Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Are you ready for a pretentious writerly statement? Here you go, then:
No one is in charge of me except me and I have next to no interest in what the world thinks I'm supposed to do or be.
That's the way it has to be. You simply CANNOT be a writer without embracing that idea, consciously or not.
...and the above statement is partly a lie. PARTLY.
Here's the lie part: the idea of total freedom is bogus. None of us are that free, never were, never will be. Total freedom is selfishness; we have obligations to certain people and things and we are assholes if we ignore them. My personal obligations are to a handful of people and to a day job I need to attend to if I want to go on paying my bills and having food and what-not. I DO NOT have the freedom to not do that.
Here's the "partly true" part: I chose those obligations. I suppose I have the freedom to NOT choose them, but then where would I be? Not choosing responsibility would hurt me in serious ways and at the same time limit the freedoms I DO have.
And here's the Absolutely True Part: the only real freedom we have is in our minds. And that's why I think that people with intelligence and imagination are the most free people on earth. That's why, if you're a writer or anyone else involved with creative pursuits, you need to embrace the concept that your messed-up brain is your own and no one else has the power to put filters in it or fill it with a bunch of meaningless bullshit or ideas about what you're SUPPOSED to be doing.
Do other people think you're odd? Introspective or anti-social? Do you inwardly or outwardly rebel at constraints? Then you're probably doing something right. Keep kicking against the pricks, even if it's only in your mind. Don't get tired and don't give in, ever. That's the only real freedom available to us.