The Writer’s New Clothes

A little while ago I wrote about A New Direction for this blog, and lately I’ve had ideas for a series of blogs about ‘The Writer’s Mindset’. There are three specific posts I have in mind, and I will link them below once they are posted.

I think of these ideas as original, a new approach to writing that I didn’t learn from someone else. That’s not to say that these ideas don’t exist elsewhere, only that I never came across them. Truth is that I have been suppressing a lot lately and this new way of seeing things is emerging as a means to explain my experiences as of late. Before I lay out the ideas in general, maybe I should get into a more personal space like I used to in my writing when I was younger.

There’s this side to Tucson that is referred to as dirty Tucson. People here (and elsewhere no doubt) play sexual proclivity games. Those attitudes became like a noxious weed in a local hiking group where it grew into race-baiting and sexual harassment. I tried to bring it to light using sociology and humanities, talking and writing, thinking that the people were actually kind of good people who knew not what they did, but the extent of it went far beyond my expectations. It actually crossed a line into racketeering and reckless endangerment going on behind the scenes, people purposefully engaging in gas-lighting and trying to hurt other people for laughs. Really stupid stuff mixed in with white-is-best kind of thinking (i.e., the group always defaulted back to being only whites), and yet the people in the group didn’t see it or didn’t mean it…or did they? Extreme narcissism fueled by psychotropic drugs, pharmaceuticals?

Yes, it was a couple years back now, but, like the Harvey Weinstein stories, these kind of things always take a while to emerge to a place where it feels safe enough to find the words.

So as a writer, I followed ideas I learned long ago about discerning truth. And I arrived at a startling conclusion: what if every emotion presented actually makes sense? We spend so much time in this life denying emotions—our own, other people’s, telling ourselves we are crazy for our feelings—but my mind could see a place where all emotions were legitimate. I saw a world with a beautiful blind optometrist and a doll-faced maniacal masseuse pulling my heart in two opposite directions. Sure, it sounds a bit far-fetched, like an over-active imagination came up with it, and yet in a world where all the emotions (especially my own) made sense, this rang true.

There’s really no reason to share this other than that’s what we writers do. Stories stick with us till we give them form. I don’t expect to change anyone’s minds or bring back people who have abandoned me or believed the lies told by those who decided to project their sexual proclivities overtop of the truth. I do—like many writers I suppose—have this illusion that writing will get people to see truth, to see the real me and ‘care for’ me. Yet the exact opposite rings more true. People love their fantasies. It’s easier to live a simple-minded life that requires a suspension of truth rather than a more authentic existence that scares up a suspension of disbelief. Did that really happen? We all run back to clinging behaviors, and no one wants a person around who tries to make them see things they would rather not see.

There’s no such thing as a blind optometrist, is there?

I’m okay with being on the outside looking in. I’m still here shining a light. It all goes to The Writer’s Mindset.

Intro: The Writers New Clothes
Part 1: The Writer’s Mindset
Part 2: The Writer’s Nemesis
Part 3: The Writer’s Journey

New tags: dirtyTucson, sexism


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