"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Now Playing: The Lucky One by Taylor Swift (you wonder if you'll make it out alive)

I love being a blogger.

I love being a blogger because, growing up, I wanted to be a stand up comedian. I still love stand up - it's my favourite comedic genre, above and beyond skits and sitcoms and etc. I'm the kind of person who goes through life observing things and then recounting them to be entertaining. I like making people laugh. Or cry. Or both. It's the same process that vloggers and comedians and certain types of non-boring journalists go through, we just have a different method and format of presenting our work.

I think I've always known that I would never become a kind of JK Rowling novelist. I say that because story writing doesn't really come naturally to me. Blogging comes naturally to me - so naturally that I've been doing it regularly for the past four years and if I don't I go slightly mental. Poetry also comes very naturally to me. Certain types of academic writing comes very naturally. I balk at story writing in the same way I balk at writing history essays - I can do it, I'm interested in it, I'm not spectacular at it, I'm not stupid enough to try and make money out of it.

I am very, very fussy with the novels I read. I constantly harp on about books being 'readable' - easily engaging, easily understandable, easily entertaining. Reading shouldn't be a mind fuck - that's what they invented chemistry and physics for, to fuck with your mind. I'm not saying that a book should never ever challenge things, but it should challenge things in a way where it is very clear that it is being challenging. That being said, a book can have subtleties, and smug intelligent people should be able to grin smugly and intelligently when they get things that dumb people don't, but there's a difference between 'intelligent' and 'mind-blowingly impossible'. There's a difference between 'intelligent' and 'pretentious'.

I'll let you in on a little secret: I pretend to read a lot more than I do. I mean, I read an enormous amount more than most normal people, but not the kosher stuff - I have read way too many Wikipedia articles, columns, blogs....milk carton labels...things people don't think to read or consider 'reading'. But the kosher stuff can teach you how to write like a middle-aged Georgian spinster, but it won't teach you how to write like yourself.

I love journalese. It's my guilty pleasure - it's the porn of the literature sphere. People like journalese much more than they claim to, and people think it's much easier than it actually is because it's not taught at school - but the reason why it's not taught at school is because it's not something that can be taught. You can't teach someone to be funny without being silly, entertaining without selling your soul, intelligent without being snotty, cynical without being pessimistic, sarcastic without being a douche, critical without being whiny. It's something you learn.

It's also something that's very scary to do. It's scary because it's not kosher. It's scary because you're having too much fun. Although I've been shit scared through each and every English essay and exam  I can genuinely say that I enjoyed most of them. I was just being myself, and just selling my journalese. People have this idea that you have to write at school to the rules and to the marking guide. No. You write it to the examiner, to the poor fucker who has to read whatever crap you've scrawled down in a blind panic. Rules don't mark your paper. Examiners do. Marking guides don't fall asleep over a pile of boring essays. Examiners do.

The world around me is my story. Every writer says that - every writer means something different when they do. The world around me inspires my journalese, my poetry, my long winded rants, my whimsical shit. I'm a writer, but I'm not doing it by the book.

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