Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It’s Quite An Experience To Live In Fear

It’s not like the Stasi have been after me. Or the SS. Or that I have felt myself harassed by the CIA.

But emotionally perhaps I have let their shades stalk my mind and my thoughts.

It takes a lot to stop me from writing. And sometimes it takes nothing very much at all. Most of the time it is simply writer’s block and I have been through enough of those kinds of episodes not to be overly concerned when they strike. It’s best not to fight them but to just ride them through. Take a holiday. Take a break. Recharge those batteries. Sometimes they last years but if that is the timescale that is dictated so be it. Sometimes it’s nourishing to catch up on other stuff and live a little bit. Ultimately writer’s block is usually a good thing.

Sometimes, though, I am stopped from writing by the actions or opinions of others.

And I hate myself when that happens. For allowing it to happen.

Because most of the time when I write I feel big and bold and will fight my right to write freely with every tiny flourish of my penmanship. But sometimes stuff sneaks in under the fence. Scores a hit under the radar. The attack gets personal.

As is often the case these attacks always occur when you are a low ebb anyway or when life dictates that now should be a time of trial and tribulation and you find your back breaking under a rain of “final” straws.

In such times I do not so much as stop writing but feel myself to have been stopped.

And as I said, I hate myself for succumbing to that. For feeling that suddenly it is simply not worth the waves of negativity that some people are intent on unleashing. Worse, the waves of misunderstanding, presumption and arrogant conjecture that some people dredge up in themselves which leads them to believe they know enough about you and your life from the little you choose to write about to be able to judge and condemn you and your life as a whole.

And worse still. They condemn the very need to write. They belittle and besmirch it. They don’t entertain that it is a freedom and a right or an aspiration in itself. They condemn it as some kind of pathetic, ego-driven, desperate need for self-validation and sycophantic approval from others. They make it into a pewling inconsequential whine for attention; an inflation of the trivial and mediocre; a caterwauling of personal opinion and emotion that for some reason the writer himself is suddenly not entitled to as a human being even as the complainant stamps their own ill-founded opinion and emotion over every available surface.

Suddenly your find your throat stoppered and your voice silenced. You don’t so much edit yourself as perform a murderous hatchet job on every idea and possible source of inspiration before your mind can even get them through the foetal stage.

And that part of you that since you were a child has burned with the need to write suddenly finds itself caught up in a sealed vacuum and the flame has no choice but to go out.

Or so you’d think.

John Lydon once sang “anger is an energy”.

Well, in the absence of oxygen it is also a fuel.

I’ll write what I like, about who I like and whenever I like.

This blog is an ego thing. That much is correct. It is about me and my thoughts, my feelings, my memories and my opinions. But they are not the complete sum of me. This blog will never be the full picture and you will never know the whole of me or my life from what I write here. You will simply know what I write here. And I do that because I want to and because I have a right to.

The picture below has done the rounds on Facebook a couple of times now but each time I see it I republish it on my own Facebook page. It is very apt. And very true. And, ideologically, is currently where I stand.

If you have a problem with that then you need to deal with it. Write about it yourself, sound off to those closest to you or just shut up and suck it up and wallow in your own negativity. But don’t dump it on my blog, or my family, or me or my right to write.

Because, aside from a momentary pause, I shall just carry on writing even more.


Gorilla Bananas said...

About time! I don't know who's been badgering you, but I would have enjoyed a post in which you quoted their remarks, so we could have taught them a thing or two about "negativity". When insults are being flung around, the bloggers always win.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: indeed. He who posts a laugh last posts his laugh longest.

Between Me and You said...

Wondered where you'd got to. Who are these people who are perpetually sticking their conks where they're very firmly not welcome?Sod off you bullies!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post Steve. Surprised that someone would criticise your writing; as I think it's always top notch, and some of the best on the web. Perhaps there's more to this though. Something more personal. Either way I'd ignore them and keep writing. I believe I have some of the same issues with blogging as you know; in that people know who I am, and I'm always at risk of up setting someone.

Steve said...

Nana Go-Go: all worlds are full of them, alas.

Steve said...

Dicky: it is personal and there's much I have chosen not to say. And some people need to be aware of that. However, I needed to write this in order to start writing again - I'm sure you know what I mean. I'm not going to dwell on it. Onwards and upwards.

English Rider said...

I had my suspicions as to why you had gone quiet. There were clues. If you'd stayed away much longer, we would have followed the bread-crumb trail to your door."Can Steve come out to play, please?"

the fly in the web said...

Feel for you...but sod the bastards...write on.

Keith said...


Sometimes not writing can be more important than writing. It allows you to grow, to assess yourself, where you stand, what your voice has become. And when you start again it will be with a richer tone.

As for those farts who are playing go fetch with your talents.. tell then to go fetch themselves.

Unknown said...

Well said. I am sorry you are having trouble with people but go you for continuing to write!

The bike shed said...

Welcome back. Our writing is never the whole of us - at most it is the whole part of us that writes.

Steve said...

English Riders: I never answer to cold callers... but warm callers are always welcome.

The fly in the web: I shall - and I hope so will you. Do you have a new blog? Where have you gone?

Keith: go fetch indeed. I like that.

Livi: in the end I had no choice. The need to write was simply too strong.

The Bike Shed: right on the nail.

Löst Jimmy said...

Illegitimi non carborundum!
Keep that Blog a rolling - it's your window keep it open!

Nota Bene said...

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: and I shall play my music as loud as I like!

Nota Bene: the old ones are always the best.

libby said...

Welcome back....had you seen a strange middle aged woman looking quizically around your place of work over the next few weeks it would have been me wondering where your were....of course I suspect you already have enough strange middle aged woman there.

Marginalia said...

Steve, you must stop messing about the Ouija board. My contacts on the other side tell me you've pissed off a few of the late good and the great...Dickens, Proust and Enid Blyton to name a few.

It's they who've been targeting you. My worry is that when you win the Nobel Prize for Blogging all hell will be let loose.

I'd keep a bottle of holy water, a cross and a picture of emeritus Pope Benedict close at hand.

Clippy Mat said...

Happiness is the best revenge.
And writing makes you happy. (and others.)
So sod 'em all.

Steve said...

Libby: indeed. Some of them aren't even staff.

Marginalia: I piss Enid Blyton off less since I left childhood behind (if not childishness).

Clippy Mat: that made me happy.

Suburbia said...

Gosh Steve, that was written from the heart.

I have missed you and I'm sorry you have not felt free to write.
I am not free to write any more either, too many people snooping about. It's a shame.
Hope to see you here more often now though.

Steve said...

Suburbia: I'm starting to see how easy it is to become a victim of your own success... even when the success isn't very big at all!

Being Me said...

He's back! Although *cough* I read your horse meat post yesterday and just stumbled on this one today. We're a bit backward down under....

Seriously, well written. Where were you (and this post) 8 years ago when I had the almighty finger pointed at me as I was cast aside as merely writing "self-aggrandizing fictionalised crap" on my blog? And that was from a supposed loved one.

Eh. It's a cold and sad world, the world that can't understand the writer's motives.

Steve said...

Being Me: a cold and sad world indeed - and colder and sadder still without people writing in it. ;-)