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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

On Writing

I believe that in life, we all need a purpose. We need a ‘strength’; something that guides us and gives us the will to carry on. I certainly need that. For me, it’s not enough to say I’m simply happy to be alive. Without a purpose I see no reason to live; I may as well drink myself to death. In AA the phrase ‘Higher Power’ is spoken of a lot, and how I see that is your strength; something greater than you that guides you through life. To some people it’s the power of the AA rooms, to others it’s a God of their understanding. Some people say it’s the sea or the trees or the universe, but for me that is too vast and vague. I need something smaller and direct, something that I have always been able to connect with and love.

Explaining my love for writing is...almost impossible. It is something so deep and even spiritual, something that goes way beyond me. My love for the written word and for all forms of it; poetry, prose, songs, this blog, my diary – are the things that give me my strength. Whatever has come and gone in my life, wherever I’ve been, however I’ve felt, I have always had writing. I don’t have a great deal of hobbies. I’m inconsistent within social circles; I used to do martial arts on and off, I drank on and off, I smoke fags here and there, I did zumba briefly, I learned Swahili and Spanish here and there, I got into feminism then anti-feminism, I believed in God then didn’t.

With nearly everything in my life that I have done I have been inconsistent. In an unpredictable and chaotic world I don’t have much to hold onto. I tried to hold onto alcohol; that didn’t work. Trying to hold onto people isn’t enough to me because people come and go; they die, they disappear, we break up, we lose friends, we lose contact with others; sometimes people are busy, or they’re in trouble themselves, or they don’t have the time. Another human cannot be my constant, no matter how much I love them.

Writing is never going to go anywhere. The passion I have for it won’t vanish. Writing is the one thing I was born ‘naturally’ good at. I speak of writing more than music because I would not be a musician if I were not a writer; my music is very lyric-driven and I began learning the guitar because I wanted to write songs. I love music unconditionally, but it is something I learned to do. I learned to play the guitar; I learned to sing, I learned to drum. I did not learn to write. I don’t believe in God; from a practical perspective I could say that writing is genetic because my father is also a writer, but I prefer not to think too much about it. I’ve never really analysed where my gift and love for the written word comes from, which is strange as I critically analyse almost everything else. But writing is beyond me; it’s intangible, this love that I have. It cannot be touched or taken away.

When I was old enough to make words, I made words. My mum bought me a diary at the age of six. In primary school when all the other kids made fun of me and teased me and made me feel unhappy I had books or Literacy or poems to turn to. In secondary school when I was miserable and looked lame and nerdy next to the other kids because I ‘wrote so much’ I still shone through my writing and my writing of songs. In sixth form when I was depressed and wanted to drop out of my A levels I had my stories to write. When I sat in my room drunk and fatigued at York Uni I was still hammering away at my laptop keys.

I can’t live without writing. I would be dead without it. If I didn’t have this great love and passion for it that has helped to carry me through life in times of desperation I would be dead. Life is hard. Life is heavy and intense and painful without something to hold onto to. Sheldon Cooper has Physics; Mozart had the piano, Nelson Mandela fought for peace, Malcolm X fought for African-American liberation. Have something you love and hold onto it.

As a child; writing at my dad's computer

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