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A Writer’s Odyssey: The Rhapsody of Love, Pain, and Putting It Down
Maybe love is the glue that was to hold this project of humanity together. Maybe my love for what I do is what keeps me sane.
Here’s the story of my life’s work. I wrote this post a while back while still partaking in the search engine rat race and had not yet moved to Substack. Enjoy!
God created the world and put us in it but I guess he never anticipated that there would be a whole group of people who would call themselves “content creators” millennia later.
The Madness Syndrome
As one of these highly self-believing individuals, it strikes me that somehow in my mind, there is just a lot to be said and expressed, that I have to put it down and give it to the world. I call this the ‘madness syndrome’; that well (think water well) in my head for content and opinions and commentary and all that.
I have a lot to say, I know I do and most people hate it. As every week goes by, someone is always complaining that I am stubborn, hard-headed, and do not want to be told what to do. They are right, I hate instruction, not because I cannot be ruled but because I do not believe in ruling.
We are all Equal
I run on the simple principle that we are all equal. Everyone everywhere carries the same weight in the eyes of God according to me, and I try to live my life cognizant of that basic truth. What baffles me is that the world continually tries to oppress some, and by the world, I mean others. The others will always try to oppress some and the oppressed will always be aware of the others and their tendencies to oppress them.
I am intrigued by the dynamics of human life, especially the soft dynamics such as emotions, psychology, love, heartbreak, relationships, and so on. This is my favorite thing about human beings; that we have so much going on inside that truly, what you see is not what you get. As an IT graduate, that goes against the UX principle of WYSIWYG which is basically what you see is what you get.
We humans are not like that. We are not readable, configurable, or directly understandable just by a mere look. We are more than that, much much more. I wonder why we had to have such complicated psyches. Why did humans have to be so much of a being, a living thing with such complexity but utter simplicity at the same time?
So Complicated Yet So Simple
I joked with my friend recently that we all die for the same things. Money, power, sex, influence, and so on. Those four things can be directly linked to thousands if not hundreds of thousands or millions of deaths over time. We are so complicated yet so simple, it seems. A paradox of life; a being with so much going on yet so little that they can actually control. Like a crazy Teletubby trying to escape from the mound he calls home yet he cannot even reach his hands together to climb or do anything really.
I feel that way sometimes. Powerless. And especially in content creation. I feel very very powerless once I have put my words down and release the body of work out to the world. I feel shattered in a sense by the uncertainty of whether that work will really be received as intended or as I meant it to be.
It’s like I am a fish farmer who releases self-thinking fish into the sea, on a loosely guarded farm expecting the fish to grow and stay there until the harvest. I put this work out into the world and the only thing I can do is leave it to flourish or wither, with absolutely no control over what will happen, how it will happen, or why.
The why bothers me the most. Why do I do it, I wonder. Why go through all the effort and pain to bring a bunch of words, or some music, or a video into the world? Why? The sea (internet) is so full of fish (content) already. Why bring more? Why heap on my thoughts, fears, insecurities, motivations, interests, and so on to this ocean of thought?
I realize that the answer to my question goes back to how complicated we human beings are, and especially, how we have so much going on in our minds. The madness syndrome I suffer is the gurgling of all that is inside. My mind and heart are like a volcano just wanting to erupt and the words and content I create are just a way for that to gurgle and sometimes erupt, but in a non-violent way.
I Need It
I need to say what I say. Even my readers do not need it as I do. I need it. It keeps all the rage wound out and put into the world. It helps me think about and resolve heartbreaks in my heart. It helps me understand the world and the people in it. It gives me a release. A place to vent, enjoy, cry, appreciate, and give.
The giving part allows my soul to remain nourished. I am and have always been a natural giver. I never wanted anything from what I do. I give and give. It’s who I am and it is the reason I cannot stop. Despite the challenges, the constant berating by search engines, the grotesque ads, and the technical impossibilities of it all, I give. I pour my heart out into the world, to help me drain it out and not have all these things bottled up inside.
It hurts, of course, the constant conflict within. The letting go of the people I have loved and who’ve loved me. The having to shift apartments because it reminds me so much of her. Her beautiful shoes and clothes. My wanting to be together and get married. All that hurts. It hurts but I have to keep it in me while also giving out the experiences I have shared, to others, to help them go through something similar. I imagine that the world is a much better place if we do not all have to suffer something to learn from it.
Going Through It So You Don’t Have To
What if it was just one person who caught COVID and everyone else didn’t have to because he shared what he went through, what worked for him, and how he got better? Isn’t that the world we want to live in? A world where we do not all have to go under to learn something.
I find myself overjoyed when I do not have to buy the latest iPhone before knowing what’s in it and how that will make my experience better. I am so glad when I watch a few hours of reviews and know what the phone comes with and whether it is worth the hefty price for me.
This basic idea of ‘let us all share what we’ve gone through and help each other out along the way’, is what I feel is important. It’s a big part of the ‘why’ for me. It helps me help others and persevere the complexities of publishing online in this day and age.
I wonder how the future will be. Will there be a search engine or just a hive-mind connected to all our phones giving us everything we want? Will musicians exist in the future, or will we have an AI Pop Star rocking our world? What will life be like for content creation? What will life be like for people like me who have this incessant need to put everything on paper and get it heard, read, known, and felt? What is our future like?
The AI Purge
Will the tools of our trade gives us more strength or weaken us? Will AI take everyone’s writing job? Will the search engines morph into hive-minds that use everyone’s content to create their own? Will the people even know what’s created by humans or not?
More importantly, what will happen to the craft of writing? The soul-scorching process of having something so deeply-entrenched that you want to say but lacking the words to say it.
I wonder how the Pope found the words to say sorry for what the church has systemically done over the years. Did he think it would be something better relayed in words or in writing? Did he assign the job to Rome’s most prolific writers - the writers who write the holy texts - to issue an apology?
Untangling Our Minds
Untangling our minds every day in writing is hectic, to say the least. It’s like being a gold miner deep in the mountain knowing that anytime the mine could cave in. Being vulnerable in what we say or write is a big thing for us. We do not take it lightly having to open up. Writers are an emotional bunch, and in a sense, we feel more than others do or are willing to say they have felt.
The world isn’t a linear slope to us, it’s an amalgamation of planes, surfaces, emotions, humor, anger, destitution, and so on. It is not enough to just live through something for us, we have to go through the pain of reliving it in our writing and even seeing it after we do write; giving a part of ourselves to the world each time.
Maybe God did know that there would be said ‘content creators’ in the world. He must have counted on some people being able to write. Otherwise, how would He have expected the Bible to come to life? How would He have expected his teachings to reach the world? It is a powerful thought to think that even God needed writers to get his message out there. He could probably have hired a writing agency had there been such a thing then, but he settled with the scribes of the day.
The Bible is a very interesting book in that it lacks a particular style of writing but has so much pinpoint delivery of the message. Like the 10 commandments; they have been written so well and point-on like “you shall not kill.” So simple and straight to the point: you, shall, not, kill. My English teacher would tell me there is a subject and verb but no object, but who cares about tense and participle when the message in hand was one from God himself?
Who cares what tense the Pope uses to apologize for the systemic abuse propagated by the church? Most times, the correctness of the language used to relay a message isn’t as important as the message itself.
The same applies to saying something like “I love you”. It is such a simple mini-sentence that has so much to say. Three words that change our lives. I love you. How did Adam know that it was love he was feeling I wonder. Was his rib calling to him? That brings up the question: do we love because we see a part of ourselves in others?
Did my Nirvana become so important to me because I saw a lot of myself in her? Did I fall irretrievably deep in love with her because I thought she was “my rib”? Did God put man and woman in this world to invoke love or did his love naturally flow to mankind? Maybe the waters in the Garden of Eden had a little bit of a love portion from the man up above.
The Glue Holding Life Together
Maybe love is the glue that was to hold this project of humanity together. Maybe my love for what I do is what keeps me sane as does the ability to actually do it. Maybe I would have gone mad by now if I could not do it. Maybe this love is the bane of my existence or the reason I even exist at all.
Maybe writing brought me the world and it did not bring me to the world, like I would have thought. Maybe these words that give me life are the words that have kept me from having my breath taken away; by the ravages of a life bound by the intricacies of being human, and being tethered on this rock called earth.
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