VI

I used to worry. Sometimes I worried until my personality, my thoughts, my behaviours, were smooth, and all the offending edges had gone the way of windwashed mesas, and other times until my hands were bloody with the effort of the unworryable thought. The clockwork habit, the bedrock personality.

Always rubbing. Picking. Tapping. Turning, looking, inspecting. I worried about worrying.

Eventually I learned what worrying looked like, and learned to stop before the blisters came up on my thumbs.

Some thoughts are disproportionate. They seem to be the unworryable thought, but in reality they’re like candy floss. with a thumb and forefinger you can reduce that impenetrable cloud to a sugar grain. I’ve learned to recognise these, too.

A Crisis of Blogging

I’ve been having a crisis of blogging for the last several months, since the summer. You can see it in the sporadic and strange posts I’ve plastered on the blog, like the stickers you see on lamp-posts and traffic lights and phone boxes. The urge to post, and to write something worthy of posting, has been overwhelming, but my satisfaction with the results has been… mixed.

In early December I read an essay that inspired me to start a small project I thought might be the answer. I thought Peanut Brittle would result in daily content for the blog for the entirety of 2020 that might even mildly interest readers, but we’re a couple of days into the year and I can already tell I don’t want to continue.

Continue reading “A Crisis of Blogging”

V

After a while the energy required to not be yourself becomes so much that simply living is exhausting.

When the exhaustion got too much, I chose to be myself — sometimes I have to remind myself why — and I hope anyone else struggling on this point will, too.

Some people come to hate themselves so much they would rather die than be themselves. I wish I could take every one of these people by their gentle, calloused hands, lead them to a therapist and make them drink.

IV

Even these fragments are composites. I’ve written them in short stochastic bursts, a line about one topic here, a quick sketch, then editing and chopping. I can still come back later and change things. Insert a missing hyperlink, or fix a typo, for instance. So these things are woven, rather than chunks, and not even in their final form. Or their only form. If I change this one in two months time, there’ll be two versions of it. That’s not to mention all the opportunities for other people’s input – comments, online annotations or simply copying, pasting and editing. I’d rather they didn’t, but what’s to stop them?

The gravel pile of fragments is very very porous.

III

Writing turns me from one person into shards of multiple people bound by nothing but a single skin.

‘Find your voice’, they says, ‘write like you,’ they says, but when you’re several different voices depending on what you’re writing and how seriously you want to be taken, or whether you’re feeling flippant today, or simply just pouring the junk out, feeling like one person is hard enough, let alone one voice.

Fiction is even worse. It requires you to get into the head of a character enough so that when someone reads a voice on the page, they can’t see me moving their mouths or my face behind their mask. After a while you begin to lose track of where you stop and they begin and vice versa.

At least, that’s how it is for me, anyway; it’s probably not a sign of something worrisome.

And sarcasm never comes across properly.