Thursday, November 5, 2015

Where does your darkness come from?

Often I have internal monologues remembering past events, and often I wonder about sharing them. With almost the same frequency, I forget about those monologues right as I sit in front of the computer, and wonder what was that thing I wanted to write about. If only I could record my thoughts when I'm everywhere else. (Although I'm not sure I would like if it exists a machine that records thoughts.)

Recently, I've written a few stories, perhaps more often than before. Dark, all of them. (Halloween was not the reason. Just check all of my other short stories and compare). I like writing but I really don't have an habit of writing. I've struggled a bit to make sense in some of my short stories, to tie all ends so the story was coherent. I'd love to write something longer, but I'm really not sure that I have the ability of creating that habit.

When I talk about writing "something longer" I don't mean writing technical books or tutorials. Those are easier to write than a story for you don't need to tell a story that makes sense. Well, relatively easier to write, for there's a lot to research and examples to prepare. They're also tough to write if you don't feel inspired to explain the processes. Okay, and you need to make sense too in the material you explain. Well, and if you first introduce the topic and give a little of background story about where we'll be heading in our technical travel, describing the characters, that helps as well. Okay, forget I said anything about technical books and tutorials being easier to write than, for example, novels.

Writing the latest stories brought back to my mind some memories I cherish from high school.

I live in a bi-lingual region, so we had three different courses about language. The Spanish language course, the Valenciano language course, and the English language course. In my third year of high school, after quarreling with the Valenciano teacher, she brought an interesting activity in our last quarter: the writing workshop. Every week, one of the class days would be devoted to writing.

IMAGE: Where does your darkness come from?, in Flickr

She gave clear guidelines about the plot we had to write about in the two first assignments. This was to help those that had never written a story and had no idea of how to go about. The third one left more room to our imagination, having several choices we could follow. The fourth and final assignment was completely free.

I was sixteen years old, and I wrote a collection of independent, short dark stories. I drew an even darker cover. I did some dark illustrations as part of the stories. I handed them, scared that the teacher would think I was completely insane. The teacher praised my assignment at the classroom and asked me permission to make a copy for herself to keep, and I didn't understand what just had happened.

My last oil painting was a bright and cold yet dark scene. My parents hated it so much that they sent the canvas to my grandmother. They continually invaded my private space in my bedroom, to make sure I wouldn't do anything else than my homework. I stopped writing, stopped drawing.

Later in my life, when I found a safe spot and regained some confidence, I tried writing again.

Dark paragraphs. Desperate paragraphs. None of them were related to what I was feeling, yet darkness continued to come out of me. Why wasn't I able to write a happy story?

Time continues to go by. Now I'm in Second Life, and I decide participating in a writing contest. Erotic writing contest, I must clarify. Even though we had a suggested topic, I managed again to make a dark story out of it. (For the curious: I was runner-up in that contest. For the even more curious: Yes, I may end up publishing it, perhaps after a rewriting. My current English reads no longer like my 2010 English.)

I was discovering my passion for photography in SL, and realized that yet again... I would continue bringing darkness out of me. At some point, you wonder "but where does all this darkness come from? What horrible traumas I'm hiding from myself that make me write all this?"

And I confess I was afraid for some time, that all of you thought I'm insane. But the high school episode repeated itself, in a certain way. Some of you like the stories, the pictures, and whether you think I'm insane or not, I sure am noticing that you're not treating me as a crazy lady (Perhaps you're good at dissimulating it. Good job then :o) ).

The good experiences reinforce me in my "write yet another story", and this time I'm old enough not to allow anybody acting as some kind of paternal influence that attempts to have me stop. I stop myself if work deadlines don't leave me free time.

For a while, I thought deep about "where does all this darkness come from?"

I finally reached to the only consistent answer I've been able to find: This is the way I am. I like dark stories and I write dark stories that I would like to read. They often have nothing to do with how I feel at the moment of writing them. They probably have something to do with my past, but not because of horrible traumas that I don't want to remember.

They have more to do with what I like, and the cultural references I've chosen to surround myself of. Cultural references likely chosen because of some circumstances of my past, but chosen anyway, for they accompanied me into adulthood even after said circumstances changed for me.

They have nothing to do with my possible secret wishes about being and doing what my dark characters are and do. They are not even wishes I have, nor I approve of some of the choices they do. They don't even mean that I believe in magic and the supernatural. I don't.

They are my fantasy, they are the dark dreams I want to play with in safe territory, a virtual piece of paper, knowing that I don't want them to turn into anything real. I like that I can share them with other adults which also realize this is fantasy and has nothing to do with how I am myself or how I'm feeling at the moment.

But these are all short stories that aren't related one to each other. In that sense, it's easy to write them for they don't have to stick to a common plot in a coherent manner.

A couple of days ago I was telling my business partner that I would be taking the first weeks of November to write some more Blender books, to be released at Black Tulip for Black Friday. She laughed and replied does that mean you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Damn you! Why did you have to say that...

Yesterday I spent some time reading some articles on that website about story telling - on a longer term than I use to do. I don't feel capable of writing about 150 pages of the same story. I can do it with technical books (I will probably hit 1000 pages about Blender by the end of the year), but I feel that my mind is too random and scattered as to keep the consistency and follow a plot. Heck, I can't even follow a schedule. (I also know the saying. You can get things done, or you can put excuses. I get things done, in time. I just can't follow a schedule.)

Perhaps it's only fear. Perhaps the way to achieve it is not telling anyone that I'm working on it, so nobody puts pressure on me by having their own expectations. (That is actually the reason why I often don't tell what I'm working on if it's going to take more than one day. You will know when I'm sure I will finish it. That is, when it is finished.)

Curious, I asked Ansel. If I were to write a long story, what do you think I would write it about? His answer made me reflect about what little I allow for myself to be known through my words, and I wonder if I'm that good at hiding in plain sight. It also made me wonder if that would be the general expectation. How disappointed would be all of you then.

Fortunately, one of the articles I read yesterday said something I considered as well: Despite the pressure of being liked by others, do not forget writing what you would like to read. If not even you like what you create, hardly others will do.

Unfortunately, I don't have a clear plot in mind. Without a clear plot, it's impossible writing 50000 coherent words about it. But I know that this is something that occupies more and more time in the back of my mind, and I know that some ideas come and go, persistently. I want to write a long story out of them. I just don't know how, yet.

I'm not writing this because I want to be cheered up. In fact, if you feel like cheering me up, please don't. I'm the Ms Grumpy of the Internet, and I don't do well with cheering and hugs. They make me feel that I want to stab kittens. Please think of the kittens.

I'm writing this for the same reason I write and publish other similar things. Because when I write trying to clear my mind, and then I realize the mess I've made public, I feel more motivated to stop with the internal whining about a particular subject.

For that same reason, I'll leave it here. Have a great day :-)

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