Today marks the first day of the rest of my writing life, which comes as no shock to myself. I’ve recently been contemplating what kind of writer I should be in my life. By recently, I should probably account for the last ten years of my life, where I’ve churned out snippets and assignments and poems and essays and lots of stream of consciousness work. During this time, I’ve always enjoyed affixing language (usually the English language) to the page, and it’s shifted between the keyboard and the pen with regularity. One day I’ll decide that I’m sick of typing things, because I can’t flow with my brain in the same way that I can when I’m writing with a pen. I can’t achieve the same kind of bravado with every stroke, and it always comes out in a straight line, always knowing when to go to the next line, even when I don’t want it to. I take a pen to paper, and there’s no guarantee what kind of mark is going to come out. I find that terrifically real, and sometimes even terrifying. When I write something on paper, I then have to store it somewhere, and I have no guaranteed method for returning to said documents. I often come back upon them a year and some change later, wondering why I never wrote my genius (ha ha, genius) in a more lasting medium, like a journal. Well, I dislike binding things when they’re such fragile little thoughts, barely conceived by the time they spurt out of my utensil (wow, sexual much?), feebly grinning at me from the page, because they know they’re special. I grin back at them when they’re on an index card, a legal pad, a junior legal pad, a notebook, a sketchbook, a napkin, a piece of printer paper, an interestingly shaped scrap of fabric. I love the words I make, and I’m pretty sure that they love me.
That’s it, I have to write. To write is to continue with my development as a writer (crazy how that works), and the more I do it, the less I worry about what nonfiction really is. For a while, I lived by my own brand of fiction, thinking I was the only person in the world unsatisfied with being a fish weaving together with millions of other fish in the attempt to get away from the sharks and dolphins and diving birds of the world. Then it hit me: I don’t have to be a fish. I don’t have to be a dolphin. I don’t have to be a shark. I don’t have to be a diving bird.
I have to be me. Aidan. I don’t use my own name very often, but when I do, it’s only to ground myself in the life I’ve lived (whether it’s to my advantage or detriment). I know that every second I live is a second in the forward progress of life, the race of the planet, etcetera.
I must write every day. Tall order? Yes. Of course it is. Sometimes I loathe the computer and my desk and my pens and my sketchpads and my printer paper and my notebooks and my index cards. Sometimes I despise food. Sometimes I despise myself for despising all of these things, and sometimes I despise every single one of those things in combination. Why? I don’t know, frankly. This world just has a way of getting to me sometimes. I may not interact with many of its inhabitants, but I know that’s going to change. If I loathe, if I despise, I lose.
I love myself as a human, which is really all I can do at this point.
This day forward, I shall don my skin with resolve to produce.
Excellent. I like today. I’m going to like tomorrow. I am also going to like the next day. I like this outlook, this foresight.