A personal journey of lifelong learning, sharing resources, creating things, and trying to be better.

Tag: Creativity

Essay in the Woods

Untitled | Source

Writing for the Non-Writer

Writing has been a passion of mine since childhood, but like a lot of people, I’m not currently entrenched in the corruption of a national government or dazzling celebrity. I’m just a regular person, going to school and working part-time.

I could assume that most people who aren’t in some sort of harrowing conflict — yet had the burning affection of writing— would turn to fiction. This seems like the smart thing to do, to expand imagination and create entirely new worlds!

But, I’m a bit odd. That doesn’t really seem enjoyable to me. Which isn’t to belittle the craft at all — one of the best ways to convey a message is through complex and well-articulated fictional stories.

Archives of Meaning

To begin explaining my reasoning, I suppose I should start with the fact I’m rather weary regarding my own death. I want to leave behind a meaningful legacy, to create something worthwhile with the short amount of time I have.

Personal essays and creative non-fiction seemed to be the best answer, for me. To have a collection of these sorts of work by someone would be one of the most in-depth views of who they truly are.

It’s somewhere along similar lines to a sentimental album of rare polaroids, but with the benefit of being exponentially more accessible. By both familial descendants and total strangers.

You could mistake this idea for keeping a journal, but a journal by principle is chronological and — bluntly speaking — focused on the mundanity of our everyday lives. This is a far broader idea.

Push Yourself

As much as I enjoy writing, I wouldn’t call myself a writer. I’m too young — not even in my 20’s, and inexperienced. I’m not even going into a communications program. Although, maybe I’m just too anti-authoritarian to accept the idea that I’d have to modify what I write for the sake of others.

But that’s exactly the reason why I think it’s so important for me to write. And for every single other non-writer to write. I’m not exaggerating when I say billions of us go throughout our lives without capturing or conveying our honest thoughts and dreams.

You don’t need to be an artist in order to express yourself. You don’t need to be dying in order to tell your life’s story. We live in the age of the internet, for God’s sake.

A New (Old) Idea

Imagine if you took just one day monthly to write about something dear to you — your family, pop culture, marine biology — and then looking back every year to see how you’ve grown mentally.

Isn’t that just blogging?

Yes, that’s correct. But when you look up how to create a blog, you’re given information about the structural and the technical. Optimization and monetization have taken a startling precedence over content throughout the past decade. Blogging is regarded as a business, not a hobby.

It’s been nearly impossible for me to find good resources regarding the creation of long-form creative non-fiction. My frustration has caused me to take the matter into my own hands.

Frontier for the Everyman

This is the reason why I’ve started an experiment — a new publication entitled the Paper Drafts. A place where the typical person — the non-writer — can express themselves.

It’s modest, yet idealistic in its concept. Right now, it’s just myself spitballing ideas into an abyss. If that’s how it stays, that’s fine by me. The entire point is to merely present thoughts — even the branding is plain.

Help Wanted

Medium has an abundance of spectators and readers that don’t yet feel ready to write, whether an original work or even a response to someone else’s. If you’d like to help a beginner like myself with their first publication, e-mail your submission to contact@paperdrafts.com. It might be a painless and great way to start off your non-writing career.

Into the Void

Darkness // Source

“Perfectionism” is an excuse used often.

When we have to ask ourselves why we still haven’t put anything out there yet, we say it’s because it’s not good enough. We pander — hesitating to tell our beloved others about what we’re up too. When we keep all of our messy drafts to ourselves. I’m starting to believe, though, that this is a gentle lie. The honest reason we stop ourselves from putting what we create out there is fear. A gnawing fear that what we do simply won’t matter.

And it’s difficult to let go of that feeling without also letting go of your integrity. How can you both care deeply about your work and not care at all about its consequences? It’s paradoxical by nature.

Democritus by Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1628

Democritus was a Greek philosopher, who contributed a great amount to the field. One of his hypothesis was about void, particularly in relation to atoms. He wrote that we are merely moving endlessly throughout an infinite void space.

Although this is clearly an oversimplified explanation, and can be looked at as depressing initially, I still think it’s an important concept to meditate on.

It’s too easy to become engulfed in the complexities of modern nihilism and existential crisis. You become overwhelmed to the point of just brushing it off.

It can be a mistake for creative writers to not surround themselves with ancient philosophers and poets as much as they do with their known contemporaries. So much of the origin of Western canon lies there. When we do take note, we then steal. And what we replicate often deviates from the original message, by pruning the uncomfortable and complicated truths.

We push ourselves towards finding the simplest and quickest way to the finish-line.

So, where do we go from here? What’s the message? For now, I don’t know. But I do think there’s meaning—somewhere. When we stumble, we have to remember it means we’re still moving somewhere.

Most people are stumbling. But they try to hide it, mask it. They tell themselves they’re merely perfecting their craft before exposing it to any others.

There’s a sincere sense of vulnerability when you open yourself up to the void. It’s difficult and painful, but it’s also necessary. It’s because of that I’ve decided to publically write, regardless of my fears that there’s no reason to.

Maybe you’ll listen to me, or maybe I’m echoing into an empty cave, it doesn’t really matter. It never did.

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