Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why I Write

... A rant, by lexical definition, is a loud and exaggerated manner of speech, often in a lengthy, bombastic, and aggressive fashion. Since posts are, by convention, the writer's voice in the blogosphere, ranting has as well come to define a method of writing bearing similar attributes to the oral form.

... This is the 21st century. Everyday, around six billion people make their way through this junkyard we call Earth. Survival is the ultimate goal, which makes expression the penultimate one. In this country alone - a seven thousand-strong congregation of earth jutting out of the ocean - there are almost a hundred million walking zombies plowing through fields and urban jungles. If one were to open his or her mouth, losing one's voice is no Herculean task. Shout loud enough, and chances are, the person next to you would have heard only a whisper that he'd easily mistake for the wind playing games with his ear.  

... Self-expression is tantamount to living. We are all biomechanical aggregations of cells and all that scientific poppycock; at our very core is the soul of Christianity, the 'West Ponente' of St. Peter's Square, the life force that science fiction has made a cliche. We can walk for endless miles, and yet, if we choose to remain repressed and silenced, we will eventually rot to oblivion. Choosing to express ourselves would still lead us to the same end, but it makes the journey far more interesting and worthy of time. There is a difference between walking to the market in autopilot and hopping down the sidewalk to the vendors' stalls.

... When I write something, it is not to please an audience. If you write solely for the admiration of others, you probably deserve to have your fingers chopped off. That in itself is a desecration of the art of writing. External appreciation that stems from the written word is but the sauce to the main dish. If the reader is happy with what you wrote, good for you. If what you wrote causes the death of the reader, then the most you can probably do is mention his death in your next piece.

... I have written things that have inspired people, even caused them to swoon over I don't exactly know which (the writer or the writing). A certain piece has even developed a sort of cult following. Then, they realize the terrible truth: Not everything that I write is true. I don't know what's new with this; proverb booklets have been circulating the message for quite some time now: Don't believe everything that you read.

... I write to express myself. If I wish to write about a trip to sunny Nairobi, which never took place, then I will write about that by all means. Writing it down, however, does not make an idea any truer than it already was in its unwritten form.

... When I write, I need to believe in the words that flow out of my body. The end result of my hard labor is always a palette of truths - truths that I stood for at the time of writing. Such truths may remain with me for a long time; otherwise, in retrospect, I can only summon a hearty laugh at how silly I sounded. So to all readers out there, take my advice (and this is not an original one): Take everything with a grain of salt.

... However, and in a way, I shall be debunking my previous paragraph, it is not the real-life veracity of a piece of writing that truly matters. It is not even as to whether the writer currently believes in what he's written. I am talking here of literary works, because the parts of the neuron as an anatomy book discusses them will remain true until maybe the next major evolution in the human system. No, what really matters is how the writing comes across to the reader. If one chooses to wholeheartedly believe in what he's just read, then so be it. You can always choose to label an essay or short story as balderdash.

... In the end, a piece of writing will always contain an amount of truth to it. The truth that I am referring to here is a personal truth: Did the writer really believe in what he was writing at the time? Because this, I believe, is a requirement for a great blog post or essay or newspaper article. All the crap that the rest of the world throws at you and your child is irrelevant. This is self-expression at its highest, because one can never genuinely and whole-heartedly express a falsehood in that moment in time when words start to form and ideas simply flow through the fingers.

File:West ponente.jpg


Anonymous said...

Fine exposition you have here. :)


Thanks, Anonymous.