Love and Affection

Sitting in my room on a windy September night writing. Got a bottle of beer in my right hand. Wondering when I will ever be able to produce something good – or at least something readable.

That’s the issue with my writing: it lacks consistency. But then again, if writing was consistent by nature, all writers would be rich right now. So I guess that was my main consolation for the night.

The writing was going this time. It wasn’t very good, but it was steady.

I had just come off reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and I was looking to ride that same wave that inspired his writing.

But truth be told, you’re always going to encounter problems when you’re looking to imitate another writer. Be it in style, in choice of words, in habits, even in all-around lifestyle…

More beer. More lines. The wind was viciously blowing outside, and I could see colorful leaves caught in the deadly hurricane being scattered in every direction.

But the wind wasn’t the only thing blowing; inspiration was blowing my way too.

The key to it all, I’ve come to find out, is to never despair, even when you feel whatever you’re writing is pure crap. The real key is to treat everything at your disposal (work, ideas, drafts…) with love and affection. Because when you think about it, who else is going to provide that for you?

The critics will lash out at you. The readers will look at every possible modification they can apply to your work. Your friends will try to encourage you and push you.

But love? Affection? Who will provide them for you? Who will make sure your work bathes in them and grows from them?

After all, I am the only reason I am writing. I am the only one being affected by it, growing from it, learning through it, becoming mad because of it. I am the only one who owes my work so much of my time, my thoughts, my self.

In the end, it will come back through me – I am its single point of reference, its source, its final destination.

It has happened before – a long time ago – when I used to immerse myself in the joy of writing. Long before the booze, long before the madness, long before the jobs and bills, long before the world was born inside my head. I used to connect to it. There used to be an empty space there, a space that used to delight in the coming together of words and sentences and books, a space waiting to be filled by all these literary pleasantries, a place that never wanted to grow old and sought immortality.

Now, in that same spot, there lies a coffin, a black box full of dead dreams and hopes and failed aspirations, blinded by the voices of reality, by the toughness of life, the roughness of living in this part of the world or any other part, the duty of carrying on in a stiff shell and moving just to stay alive.

There is no more room for hope. There is only space for isolation.

And while I sipped my beer and languished in my solitude, I could only think of one thing: love for my work. Love for the time I dedicate to etch these words carefully and live through them. Love for this craft that has embodied my resilience and fighting spirit.

In a writer’s eyes there can only be room for one thing: his work or the world.

And tonight, I chose my work.

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