

And then on top of all of this along comes this holiday all over the television and radio that encourages people to show their significant other how much they love them! But wait, how are we supposed to show them?

Since you asked… the media would have you believe that love is expressed by spending money. We are spurred to buy cards, to buy jewelry, to show him or her just how much you care. And the clear subtext is that if you are not able to make this monetary effort, or if you do not make this monetary effort for any reason, you clearly don’t care enough. It’s plain wrong and distinctly untrue, but the subtext is there nonetheless and pervasive enough that it is yet another one of the pressures on people who live with financial stress.

So I’m going to divert from the narrative here and reiterate that it is entirely acceptable and okay to not be able to spend money on someone else just because a Hallmark holiday says that you should. It doesn’t mean you love them or care about them any less. And there are a lot of expressions of care that do not require extra expenditures, like a nice night watching movies at home with a nice dinner, or if you cohabitate, offering to do a chore that the other person dislikes doing but does anyway. There are so many things that do not involve spending money that is allocated to something else in the budget.

If you do care about someone, the best thing to do is to just tell them (in which I am a gigantic hypocrite but that’s probably material for another post once I have all these pesky feelings figured out). Don’t just tell them on Valentine’s Day, though, or when you feel obligated to tell them. Tell them every day, or every week, or when you go to bed, or when you wake up— but maybe not all of those.

Or maybe yes all of those. Whatever works for you.

Feelings and commercialisation.