My notes have never been neat.
And this is my writing process. Ideas fly in my brain faster than my hand can scribble and whenever something random pops up, I scribble an arrow connecting that idea to several other ideas and then on the top there, you see those random words? Those are songs. Yep. I’ll be writing a thought and hear a song on the radio and jot it down. On the upper corner you see the doodles? Know what those are? Me either.
This is the reason I have trouble explaining how I plan an essay. Because . . . because I don’t.
So tonight in my class when my professor asked us all for an opinion on how we each personally felt about the prompt, I said “I hate prompts. I don’t need them. I prefer to have the free range to focus on what I want to focus on and find an overlap in whatever texts we’re reading, because they all over lap and you can find it if you look.”
He said “Because you make your own prompts, huh?”
I said, “Yeah.”
Then I felt the air and realized how much of a conceited asshole I sounded like.
So I added, “I mean they’re helpful, I just don’t need them when I can do it on my own. It’s helpful because you don’t have to . . . do as much.”
Then I felt the air and realized how much more of a concieted asshole I sounded.
He asked, “Did you feel yourself doing anything different on this than the other essays?”
I smiled and said “Naw.”
You had to be there to understand why the air suddenly felt arrogant.
I mean, I might as well have said “Yeah, I can pretty much write anything with perfection and all of you are stupid if you can’t.”
I certainly didn’t mean it like that, I only said the truth–I don’t need essay prompts to give structure to my essay, not when I’ve been writing essays with structure since I was in elementary school. I just don’t need it.
This is why I don’t talk. I always say the wrong thing in the wrong way.
I probably haven’t mentioned that in this class we never got essay prompts. We didn’t get grades on the essays and we never had tests. Instead, he typed up personal responses to each of our essays and thanked us for being in the class. Sounds like a dream class? Not really. It tests your personal responsibility. A lot of people don’t have that. He described it as a clash with his culture: there is no hierarchy with one person being superior to another in indigenous culture. He liked to make us feel respected. The thought of him grading us on how we felt and thought didn’t make sense to him and telling us what to write about and how to write also clashed because it’s missing the point of the literature.
I thanked him at the end of the class for some books he let me borrow and for teaching in general. So at least I did something polite and correct for once, socially, however awkward and stupid I looked.
I know I’m going to beat myself up about this. I hate sounding egotistical about writing. What if I’m not as good as I think I am, and when I say shit like that people are just laughing at me on the inside? That’s my first thought. My second thought is “that’s not ego, that’s confidence”.
I am confident in what I write. Confident enough to start writing a ten page essay at 3 in the morning and finishing it an hour before class starts and still being proud with how it came out.
There’s a bunch I wish I could have done to it, but for the amount of time I spent it’s pretty damn good.
I get recognition as a writer. I listen a lot and I incorporate a lot of other people’s ideas into my ideas. I don’t like getting recognition from the whole class on my writing because then I perceive every word out of my mouth as conceited. I feel as if because I do get the recognition, I don’t have the right to comment on things your average writer might struggle with.
Like writing without a prompt.
Even that shit sounded conceited: “I’m so good I shouldn’t need to comment on writing topics your average person struggles with.”
I’m not an asshole.
Okay . . . back that up a little. I can be an asshole. I get defensive often and forceful with my opinion. I won’t lie.
If there’s one thing advanced writing classes teach you when you’re in high school, it’s how to write a structured and well organized essay with a horribly vague, and disgustingly written prompt. They won’t tell you “put this in the body, and your thesis at the end of your first paragraph and make sure you tie everything into your conclusion; make sure the essay covers what you think about this opinion, what the opinion is, the author’s life, the main ideas of ‘family’, ‘life’, and ‘culture'” or anything like that. They might say “write on the values of so-and-so’s novel” And you just do it. You do it and you have to learn to analyze on your own. And if you struggle with it, well, kiss your A.P test essay section goodbye. Hoping for a 4? Nope bitch, you gonna get a 2.
That’s how they score A.P tests if you’ve never taken one or if you’re outside of the U.S. The score if from 1-5, 5 being outstanding.
But it’s also why I love this blog. There is no structure, there’s no rules, I’m not getting recognized for my writing like I do in classes–I can say shit, fuck, dick, go die, and that’s totally cool; no one gives a shit.
Well if you do give a shit, than I don’t know why you’re reading my blog. I blurt whatever comes to mind.
I don’t have to uphold a reputation here. I can be as informal as I want–which I am–and no one could give a flying pig-fuck.
I can make up words like pig-fuck.
All in all, I will deeply miss this class. I hate that I left on such negative terms in my head. I didn’t want to sound like an asshole, I really didn’t. Everyone is so friendly and caring and I wish they could read this.
It’s true I don’t want to be their friends but I sometimes I hate seeming cold to people, especially good people like that. They don’t deserve it.
That’s something I wish a lot. I wish people I knew took the time to read what I write because that’s the real me. The person they go to lunch with or hang out with at the mall or whatever is not the real me. In public I’m paying attention to so many different things, my mind is spinning so quickly and I’m always stuck behind the anxiety. Sometimes, on the rare occasion my anxiety is low, and I’m with them in a crowd I just get so sick of being around the people that I end up irritable and quiet and aloof.
It’s when I’m with someone one-on-one they get a better glimpse of who I really am.
It’s when they read my writing they see everything I really am.
My problem is thinking everyone hates me. It’s not even an anxiety thing, I just legitimately think everyone hates me. People who pass me on the street hate me, that’s why they give me those looks. People in classes who sit near me who hate sitting near me because I never talk and I’m weird hate me. People who hear me talk with arrogance about writing when I can’t even say a simple sentence hate me. I register words as hatred and looks as hatred and half the time I’m convinced my own boyfriend hates me.
I think if he hated me that much, he’d have left by now. A year and a half is a long time to hate someone so closely.
But then again, keep your friends close but your enemies closer, am I right?
I get convinced that because I’m the way I am, because I genuinely don’t enjoy being around people often and because I genuinely also happen to have anxiety around people often, that he’d much prefer to be around other people, friends & family, people who do things normally or someone who isn’t fucking . . . well:
There’s that word again.
Maybe I come off egotistical a lot. Maybe that’s what the problem is.
Do I sound egotistical to you?
I don’t ever say this kind of stuff to him because I’m just going to get the answer of ” I don’t hate you”.
That’s generally everyone’s reaction. But my brain doesn’t believe that.
Then comes the “so you don’t trust me?”
Then I’m trapped in a corner like an idiot.
And are you starting to see why I just prefer to be by myself?
- People make me anxious.
- People are a lot of work.
- A lot of people bore me.
- I don’t know how to talk to them.
- I don’t know how to act with them.
- I don’t know how to connect with them.
- I love them as humans, always will, but I don’t love them as friends; My boyfriend is the one exception.
- Why am I making this list?
- It’s pointless.
- I needed a number ten because stopping at nine seems like a bad omen or something.
Then you get out of your car and you stare across the street and there’s a black something that has the shape of a giant in a cloak and you say fuck that shit homie and you avoid it all together because what if it does exist, what if it’s an omen or a spirit and instead of walking up the driveway you walk through the lobby and then there’s a motherfucker standing right next to the lobby door fiddling with a fucking bike lock that he’s probably trying to pick and you flinch in your skin and say to yourself “I would have rather gotten killed by the giant cloaked reaper than scared by that creepy fucker”.
I wish my brain gave me a chance to figure things out for myself before it flew off on these tangents.
I wish I wouldn’t have opened my mouth tonight.
One good thing? I can focus on my fiction writing a lot more over this break. There’s a positive to focus on.
That’s one thing I’ve learned: you always need to find a positive. It doesn’t matter how negative the negative is; one tiny positive has the strength over several negatives. You just have to let it have that strength.