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what makes us brave.

October 21, 2010

listening to susumu hirasawa’s beautiful beautiful soundtrack from the beautiful beautiful movie paprika. if you have a moment, check out either the jewel song mediational field or the phantasmagorical trailer. i know i cry in nearly every movie but this one touched me. it’s the definition of oneironautical, and while anime is really not my thing (usually) it still makes me cry.

i think i need to talk about bravery.

i find that as i become braver in my day to day life, my writing expands and becomes braver in itself. being brave is really hard. maybe it’s just especially hard for me. there is a very, very tough facade that i have. it’s a veneer that is actually as thin as an eggshell. underneath everything, i care very much about people’s feelings, about what other people think of me. this is something that developed only in the past few years, because as a child i didn’t give a shit. (usually to my detriment, to be honest.)

to be brave sometimes means hurting people’s feelings, sometimes making a fool of yourself, sometimes putting yourself on edge. recently more than a few things have happened in which i have had to be brave, and i feel very tired because of that.

however.

something else has been happening. my writing has been exploding. this is not bragging, because there are always ebbs and flows in a writer’s life, and i’ve been in that down period for a while, that stagnant block. lately, though, i’ve written full length works in both stage-play and poetry, and have knocked off a few thousand words for my thesis.

there has to be a connection between being brave in my day to day real life and the way i am writing.

very, very, very often (translation: essentially always) my thesis makes me uncomfortable. not JUST in the way that i think “this is so shitty i want to die barf all over my computer screen oh god i fail”. it’s a little more than that. i feel uncomfortable that i am putting so much of myself into the characters, like it’s too egotistical and i’m a sham, a cocky bastard for doing so. i have yet to totally appreciate, envelop the egoist in myself, the inherently egotistical nature of writing. maybe it’s my age – that i’m younger, that i don’t submit my writing to any publications, that i haven’t been writing for a seriously extended period of time – but i know that some people are born with this bravery, this egoism in their words. i wonder why i do not have that in spades.

the point is this: i was once told that if what i was writing wasn’t making me feel uncomfortable, it wasn’t worth it. it’s kind of a bold, all-encompassing statement to make, but i cling to that. when the female characters i write remind me too much of myself and i feel uneasy about that, i remember that mantra. when what i write can go borderline cruel, perverse, perverted, vitriolic, racist, i have to remember my reasons why i wrote those words in the first place.

i have to continue to be brave in my day to day life. it’s about following your gut instinct – do this, say this, feel this very much. i am learning to trust the gut and let myself be occasionally lead by it.

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