no bells and whistles

monday 19 december 2011

It’s been a long time I’ve been writing on the internet. When I started out, I was the victim of a number of what turned out to be silly notions regarding the kinds of readers I might find for the writing.

The odds of getting readers were against me from the start, but it took me more than a year to begin to see that. I have new ideas now, more than three and a half years into the internet writing thing, about what most people want to read. People seem to want to read trendy, and I am nearly never that. Nearly never do I write or tweet about something that is in the news, local or national or global.

People want also, I’ve observed, to read a kind of superficial, clever, cutesiness that is very popular nowadays. A cleverness that gives the seeming of real intelligence, but when you scratch the surface, there’s not much there. And I have been dumbstruck by the volume of writing that tells people what to do, and how they avidly read this stuff: how to yoga, how to run, how to lose weight, how to think, how to feel emotionally, who to read, whose music to listen to, and on and on. But if most people blogging and tweeting are telling us how they’ve decided we should think, feel, eat, etc., what does one make of that? I get it that each individual has their tastes and their beliefs and they are attached to them and they naturally believe that these things would be good for others as well. I occasionally recommend things myself. But I don’t make a religion, a monolithic mission out of preaching to people my way. If everyone is telling everyone else how to be, then who is actually listening? Everyone’s telling.

And what have I been writing. True stories from my own life. Poetry. Blog pages that break from the basic stories and reflect thoughts of the moment. This is all I have left to write. Before the events of 2008, the events that make up the bulk of my blogging, I also wrote fiction. I’m no longer able to do this. Creating fictions, after the most severe trauma of my life, no longer interests me. I can only write fact or allegory, thoughts or poetry. These things are the wrong things.

It doesn’t help one jot that the true stories from a true life that I’ve been writing are stories of meanness and ugliness. Not fun. Not uplifting. Not positive. Itchy, nagging reminders that no matter how much we try to brainwash ourselves to the positive contrary, there are vicious people in this world, everywhere, who will do vicious things to an ordinary person in an ordinary life. I’m by no means the only ordinary person who has been the victim of extreme mental cruelty dished out by other people. But people don’t want to know this. Think positively, everybody’s beautiful, forgive forgive. Superficial. The wearing of rose-colored glasses. 

And it doesn’t help one jot that I myself am a depressive person, a situation only made worse by the events of 2008. And I am cynical. And bitter and angry and not one whit interested in forgiveness. This is not what’s wanted in internet reading material. Or perhaps any reading material at all. 

I see myself, and my writing, I guess, quite differently than anyone else does. I see myself as a depressive, but also as someone who loves beauty where I find it. In animals, in nature, in certain music and art. I long to find a similar beauty in human beings, but thus far cannot. I do understand that I’m bitter and angry, and make no attempt to deny that, but I also see, especially in my writing about animals, that I am loving, and loyal, and possessed of a sense of fun. I see myself with many facets, some of which are antithetical to each other, yet exist in the same person. This is not the stuff of modern-day bells and whistles. Not the stuff to bring the readers jumping to the website.

I have read many “depressing” books about personal struggles, and continue to read them. Autobiography concerning traumatic brain injury or years of suicide attempts or the death of a daughter or devastating poverty. At the risk of being called morbid, I will state that these are the human stories that engage me . The story of the easy life (and I always shut these down after about twenty pages) cannot hold me. I haven’t had an easy life. Therefore I am interested in the stories of hardship. That’s the way I’ve lived: hardship. With such I can identify. For such I can feel empathy, compassion. Who are the readers of these published books that depict hardship? Would those readers read me, if they knew about me? Probably not. If there are two things I have been mostly unable to receive from people (either as an internet writer or in real life), they are compassion and empathy.

I have no bells and whistles to appeal to the internet throngs. No trendy, no instructional, no pop culture salivation, no clever one-liners, no rose-colored glasses. I am askew in the culture, in my town, anywhere I go. Asperger’s, depression, anxiety, bitterness. Only truths to tell, and many of them unpleasant. That being said, the unavoidable conclusion is that there will be very few internet readers for me, there have been very few, but my efforts on the page will continue… The life I had was stolen…  I have nothing much else to do…

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read…   Mugsy’s book…   All my stars

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all photos, graphics, poems and text coyright 2008-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

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