This may all just be delusions, or it might be long overdue chemical brain damage, or it could actually be true and real and not imaginary in any way. But it’s definitely one of those. I just don’t know which one.
This was a terrible way to begin.
I’ll start again.
I sometimes have bouts of deja vu. But not like anyone else I know. For me they can last for minutes at a time and i am almost always sure that I have dreamed whatever it is I am in the middle of. In a few cases I have been able to tell someone what is about to happen and then it happens. The last couple of days have visited upon me a small scale version of this.
It always seems to happen just as things feel as though they are getting into the right places. People and places and opportunities and events mesh together perfectly and then it all just sort of happens. This one wayward thought passes through your head on it’s travels to somewhere else and then you’re following it. There is no logical reason to do so, but for some reason you are following this half formed idea somewhere. The longer you follow it, the more familiar everything around that thought seems to be. There are people attached to this vagabond idea that you had forgotten all about until just now. Songs that you haven’t heard in years must be played in case something goes wrong. Jigsaw pieces fall from above your head and bounce once before dropping into their rightful places. You instantly understand, in this one tiny moment, that something vital is going to happen. And these are the songs that you will hear, and this is the cast of characters, here is a list of the times and the places and here is the most important part. Here is the bit where you just have to remember what to say next to make it all work. All of these events will clockwork their way into existence if you can just remember the next line.
Something…something about tightropes. Something about balance and perspective. Something about uncertainty and validation and how i’d rather watch the sky getting further away than watch the ground rushing up to meet me. Something about failure being a signpost on the way to success. Something about waiting for the perfect idea and then three come along at once. Something colourful. Something specific and inspiring. And then you were there with me, but you had somewhere else that you had to be. So we went our separate ways. I turned around quickly because I remembered that there was something I wanted to tell you. Something…Something that looks like a victorian wardrobe with little tiny cameo portraits on the doors. There are scuffling sounds and then the doors burst open and fifteen identically dressed officials collapse into the room. Into the space. Into the…the…balance. A lion roars somewhere and a cat meows back. Sickly children line up with their bony hands outstretched. Top hats and tails. Top hats and tails and canes. Unable to pick one thought from the next now. This is not how it was supposed to go. There was something.
I nearly had it.
Coming back to the laptop and continuing where I left off the previous day, I have noticed that each section is written by a different person. Some days I have written two or three thousand words just based upon the movements that the characters are making in between conversations. Some days the whole thing is plain dialogue. It occurs to me that at some point I may have to go back and normalize what I have written so that it comes out even and just so. But is that an attempt to squash the life out of it?
Nearing the thirty thousand word mark on my novel for NaNoWriMo I have learned a few things about myself. I’m not used to writing this much, this fast and so it’s quite peculiar to find that I’m actually really loving it. I’m getting so much done that I feel like an idiot for not doing it this way sooner. My entire life these last two weeks has consisted of me sitting at my laptop at the table in the dining room and just writing. Occasionally reading or listening to lectures too, but mostly writing. It’s like a micro version of what i feel like my life should be. Eight to twelve hours per day writing sounds like a pain in the arse…I thought It would be. But I’ve honestly never felt better about my work, myself. Hell, i’m even starting to have opinions about things and care about issues. I’m quite scared to be honest.
I am a much better writer than I ever thought I was. I knew I could churn out nice little monologues and occasional witty one liners, but I’ve never been greatly impressed by the majority of my output. There are a few bits and pieces that I’m immensely proud of, but I’ve always felt sub par. This dedicated period of writing (short though it is) has made me feel good about what i’m doing. I know that i’m still far from being as good as I will be in the future, but I feel that I am continually learning and improving, as opposed to how I felt before where I just assumed that sparks of creativity were leaping into my head and that was all that I was good for.
Writing is what I love. It is hard work getting things down onto paper (or screen) but I always come away from the keyboard with a sense of excitement and an eagerness to get started again. I feel a real joy when I check back over what I have just come up with and see how it ties in with what has gone before and what will come next.
I should Like what I write. I’ve always been far too eager to dismiss anything I create as “yeah…it was alright. It just came out.” rather than admit to myself or anyone else that I have put time and effort into it’s creation. Music, scripts, artwork have all been previously dismissed because I thought that was the right way to be about your creations. I always feel proud when stuff is finished, but I never really admit that it is an accomplishment. I feel as though I should probably stop that now.
My imagination is fucked up. I have written some of the most disturbing scenes that I have ever written or even thought of in this novel. I didn’t realise just how creative I could be in terms of nightmarish imagery and unrelenting bleakness. But I feel the most proud of these parts out of everything I have come up with. These feel like my best work ever. They feel like rites of passage. Solemn exercises in pursuit of some higher understanding. Like the old Buddhist tradition of visualising yourself being torn apart by demons, it is a stage that you have to go through in order to see that these memories and recollections of past events are just memories. And now they are just words on a page. And any power they have is power that you have put into them.
I now know what I want to be when I grow up.