So the pen to paper action hasn’t been so great of late, and I was thinking of why, and I couldn’t put my finger on it until yesterday while talking to one of my few writer friends … but let me back up a minute before I let you in on the conclusion, because this is a blog about writing, and I must tell you how I came to this point so that I could justify the domain name for at least another couple minutes.  I also want to warn my readers that this podcast / blog will not only be about me not writing, because I think that will get old after a while, but right now not writing for readers other than me is something worth writing about I think, so sorry about it.

So about three years ago I was at a crossroads, so to speak.  We all reach it eventually.  There is a Scarecrow in the fork, and we’re standing there with our little dog hoping that the direction we choose, by sheer chance mind you, is the right one.  The two roads look very similar in their origins, there is no rising sun, or moonlight to show us the way, we just choose and go blindly down.  I had been writing for a while at this point.  Truth be told, when I was younger, I was told I was an awful writer by petty English teachers whose only validation of such contentions was that I couldn’t spell.  I fuck you not.  Their only reason putting me on the Vincent road from Gattaca, was I couldn’t put letters together to make words.  When I say that out loud it sounds a lot worse that it is, but spelling is but a tool that society uses to weed us out; spelling, bad teeth, bad skin … it’s all the same in the end.  I think it’s worth noting that I feel that analogy is accurate … I do feel weeded out.  I do feel like for whatever reason my brand wasn’t something anyone wanted, and they pulled me up from my roots and expelled me to the nearest trashcan and let me find roots in the midst of a dump or anywhere else I blew to the side of any road.

Hindsight tells me that the bad spelling had to do with a condition known as Dyslexia.  I’ve written about this endless amounts of times, but a little known thing about dyslexia is that it’s not always about backwards letters, sometimes, like in my case, it’s about letters and words vibrating … my eyes are in a constant state of almost REM like being.  So with that said, writing was something I never really thought I wanted because it was something I was always told was out of my reach.  I knew I liked to speak, I knew I liked to … oh shit, this is going nowhere.  I write therefore I am kind of shit, but the reality is this is where I was.   I don’t want pity, I want to purge myself of this anger.  I want to purge myself of this resentment to everyone who threw me away, from teachers, to my parents, to my friends, to anyone who ever said I love you and didn’t mean it.  I want to purge myself of your opinion of me because I want to believe your opinion of me doesn’t matter.  I want to believe that I alone determine my density, and that I alone determine who I am.  I want to believe that, but I don’t.   I still gauge myself on the accomplishments of others, and I still feel slighted in every aspect of who I am.

I was leading a nowhere life with nowhere people, and no offense to my world as it stood, no one stimulated me.  I was dead inside and for reasons I could only speculate at, since I never bothered with the psychoanalysis course of study, I was alone.  I went days without hearing the sound of my own voice, or anyone else’s for that matter.   I went years without touching anyone, and I went months without smiling … and not fake smiles, but those spontaneous smiles that arise from genuine amusement.   I didn’t laugh, unless it was that conditioned laughter canned and factory set to make other people more comfortable to be around me.  I felt like I was in this constant state of a dead stare at a wall, making up for my solitude with online chats with strangers whom I never meet, and medicine designed to knock me out.

I downloaded subliminal noise designed to make me happy, or insightful, or something to make me feel anything else, because all of this isolation didn’t make me sad, it felt natural, and comfortable, but I was uncomfortable with my acceptance of my self imposed seclusion.   It was this weird quagmire, on the one hand I couldn’t wait for the silence of my own thoughts, but on the other hand I knew that if I went long periods of time without being around people I would become that monkey raised with the towel … I would be unable to interact.

I figured writing was my way out; it was the only thing I could do well, but my writing was specific.  It was defined, and it was exclusive to writing short bursts of nothing.  It was good, but it was erratic, and because it was short in its duration, it needed constant new sources of original material to maintain its integrity.   I decided to work my out of my life as it had become.  I had decided to make my way down a path that I determined, and not the one that I had been set on by fate.  I took online writing courses, and wrote all the time.   I bought this domain name and I was determined to be heard.   If my natural state of being were to be quiet, I would yell.  If I were afraid to be published, I would publish myself, and if I were afraid to be heard I would record and talk.

All this sounds good.  All this blabbering is about as healthy as they come, but then one day I discovered that the type of writing I do is not popular with the masses, but rather with a select subsection of our society which considers themselves literary.  And here’s where we come to my problem.  Those people are my petty English teachers who didn’t like my material to begin with and as I continued writing, I realized that although I had talent, I also had something else: a need to be heard, and  a need to yell, and I couldn’t yell because they had their white noise machines on which operated at the same frequency as my voice … and then I realized that if they didn’t want to hear me, then why was I writing at all?

And that’s where I’m at now.  I will find my voice, like all of you out there will, but it will take some time and some trial and error … I haven’t found it yet.  On my last podcast I asked if you were at the beginning, middle or end?  I said I was in the middle, and it’s so damn hard to get started from the middle.  You need to build upon, and not start from scratch.  So when you ask me where my material is … well I’m writing, but I’m writing for myself; I’m writing stuff that only I read.  I’m learning to be brave, and I’m learning to be bold, but I’m also learning to be cautious.

4 Responses

  1. gerry Says:

    Bravo! I must tell you I think you found your voice years ago, and if I’m any judge of short stories, not being a petty English teacher or anything, I think you are talented. Finding your voice is only the first part of the equation, finding your audience is the other. At first I was reading this thinking I was reading yet another whining Eric rant about nothing, but as I got into it I realized it was quite profound. I think that many writers struggle with this issue of voice and audience. I have always thought your dialogue was brilliant, and as I was listening to your podcasts I noticed you were thinking of writing a movie. Do it! You have talent, now figure out what to do with it, and don’t let petty people get you down!

  2. jessie Callon Says:

    It’s been a while kid, but I’m back. For a while I didn’t think you were going to post anymore but I went online and there you were! I think this whole thing about who to write to is important, because it’s so hard to write letters to the ether and think you can keep that up daily, weekly or otherwise. I was watching this horrid movie last night, Julie/Julia, and I got to thinking about you, which is why I hit your link. At one point she said she was writing into the abyss, or some other thing like that, and I got to thinking about you. I don’t know your audience size, but I suppose that there are people who read your blog, but I think it’s personal with them because of your podcasts. They know your voice, and they can hear it in your words. I think you have talent, but what to do with it is always the question. You don’t fit into any neat box. I have to wonder what you can do with all this talent? I don’t know. I think you’ll figure it out, just keep writing into the ether, and I’ll listen. If it makes you feel better, all writers have your story in some fashion or another.

  3. animus Says:

    Are we required to comment on every podcast? Good job, I like you guys. Thanks for the listen.

  4. jake Says:

    DUDE! You found your voice. I love the way you write, and if it makes you feel better, my english teacher does too. Maybe you had the wrong teachers!

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