It’s on paper that I find myself; my voice; my heart. This is where I find the clearest reflection of my thoughts.
But is that really enough? Is it enough to let go of all the reasons I am supposed to be earning a living from my words and just write? Is it enough to trust that my words will pierce the heart of the reader enough for them to then take that next step and buy my words?
I don’t have the answer to that question yet.
But I do have something to say, and as much as I’ve attempted to sugar coat it, wrap it up in pretty blogging paper and try to sell the concept of something (because I actually really have no f@#*ing idea yet what that something really really is), I can’t do it.
I am a hopeless case – I just can’t write bullshit. I can’t pretend to write stuff that doesn’t touch the heart and pull it out into the light. I can’t devote my energy, time, point of view or ideologies to words that when strung together are ‘just fine’
Does this mean that I am going to stop writing for money? I don’t think so. I am not so unrealistic that I can’t see the value in the dollar and I have no ethical or moral issues about using my creativity to receive a financial reward.
Anyway, money means I can buy pretty shiny things.
What I do think is that I am not going to write whitewashed words. If I want to say something, it’s going to come out full swing, just like I am, in full colour and in full motion. It might be messy, challenging or even something you totally disagree with and I think I might just be okay with that now.
Because I was born to write. And I can’t not write.
I’ve tried being like other writers. They’re amazing. I love them. Their words bring tears to the eyes of my soul and transform my heart, making it big enough to explode.
But I can’t seem to do it. My sentences can be stupidly long or unexpectedly short. I use non-words. I swear sometimes. I use too many adjectives and metaphors and other things that I still don’t know how to recognise in my own writing.
I can never find those bloody double negatives either. They really piss me off. Clean perfected strings of words – that I shall not recognise as sentences – make me feel stupid.
I want my heart to bleed on the parchment so you know how real I am. I can’t seem to avoid it.
And when I write, I know it’s not like others, or if it is, maybe I’m too narcissistic to recognise that there might be another like me.
I write in the shower, in my head, on the paper in my inner world, transcribing the thoughts as they whizz by me, hoping I won’t lose them. I write in the car, self-talking in full sentences, trying to unravel the universe that lives inside me. I write while sleeping, eating, drinking, playing and crying.
This is who I am. I cannot control the need to press the keys, despite the fatigue in my arms or the inflammation that sometimes stops me for days at a time.
I’ve realised that when I have something burning inside me, like today, I HAVE TO GET IT OUT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
And I rarely edit. I rarely ‘go back and take a good hard look at that piece and take a machete to it to remove the 10%. This is because I’m not trying to be articulate and clever. I’m not trying to draw you in with a witty first line and a kickass heading.
I’ve got no time for that.
If you want to read what I have to say, you will. You’ll read every. last. word. You’ll trip over yourself to get to a wifi spot to read what I have to say.
And I can’t contain my thoughts in perfectly constructed 500 word blocks either. Sometimes what I have to say can be said in 40 words so why on earth would I waste that space with dross?
Then there are todays – where I’ve hit an artery and the words run free across my mind, my body, my fingers and out will pour my very soul.
I cannot contain and
will not restrain these words
for when they come, all else fades
into the distance and I finish, empty,
not dead, but emptied out,
spilled out onto the white; the black speaking for me, finally,
saying what has been battering away at the gates of my mind for days, weeks, months,
for the lifetime of me.
So today I write this. And tomorrow I may not.
Tomorrow may be about food, friendship, family, love, the unknown. But today these are the words that flow freely into your space, connecting us; you the reader, me the thinker. You the receiver, me the giver.
You the eyes; me the pen.
So it’s done then. This thing – this quandary about who I am and why I do what I do and will I ever find that peace – that knowing – that this is right? – this thing that spurs me, cajoles me, riles me up and spits me out onto the page is now free.
I’ve no choice but to let it roam, watch it sniff the grass around my life and decide if it’s going to stay or wander off into someone else’s pasture.
So… if it choses to stay, this thing that drives me, I will not leash it. I will not contain it nor control it but I will feed it, protect it, teach it as it teaches me.
And then I will let it
crawl over my skin
like moss, covering the outside with what has been growing
on the inside, until all that I am
is this thing called
Miriam E. Miles