My first reaction, after I read the title was—yes! Indeed. I felt the same. Thirty years of writing just enhanced the way I always thought. It also taught me about damnation and liberation. But self-loathing? At times my fountain pen was a blade fixed in stone. No matter what I tried, some things were stone-written unlike those in the sand, or in water. It’s because I was after the truth, fascinated by alliterations. I became a fervent maker outer, kissing all those magic words hanging off my lips, as if I was tapping into a velvet minefield. I researched the truth, confused going back and forth, straying left and right until I became the very path. I was asking too many questions, trying to fathom it all, deprived of that basic amount of love inner children were supposedly prescribed. The only moments of self-loathing were if I’d accidentally betray the truth carried away neglecting it unintentionally. Obviously, I was not made for fiction. I nearly hated it, the same way I hated lies; I was a sucker for true stories. Maybe self-loathing comes from that? Voluntarily enclosed within four walls pounding away: all those fascinating characters and riveting plots streaming like inviting flags of a shimmering holidaze…and then selling it pre-packaged with a few freebies thrown in.
It is uncanny that I write this article just after watching The Illusionist. An amazing film. If it was fiction, it had a wonderful message, and until the last minute one was kept on his toes. But true love won; it’s all that mattered. Moreover, it was masterfully told. Perhaps that’s the point of good fiction… Stick that sharp fountain pen between our ribs and carve in a heart-written story, a hope that lingers until it burns off like a fog. But then the sun shines through and everything is the way it should be, or at least bearable, if not a dream came true. Don’t forget one simple fact: all the power the illusionist acquired helped him win his childhood love back, but then he left all that power behind. They met at the foot of a mountain, by a lonely cabin, away from the insatiable crowd…
We either stick with the love of power, or the power of love; we can’t nourish both within the same heart. Thus with writing: it’s a power of expression, the means to fathom the truth, or find a true love. But then we are to cherish it. You are to realize it’s not about peddling your novels, while selling yourself smartly. It’s about the ultimate message of it all. What gives? Well, what do you want? Do you want to be an illusionist keeping the world perpetually mesmerized, performing ever-new tricks, attracting true love like a magnet, or you want to truly feel it in your bones? Without it, you’ll be alone deep inside, throwing another burlesque dinner party. As the years roll by, and Santa starts resembling your next door neighbor on the doll, your best and only bet become The Conversations With God, unless you decide to confine yourself to your own private little Hell.
Can you publish without selling a cultivated image of yourself?
I guess not. Hence many talented writers are still in the closet nowadays. But that’s another can of warms. It’s a catch 22, and needless just to mention all the scam publishers taking advantage of people’s dreams.