“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That’s perhaps my only sin.”
-Joe, Nymphomaniac Vol.1
My story is a complicated one. If you try to trace it back to its roots, you would find that too many Small Occurrences were responsible for the person I became. The Big Things never mattered. They never stirred anything in me and I always found it odd. All my writing is influenced by the Smaller Things which I then expand upon. It’s not all that surprising that my favourite book title reads The God of Small Things.
My writing often feels restricted to the places I’ve seen, the people I’ve experienced and every fictional character that I absorbed. That’s not much, but I improvise. Steal some details from one thought, attribute them to a mixed bag of other feelings, mash them up to make it seem real and unpretentious. It’s what I do in order to write. In order to survive. When it’s appreciated I feel strange but there’s no denying I like it and I will do it again.
Sometimes though I find something that moves me and I must take a step back and decipher what it must mean to be able to write something so original. I can’t quite do that yet and I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. I keep saying that I honestly think the best kind of literature has already been written and there is nothing more we can add to it but then a wonderful book comes along and keeps me strung for so long that I must retract my statement, for a while at least.
We need inspiration and we search for it constantly. Even subconsciously. If you’re trying to write, the first thing you’ll want to do is search for a topic that beckons familiarity. Familiarity in itself is safety. I respect people who can write poetry. Those who can play around with fiction, as well. They are tapping a part of their brain that is brimming with creativity. Not all of us are so gifted and aware.
What I don’t vouch for is people who play by the rules. While writing is said to be an art, why are we so strict and hell bent on following particular unsaid rules? No, I’m not even talking about grammar and syntax. I’m talking about how long a sentence should be. I’m talking about why there’s a twitching of eyebrows when a sentence begins with ‘and’. I mean the part where someone coins their own word which is so unique and undeniably apt for the context in which it is written, yet someone will raise their hand and say, “But that’s not even a dictionary defined word.”
I understand why conforming is important but if you need a shining example of why it’s not, I would suggest you to read books that invent their own language. I would request you to find people who don’t think writing should be studied, who write from their heart and who know how to string the invisible chords present therein. I plead you to not be quick to judge harshly, because although Small Things matter, Small Things can also be overlooked once in a while. I hope that maybe one day you’ll notice that the best books, the best writings, even the best poetry have all broken the rules and created their own universe of writing which we so comfortably inhabit that we never notice the deviations at all.
Originally appeared on Medium.com