“What if I opened my soul to sing to my absolute self…” – Allen Ginsburg, 1966
The problem with being a writer who balks at writing about one’s self—okay, let me rephrase that: Why do I struggle so profoundly with writing about anything identifiable? Here I am, always agonizing over writing something true, and yet I know that I am just not that interesting.
Of course, I try to avoid obvious conventionalism, and I typically don’t subscribe to any norms or trends that could possibly threaten my individualism. Most of the time I’d say I am elusive, even to myself, and have a tendency to fall into bouts of mania and depression—with extreme highs and lows. And yet, I would never suggest that a little bit a crazy makes me interesting in any way, or at least interesting enough to write about. Many lives I have already lived, though I know I crave more and that there is more, and there will always be.
But where else does a story come from other than from within? So much of creativity is the internalized experience, translated to a person’s sense of the world in which they live. “Why don’t you just make things up?” some suggest, when I get into a funk, looking at the bigger picture. How deep would that really let me go? I wonder. And then, Would I have to live with being a fabrication, another illusion, and a coward for not getting at the heart of it all?
I don’t want to be a person who just fills up space with more nonsense, or another one spinning yarn with the superficial and the trite. And I don’t need to be read or seen as interesting, or necessarily worthy, as long as I am writing as if I really exist, and that I know I exist—feeling my way through this world like everyone else.