Friday, July 25, 2008

A Crisis in Voice

"To thine own self be true"

Easier said than done, Shakespeare. Define: self. Define: true.

I would love to be true to myself, but I simply do not know who I am. I have been thinking a lot about this lately in the context of my writing, and what voice and tone I should adopt in my blog and any future writings I should pursue. Even in the conversational tone I take on my blog, I pull out and heighten certain emotions or perspectives, becoming meaner/more vulgar/more reserved/indecisive, etc., than I am in real life.

Take the post on my waxing disaster. I was inspired both by the detailed vulgarity of Tracie Egan and this other book I read so fast and furious I can't remember the title or the author (it was written by a USC film school alum, about him sitting around masturbating and cheating on his girlfriend and in general being an asshole all the time. one of the most deadpan vulgar things I have ever read, compelling in its oddity). I CAN write like that - I can write even grosser and weirder stuff, but I don't tend to finish or share such things because I don't want my name attached and it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe I am just experimenting in my style, dabbling in the growing trend of writing in grotesque detail about sex and hygiene . However, there's something very disorienting about being able to produce a work that falls so far outside how you normally write and think. It's even more disturbing if you like it. (Along this vein, apply last two sentences to the weirdest shit you ever had).

So, as usual, I am the worst taxonomist in history. I find myself utterly unable to classify myself and my ideas, when I am sure all of this is crystal clear to outsiders. (deprecation of self: this is a standard theme of my work). I am hopeless. I would also like to point out that as soon as I wrote that parenthetical statement, I also wanted to write another sentence saying that this is complemented by an underlying faith in my self. Which I then wanted to amend to "overall concern in the self-confidence arena" or some mumbo-jumbo like that.

So I am writing circles around myself, and feeling a general lack of confidence in...everything. Perhaps I will resume with another post once this crisis has been averted. Or just post another recipe.

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