Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Need to Express

Relax. This is not a post about breastfeeding.

No, today I am going talk about the need to express oneself artistically - which is a pompous way of saying you like to fart around wearing a silly hat and want everyone to admire you for it. 

Needless to say, I have always worn lots of hats.

Anyway, this subject came up for discussion in my writers group where my fellow writer, Susann Fruendt posed the following question;

I noticed that many of you have mentioned a real NEED to write; that it keeps you from going insane; that you feel restless/unhappy/incomplete/add other adjective of your choice if you don't find the time to write. So my question is: Do you think that this necessary to be a good writer? Do all of you feel that to be writing is your calling? Does this consuming passion make you a better author?

So if any of you thespians out there want to leave an answer for Susann then please do. You can also find her poignant short story on Amazon here.

In my answer to Susann (you knew this post was going to be about me didn't you?)  I related how I have always felt the need to create and express and that writing is but one of the forms of expression I've attempted ("attempt" being the operative word.) Indeed, I have tried my hand at various forms of  "the arts" including acting, singing, art and music - but not dancing (except in my kitchen - which if you've seen my legs you'll know why I stay behind the safety of my sink.) 

Obviously, I'm hoping I'm better at writing than the other arts. Basically, I was useless at singing, my attempts at playing the clarinet, recorder and guitar were met with looks of abject horror and my art was abject horror itself. If you can picture artwork which is cross between the style of Edward Munch/ Tracy Emin and Damon Hirst's more ghoulish pieces then you'll be on the right lines. Now to be fair, if I'd carried on producing artwork like that, I'd probably have made an absolute fortune. However, on the downside, I might have developed bi-polar by the age of twenty four. I would have had no self-worth at all; painting a picture of myself naked and screaming whilst lying on a messy bed next to a sheep's corpse wouldn't haven't been good for my sanity. 

But, by God, it would have been good for my subsequent literary reputation. Imagine the headlines:

Bi-polar author who slept with dead sheep before taking overdose nominated for ManBooker Prize.

Author who slit wrists with sheep shears scores hit with The History of Sheep in Art

Munch impressionist wrote horror trilogy before throwing herself of towerblock; The Screaming Sheep, The Sheep Murderer and The Last Lamb storm to the top of the bestseller charts.

Now to go back to Susann's question - unlike a lot of writers I don't feel restless or unhappy or the need wallow in the works of Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway whilst taking intermittent sojurns to the bathroom cabinet. That said, I do feel kind of happier/content when I'm writing. It's as if expressing myself satisfies my need to express and entertain. I like entertaining. Just not if it requires cooking as any part of it.

Oh God, I've just googled "writers who have committed suicide" and found this. That is way more writers than I expected. Boy, there's some seriously screwed up writers out there. Now trust me, any of you self-published authors out there - your unedited manuscripts with numerous typos are not worth killing yourself over because unless you're a traditional published author who's been short-listed for a major prize or your publisher has demanded a third draft of your autobiography because there's not enough sex and debauchery in it, no one will care -you do not have to kill yourself. Those typos are not worth worrying about. Seriously. However, if you are at all concerned check out A Post for Depressed Writers: Ten Reasons to be Happy and Other Random Jolly Thoughts. It may cheer you up - or it may not.

In fact, don't read it if you're depressed, it may give you ideas. Sorry. I have a habit of putting my foot in it.

Now I don't want to create an image of myself as a completely happy-go-lucky, cocaine-snorting thespian with a penchant for pulling funny faces and wearing false noses. So it's fair to say I have at times in my life I've felt "down" too. It's only natural. Indeed the time when I realised I didn't need butt implants to have a fashionable butt like Kim Kardashian was a sad day. It was also a very sad day when I realised I wasn't go to grow taller than Tom Cruise. However, being an optimistic person I was able to pull myself out of my depressions by imagining Kim Kardshian's butt exploding on take-off from LAX airport and Tom Cruise asking me on a date because I was the only woman in Hollywood who he didn't have to put his heels on for. 

Of course, when I was a teenager I had a melancholic phase too just like many other teenagers which, again, is completely normal. After all, those teenage spots can really spoil a first date when they explode at an untimely moment. And that can really, really get you down. It happened to me once - it was just like that scene in There's Something About Mary when Ben Stiller gets semen on his ear. I told my date my zit pus was Alberto VO5 hair gel. I'm not proud of it, readers, but I did what had to be done.

You know, I have no idea where this post is going now. I've lost my train of thought. It was the image of Ben Stiller's semen that did it. Yuck.

               Ugh. I say again, ugh. I haven't felt the same about Ben Stiller since. Or hair gel.

Anyway, just for Susann, here's is a picture of some of my woodcarvings from my "artistic" period. These were carved during my teenage "I don't who I am but dead things are fascinating" years. We all have them - it's just most successful artists don't grow out if it or, if they're very lucky, they become fascinated by their genitals instead. Fortunately, I moved out of my "artistic" phase some time ago. Now I'm in my "I want to be a writer" phase. Hopefully, I'll have more success with writing than with my art. Blimey, I hope so. Otherwise Mr T may reinstate those chains.

Woodcarvings from my ghoulish period. Is it any wonder I'm mad? The centrepiece was for an exam but unfortunately the jaw of the skull didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped. I used to say this was because of time constraints as I had to find the time to do it in between classes. However, the truth is I just ******* it up with the chisel. Oh well. The skull and snake normally resides in the loft, the skull I use as a bookend and the head I put on a windowsill to scare off intruders. However, I find just opening the door in my PJs usually works pretty good.
Ps My short story collection is coming very soon. Apologies to anyone waiting. There is a reason which I will explain at a later date. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I am always delighted to receive comments!

My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

It's the early hours of the morning, and I have had a large gin... Late-night alcohol is always a good recipe for writing gibberish. And...