Well, that’s a relief.
It’s a relief I can write these faint-hearted words to be able to feel something, anything at all. I know I’ve just lost a great friend, but I can’t keep messing other people up; it’s not fair to her. I’m sure there is a great selfish motive in my suggestion to stop talking to each other, even though I told her it was to preserve her sanity. I just haven’t found it yet.
Being a writer, I suppose I am lucky to be able to relive things through my own words, but I really have come to believe I am damaged in some way. I express myself in writing, and I guess the way I do that is by saving emotions for later. The visual that comes to mind is a doggy bag full of the emotions I’m meant to be feeling, that I ‘reheat’ when I feel the urge to write. Already it sounds wrong, and dysfunctional.
It isn’t helping with the headache either.
This is similar to what one of my best friends tried to do a few times last year. She would describe boxing up emotions mentally, putting them aside so that she didn’t have to deal with them in times of great stress – during exams and such. I seem to remember the advice I gave her at the time was to let herself feel it all, in order to reduce the pain. I think I even told her that the joys of life went hand in hand with the pain, because as humans we were gifted this amazing spectrum of emotion.
Oh, if only I could eat my words.
I suppose my personal issue with anger and pain is that they get addictive, because a certain concoction of the two makes for a certain type of inspired frustration. Writing is addictive when it’s used as therapy, even though my recent attempts to write daily have failed majorly.
Many times I’ve thought to myself that if I stop writing, if I lose that inspiration, I’ll be completely and utterly lost. I am sort of lost now, because I’m basically writing about not writing.
I’m just a dog chasing my tail.
While it might not reflect my current situation, writing is good for organising thoughts and feelings, for pinning down ideas.
Today, I wrote to my mother. I finally told her how I’m not entirely sure about this journalism endeavour; I enjoy writing, but what I’ve been doing so far seems to be less about writing and more about research and validation.
Because validation is what you basically get from when your best idea is pitched to an editor and the editor accepts it. Even so, I would call myself a writer before I call myself a journalist. Thus far, however, it feels like 20% of my time is spent on writing, and the other 80% is spent on things like looking for ideas to pitch, looking for information, and potential sources (aka people to talk to).
I think journalists often forget they are talking about people’s lives. Many things in the media are disgraceful reporting, yet only online social media communities are picking up on this and doing something about it. Still, from what I’ve seen, the media haven’t really learnt much. Maybe it’s cause we often get wrapped up in trying to not get into trouble. Or maybe it’s just lazy reporting. Even so, with the accessibility of Google and the internet, what is ‘lazy’? I mean… some of my coursemates could easily say I’m lazy for not turning up at university, but, for all they know, I may be in the midst of serious research for a story. Surely the internet can’t really be held accountable for sloppiness in writing a story?
I’ve heard it said that sub-editing is becoming a lost art, what with reporters being able to put things directly onto a content platform. I can understand how the 24/7 requirement to produce news requires cutting out the middleman, but surely that would require higher standards for journalists? I’ve realised that, as a reporter, I’m actually nervous about the lack of sub-editing. This is not only due to fear of making a dreadful mistake, but also because whenever I act in a journalistic capacity, I feel I am taking twice as long to do things because I spend more time thinking about how to market and make my piece interesting than actually writing it.
Anyhow, today I finally told my mother I’m not really 100% behind my journalism career. I explained maybe I’d write a novel (I do love my fiction, although it’s been slightly absent from my life lately), or maybe I’d be artistic director for my own magazine. I don’t know what she thought of it; she hasn’t said, but I did point out that whatever I end up doing, I hope to make her proud – one day. She used to claim I don’t have ambition; and I suppose in the traditional sense of climbing the social ladder, I don’t. But I do have hopes and dreams; just not sure how to get there yet.
When I was younger, she would say it quite often, that she was proud of me for this award or for that certificate, and so, I always hoped for praise from my father, because he wouldn’t give it too often. I guess he gave me a basic model of human existence; the old work hard and you shall be rewarded, but he must’ve forgotten to mention where to get motivation from. He used to say things like ‘do this and you’ll be independent, and be able to do whatever you like afterwards’.
I suppose lack of motivation or passion for other things never really figured into my parents’ calculations; or mine for that matter.