Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Ever notice the person you lie to the most in your life is yourself? Why do we do this? I mean, it's not like we don't know the truth. Example: I told myself earlier it didn't matter I was out of butter. My baked potato would still be just fine with enough cheese, mushrooms, and sour cream. Eghads. I pretty much just ate the toppings, and the ravaged husk of the pomme de terre is still sitting on my plate. (wow, 20 year flashback to French class)

There's other lies of course. They build up inside you, fester like boils you hope never pop and ooze all over the reality you've created for yourself. (I love the imagery, right?) Some of the great ones we tell ourselves this time of year, only we disguise them as 'New Year Resolutions.' Pft. I totally didn't bother this year. Know why? I've discovered I don't know what I want. Okay, well... money. That's a given, though. Everyone wants money. Again, why? Because this is a capitalist society and we cannot survive without currency, no matter how removed from society we fancy ourselves.

I tell myself off and on that I don't care if I get published. *coughbullshitcough* The literal truth is that it is irrelevant if I get published. I write because it's better than medication. I write because I have words that roil up inside me and escape my brim. I write because my thoughts are more entertaining to me most days than other entertainment outlets. Seriously, my mind is warped. It's like a playground that only I know how to enjoy. But most of all, I write because I have to.

Did you get that? I WRITE BECAUSE I HAVE TO.

Otherwise, there'd be a short (unimaginatively written) post somewhere about a woman who snapped and did something drastic. Like buy tofu in bulk. Okay, I'd never go that far, but whatever I did, it would be highly unpleasant and people would TALK. Mostly to the eyewitnesses of the spectacle that would be my breakdown. I predict nudity (not for the squeamish. I look like Jabba the Hutt and Michael Jackson's love child) and loud renditions of classic rock through a megaphone covered in glitter and scarves. Maybe even something worse.

My point is, writing is not a choice. It's not for me, and it probably isn't for you. Finding the time, deciding what to write, when, where, how, etc. - yes, those are all choices. But the writing itself: that is necessary for survival. In fact, if I was ever on Survivor, I'd be on the beach with a stick, writing in the sand.

It would double as a weapon, if need be.

So, told yourself any good lies lately?

12 comments:

roxy said...

My most common lie is, "I'll start exercising tomorrow." I repeat this to myself so often, I almost believe the lie. I've really got to move out of my house and actually do it one of these days.

The Words Crafter said...

I love the way you write. Really. As for the spectacle, well, it would at least be more entertaining that what I could find on TV.

I've come close myself, with real life cartoonish mayhem breaking out on the highway....

Lies? It'll be okay.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I think all true writers write because they must. But like you, I would dearly love to be published. It would be a validation where none should be needed but it is. Have a great tomorrow, Roland

Alison Stevens said...

I write because I see things (people, places, events) in my head and they have to get out. It's the only way to I know I'm not crazy.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Yes, yes, yes. I know exactly what you mean. I lied to myself for a long time, telling myself that if I didn't get published, it would be okay. But in lying to myself I felt like I was choking. It wasn't until I admitted to myself that it really wasn't okay if I never got published -- and that it was okay that it wasn't okay -- that I could breathe again.

Mia Hayson said...

Most often I lie to myself thusly - "we can leave that line in there until later and I will definitely knuckle down and check the grammatical correctness and facts and everything, TOTES". But now you might be able to guess that I rarely go back it. Rarely. I really should,

Great post. I found myself nodding throughout it (apart from the breakdown part)(mine will be so much less imaginative than that and will involve alphabetising books no doubt).

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh yes, naked breakdowns with tofu. At least you arent' in the process of shooting people. Unless you want to shoot them with the tofu. Paint covered tofu balls, hey now, that would be fun. Color with a splash of sputz.

No, we write because we have to. In my wildest depressions I've thought about giving up but I keep sneaking back to my computer. OR the pad and pen in the bathroom. No, we write because we have to.

Lisa Gail Green said...

YES. That's what makes a real writer. We write because we HAVE to. We don't have a choice.

Emy Shin said...

Yes, yes, yes. It's amazing how much we lie to ourselves, especially when it comes to writing.

Alleged Author said...

What a great post! I lie to myself often about not caring whether or not my book gets an agent. But it really matters!

Justine Dell said...

True ... true ... *sigh* ... it's all true.

I lie to myself all the time about everything. And like you, I write because I have to. (I love to, mind you), but if I didn't get to, I'd go flipping crazy.

~JD

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I hear you! Yep, I have to write otherwise . . . well it wouldn't be pretty and you've already said it. We don't need another case of tofu.:) Or any for that matter.