Monday, 13 July 2015

My Writing Guilt

I never want to be a 'vanilla' writer. It is something I have always said to myself. But I think for a brief period I was sitting on that cliff, just waiting to jump into the ocean that conveys the colours of beige, vanilla and grey. I never want to be bland. If writing is forced out of me to the point I am rushed into a deadline, I suddenly shut down like the T-900.  But do you know what annoys me more? The fact that when this bland article hits the internet and people praise me for it, I feel like a failure; I know I can do better. I have wrote a couple hundred articles here and there and it took me a long time to find my voice, and when I found it, I felt at peace with myself. But last year something got rocked within me. I felt my confidence in myself and my abilities just leave; I haven't fully recovered. At first I thought it was writers block, and maybe for a short time it was, but in the past year it has developed into more than that. I would feel physically ill trying to produce an article. If someone says to me "Jade, I need an article in an hour", I find it difficult. And I feel that a lot of people will think that just because I write, I can produce an article in a short span of time. I need the idea to stew, and I need my imagination to be conveyed through emotion, not through recycled words that I could find on any site reviewing the latest films. There was something that always stuck with me that someone had said, "How can you be a writer, if you don't write several articles a week". My emotions are not a factory that churns out the same repetitive bollocks just so you can be higher on the Google food chain.

 I have been plagued by so much guilt because I just felt I couldn't give my all. Writing about film didn't even seem to be about expressing my own personal experience, it was just about filling quota. I understand that for publications you do have to concentrate more on the technical aspects, which I do briefly explore, but there's a difference between what I do, and what these factory workers do; I explore human emotion, and experience. Watching a film, whether it's with friends or by yourself is an experience, not just a way to pass the time. It is about being more thorough with your film journey and finding things within yourself that you didn't think could exist. Film is learning about yourself, finding elements that you gravitate towards more, as well as opening new doors.

Anybody can be a film critic, and anybody can be a film lover, but I believe not everyone can write about film with raw emotion. In my eyes it all looks a little contrived. I have written for a couple of sites in the past, and have been told they 'own' my work and therefore can't use it on my own personal blog which is non-profit. No one owns my words. If I was being paid by any of these sites then I could understand. But we know it all comes down to site traffic. I am not saying that my work is amazing, because it isn't. But I believe my words are honest, and my thoughts are organic and mine alone. They are not glossy, fake and empty. Why does everyone strive to be the same? Why do people accept mediocrity as greatness? Just because a lot of writers express themselves in a way that reads like they swallowed the dictionary, it doesn't mean there is any more emotional credibility in what they are saying. When I read reviews, discussing aspects like cinematography it doesn't make me want to watch the movie, instead it turns me off it. But every now and again I will read a review that discusses ideas, passion and experience, and those are the elements I look for when I need film recommendations

 Bit by bit, I am trying to restore my confidence. I miss the days where I would take a week to write an article, and stay up late to make sure the finishing touches were just right.I miss being emotionally and physically exhausted when I put in everything I had into an article; I actually felt proud of myself and my work. I miss the process of dissecting scenes and gutting them of all their brutality, and rawness and conveying them with my words, I hope one day I can experience those processes again; it made me happy.

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