That used to be the most ‘Emo’ title I have ever used. Thank God for Meta-blogging!
When I sat down to write this little entry into the mass of unread internet content, I did so with the intentions of continuing my exploration (for lack of a better word) into the issues of Self-Publishing. That didn’t turn out to be what I wrote so, instead, here is an explanation as to why my ‘Twat/Pretension-bar’ is so low.
Once again, as some kind of procrastination from writing Art after Auschwitz, the final essay of my University life, I have been reading through the notebook I used this year in the Creative Writing aspects of this module. In it, somewhere between an idea for a novel one might call Orwellian, and a doodle of what appears to be the Eye of Sauron surrounded by Frank Turner lyrics, (read into that what you will), I discovered as series of questions I had jotted down, all of them curving across the lined paper, that they might share the same question mark.
I wish I could say I remember the second these questions were asked, but I don’t even know if they were. It could have been my over-active imagination taking control as I waited for some soporific fool spouting nonsense to stop their meaningless attempt to explain a work that, frankly, had nothing to explain. It could have been asked by our tutor, Rosemary, in the strange way she had of subtly broaching subjects that it felt almost pretentious of me to answer, whilst the rest of the group nodded sagely, as though the ghosts of long-dead geniuses whispered in their ears.
But anyway, these questions ran thus:
What kind of writer do you think you are?
What kind of writer do you want to be?
Why do you write?
Who are you writing for?
Of course, these are the questions that a ‘writer’ should be asking themselves, or so the constant posts on WordPress tell me. I am torn here, as I often am in situations where I might be required to take the thing seriously and to pretend, even if only for a few moments, that I know what the Hell I am talking about. On the one hand, I want to answer them, or at least attempt to, and one day soon I will do so. On the other, I know I am not a ‘writer’, or at least not worthy to be called one, and so these questions must NOT be directed at me, must they?
A friend of mine, whilst she was helping me to write a description of my novella, Adjective Narcissism, for its Amazon page, told me that I had a very low ‘Twat-bar’. After laughing, I have to say I agree. She meant, of-course, that I have a very low barrier for things which I might consider pretentious, or narcissistic or… whatever. And I think a lot of it probably has to do with the place I live.
You see, I live in the North of England, just outside of a town called Wigan that, I have no doubt, most of you will know for nothing more than Orwell’s famous essay. I hate this place, and I hate the people who live around here, but it has certainly help to, I don’t know, ‘ground’ me? Whether that is a good thing, or a bad thing, the point is that creativity is not an important possession up here.
Honestly, I cringed at that sentence, and I apologise to all those people who may possess ‘creativity’ for even suggesting that I might understand it, but I think that is, in part at least, due to Wigan. I feel as if no one who comes from a place like this can be allowed to succeed. For all that teachers and tutors claim that a good education can take you anywhere, I have never been able to see myself as a success at anything. I cannot imagine people I know going on to impact the world in any great way, despite the fact that I know a few people who are, essentially, geniuses.
It isn’t so much about receiving negative criticism for the things one might do, but it revolves around just looking out of the window. I see people walking past, picking their children up from school et cetera, and they are still wearing pyjama onesies, they are still wearing unwashed tracksuit that don’t fit them. They are shaven-headed or have greasy hair, tied back into tight ponytails which seem to stretch their faces into macabre grimaces. The faces are certainly the worst. They have a rat-like, pinched appearance, one that all but screams of, not just apathy, but a form of almost aggressive ignorance.
Obviously, not everyone looks like that, but everyone appears to be part of some clique, or social group, and then they all dress similarly. Chavs and ‘Party-boys’, ravers and emo’s (who don’t use the phrase anymore, cos it has negative connotations) and rockers. Then there are the people who dress in something approaching a suit, just because they want to be individual.
I grew up around here too, I was born around the corner and have lived here all my life. And I hate this place. I find the occasional point of pride, of course, but I have reached the opinion that creativity cannot exist up here or, rather, positive creativity cannot exist up here.
So that is why, over the last three years, I have always told people that I study ‘English literature and Creative Writing’ with an ashamed, embarrassed grin on my face, as though I was infiltrating the refuge of the ‘Holy’. I’m glad the degree is nearly over, don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t stomach another year of it.
Obviously, I would be an idiot to blame it entirely on the place I live, so I will try and plumb the ‘not-as-deep-as-I-might-think-they-are’ recesses of my ‘not-so-existant-as-I-think-it-is’ soul, that I might propose other reasons I am like this. I feel that, if I am going to go down this road of self-exploration, one which I started a while ago, in a more public eye, then I need to be wholly honest with you, the ‘dear reader’ So once I’ve got this last essay out of the way, expect a lot more scraps of nonsense like this. At least it will be honest nonsense, for a give value of honest.
And remember, now that I am attempting tto overcome my upbringing of retention, that my eBook is available here in the U.S and here in the U.K. One of these days I’ll actually be able to ignore my own self-doubt and be able to explain what the thing essentially is! Also, it IS available in other countries, I just haven’t posted the links for them, but I’ll get around to doing that soon. If you are interested, or at least want to tell me that it was a complete waste of time and that I should never, ever, ever write again, you can find it on Amazon easily enough.
You can tell I’m very proffessional, can’t you?