The hardest part about being a writer is that you move through every day acutely aware that you have been blessed with a curse. You have been drawn to a lifestyle that will bring you great joy, and harrowing sorrow. In moments of great inspiration you will feel as though you have been touched with the hand of God; that something magical is alive and breathing inside of you. Your mind will operate with a euphoric mixture of imagination and passion, and your fingers will dance effortlessly across a keyboard as you produce the kind of prose that leaves a reader with an unending admiration for what you have produced.
Then the writer’s block kicks in and that hand of God turns into the devil’s talons piercing your flesh as he squeezes your heart until you feel faint. Words and phrases become caught in your head, and you move through life completely unaware of anything except your own inability to create.
You see the world differently to others. When you first start out putting pen to paper you begin to notice cracks in the fabric of society and small discrepancies in the stories that people tell. It’s like you suddenly find yourself in a room that looks almost perfect. The furniture is perfectly selected, the light fittings polished and the carpets unusually clean. But the wallpaper has started to fray ever so slightly at the cornices. At first the slight oddity doesn’t bother you. You can live with knowing that things aren’t quite right. It doesn’t matter that things aren’t perfect.
But then curiosity gets the better of you and you start picking at the wallpaper, peeling small strips from the walls. And the more you peel, the more curiosity eats away at your soul. Before you know it the walls are bare and you’re stripping back the carpet. You’re questioning everything about the integrity of the room. You want to see the walls stripped bare. You need to see the foundations. You can’t bear to stand not being able to reshape, redesign and rebuild. It’s not until you’ve torn back every inch of floor and wall coverings that you find yourself standing in a cold, lonely cell.
You’re blessed with a curse. Blessed with the gift of writing, of wanting to learn, to break down and rebuild. But you’re cursed with a desire to question everything and anything. You question the way people live. The bullshit stories they tell. The mistakes they make. The mediums they consume. The lies they tell themselves in order to sleep peaceably in their bed at night. But if you’re lucky, you find yourself asking the right questions too.
You start asking why we live in a world where killing is still common practice. Or why degradation of our fellow brethren occurs based on the colour of someone’s skin, their gender, or their beliefs. You start questioning why we are willing to accept a soul black as night and laced with glass over one of sheer beauty, just because the later isn’t as aesthetically pleasing on the surface. But the question that plagues you more than any other, the question that keeps you awake at night, is why the fuck can’t anyone else see just how misguided we have become?
You’ve pulled back the wallpaper of your room to find yourself alone in a prison cell, and you’re staring through the bars at the blissfully ignorant as they sit inside their own cages with a smile on their face believing that they are free. They claim that they question everything too, but they chose to do so from the safety of their comfort zones, their lack of true passion mocking everything that you believe in. They take to social media to post statuses on what they believe in, to click a like button to support a cause, but they do so because it’s easy. Because they are sheep, desperate for the approval of the herd. Because it is easier to question everything from the safety of a screen; only the bravest of us have the balls to take our beliefs to the streets.
So you write and you write, desperate to be heard. You want to grab a hold of people and scream in their ignorant faces ‘open your fucking eyes, peel back the wallpaper of your cell and let’s start a goddamn revolution.’ You know that if people would just turn down their televisions, unplug their earbuds, and give real literature a chance that you could change the world. You could teach them to ask not why someone should be allowed to wear a headdress in public, but why we as a society are so close minded that we feel the right to judge them for their beliefs? Or to ask why we accept war in foreign lands in the name of democracy, while we are so venomously opposed to those very ideals in our own land? Or why we have turned our backs on one another in pursuit of or own selfish wants and needs? When did we become a society of individuals so capable of stamping one another into the dirt to better ourselves? And why, Jesus, why the fuck isn’t anyone listening?
Then you realise that people are. That your readership may be small, but that with persistence it will grow, unfurling like a beautiful rose. You realise that with every article you write, every story you tell, you are helping those bold enough to listen to peel back the layers of their own comfort zones so that they too can begin to question everything. You’re helping them to identify and understand when they are being sold emotional placebos by snake oil peddlers so that they can tear down the superficial beauty of their worlds in order to create something truly exquisite through their own brevity.