So, after thinking a little bit more about the whole “write what you know” thing that everyone will always quote at you if you want to write, I got to thinking about what I really did know. And I came to realise that one thing I had been trying to write about I did not know about – and that was happy things.
Now, I’m not meaning to sound like an over-dramatic, self-pitying misery guts here, but the general fact is that happy and cheerful isn’t something I’ve ever really experienced. My life has (in the majority) been difficult, dark, and rather gothic in its execution. I’ve been one of those people who’ve rather suffered through fault of their own and others, and I’ve been to very dark places. I have subsequently not been to very happy places – even if I did (or I even may have) – I doubt I would even know it, to be honest.
Therefore I’m back at the question of why am I trying to write it? It’s hardly going to be authentic as a piece of writing, and what I managed to get from others was that it rather wasn’t really authentic to me. My mother was rather surprised to read one attempt at a manuscript, citing it as something of light-fluff that she finds in her Mills & Boon books. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that until I clocked on that it wasn’t a strange snipe at my writing (trying nicely to say it was rubbish and had no substance) – it was that I think she was rather taken aback that I would actually try to write “fluff”. I’m not a “fluff” person – not to write anyway (though I do like the odd chick-lit and chick-flick).
Back to my usual analogy of song writing, I have not written any “fluff” songs since I was about 15. By fluff, I mean lovey, traditional pop-esque Moon-In-June, lovey-dovey things that Britney might have sung when she was also 15, with basic lyrics and easy rhymes, where silly people always write “mine” with “time” and “sigh” and cry” because it’s too much effort to come up with anything else. I write dark, gothic, and (as some people will no doubt call) “depressive” songs and music – it has a hard, dark theme of suffering and general feeling of being trapped in a nightmare, thus:
Black rose dying from your poison
Screaming ghosts haunt the nightmares in my head
All I see is desolation
Can’t escape the terrors in my mind…
Screaming Alone inside my head
Grasping desperation till I’m dead
Black fingers pouring threads of war
From wounds that I can no longer ignore.
Thinking now, I know I was probably just trying to use writing as a way of escaping a life that always feels like this – when it comes to songs I always write what I feel. But that just means that I don’t really know what I’m writing about – I do sarcasm, dark humour, intensity, deep darkness, living with fear and depression.
I don’t really do cheerful. So I’m happy to report that I’ve stopped that now. I’ll just stick to dark humour and mild sarcasm from now on. I think it’ll come across as much more authentic, and so will my beloved friends (read: Characters).
The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
~ GUSTAVE FLAUBERT