When you say ‘curse of the second novel’, many people think about the curse of the second published novel of an author. I, personally, find it much more applicable to the ‘second novel of a series’… It’s harder to find an exception, really.
sometimes I get these moments when I feel like writing might the very only and last thing I have for myself
and in the next moment I hate it, my writing, for it with all my heart
I stopped writing poetry because it feels like vomiting words in a language I don’t myself understand, from somewhere around backside of my frontal lobe.
It confuses me and feels like I’m trying to say something, but can’t hear my own voice, and can’t know what I’m actually saying.
Even more than usual.
And when it just comes out and I can’t stop it, it reminds me of how a cat looks after coughing out some fur. I just stare at it, and don’t know what is it, what to do with it, and why did it even have to come out.
I also hardly ever read poetry for similar reasons.
Another problem I heave with poetry is that when it ‘comes out’ like a fur ball like this:
look at them hungered eyes
dreaming of soft toes
buried in black soil
look at them burdened skies
it also ends as abruptly as it came out. And with a feeling that there is nothing else where it came from, like I’m straining to hear what comes next but the sound is not there. But that also for some reason I need to keep it.
The point is, that even on those shittier of days of mine, the image that still carries me through those shittier days is the one of me finally holding at least one of my finished books in my hands. And it’s not about whether people are actually going to read it, or whether I’m going to try to get it published in the traditional way or put some money away and work out how self-publishing works. It’s about making it solid, and putting it in right words that will paint the right images and connect into that story that I’m trying to tell. And that voice in my head that keeps telling me that I will never able to do it because I’m broken in the head and can’t even connect words in sentences properly (unless it’s an angsty blog post) can just go and… suck on something nasty.
When I finally find the right words and manage connect them in the right way for the story, reading them back, feeling the tiny parts of it really come alive, makes me feel like home.
Which always reminds me of the Alfred Kazin quote.
“One writes to make home for oneself, on paper.”
For someone who doesn’t really have anything else that feels like home, this is sort of important.
On my shittier days I can’t help but think about how, logically speaking, my specific Asperger’s likely makes writing not a thing I should be really focusing on.
I feel words a little differently from most people. I see them in specific pictures, colours, and tastes, I also often lose track of what they really mean, making up meanings and uses of my own. Sometimes it means that typos and mistranslations are the funniest things possible for me in the world, because of the pictures they make up, and sometimes it means that I think that “cooked a brow” is a thing, think “door” and write “tree”, and can’t stop thinking Singapore must be a hardly inhabitable country somewhere very cold, and that Eskimo live there (and it doesn’t matter that I know exactly where Singapore is and even had friends from there, my brain will still paint a Siberian scenery every time I say the word, since I was a child.)
I’ve lost count of how many times I had to edit out logically impossible sentences, and, unfortunately, the important part is not that I manage to find them at some point, but the part where it takes me years and dozens of checks until I actually do realize that something is wrong with the way I described things.
It terrifies me how ironic it is that I actually work editing and proofreading things every day, when I’m like this. But, apparently, I’m pretty good at catching logical inconsistencies within other people’s writing, while I can’t notice them at all when I write them myself.
I really struggle with putting things I see in words, and then I struggle all over again with re-arranging them into words that make sense to someone other than myself.
But the thing is, for some reason, I really need writing to be the thing for me. And I felt this way ever since I first begun reading. I started writing my first story when I was 8 or 9. I asked my parents for a typewriter, and they gave me Windows95. But when I first typed out the first chapter of my story, the people I was learning how to read good books from, read it without my permission and laughed so hard at the way I was using my words, quoting the ridiculous parts out loud, that I dropped any ideas of writing things. Because they were still quoting that stuff to me for years, and I felt hurt. And also because I understood that even though they were laughing, I still couldn’t see what was wrong with it at all, and it scared me. So I decided that I will be content enough with making up stories only inside of my head and writing only some things down in my diaries, because my handwriting is indecipherable anyway. I do wish I didn’t waste all those years now, but apparently learning to not hurt when people reject and dismiss the things that are important to you takes a lot of time. Or at least to hurt less and learn how to move on and try again.
I tell myself that I still can be optimistic and try to believe that I can do it. That I’ll just have to find a very patient person to ask to be my editor and comb through my my words to make sure I’m saying what I think I’m saying. But I still feel like an idiot stubbornly trying to swim against the current in the wrong river on most days.
I think one of these days I’ll figure out that writing with my eyes closed might actually work for me.
Oh how I want to be that person who can sit down, put their laptop, notebook or whatever on their lap, open a half-written chapter and just write, and write, and write, whatever, even if it’s something they’ll need to edit over and over again, just put the words out there in sentences and don’t feel like all they have in their head is lumps of dirt and wind and pain, but definitely no actual words formed of actual letters, and definitely not in any single language.
Except irrelevant posts, apparently.