May 8th 2016
Today/last night/in the early hours of this morning I had an existentialist conversation with a man whose name I don’t know, and for some reason we were playing table tennis. Or, at least, trying to. I didn’t have my glasses, and thus couldn’t see a damn thing.
I was at a house party for my friend’s 21st birthday, and whilst I was downstairs waiting for the loo, I was bouncing a ping-pong ball up and down on the table. I’m not entirely sure how but somehow we started talking about life, and it’s purpose, and more specifically, my purpose within life.
I told him that I want to be a writer. And I told him that the thing stopping me from being a successful writer is that I’m lazy (and, the fact that I have no idea how to spell ‘successful’ – two C’s, who knew?)
And I realised that he was probably just a bearded, greying projection of my subconsciousness because he told me “The only thing stopping you from getting from where you are to where you want to be is you. You either choose to make something of your life, or you struggle through it until you die.” He wasn’t telling me anything that I had not already told myself, but hearing it from someone else made it resonate more. Or maybe that was just the dodgy acoustics in the basement of the house.
At some point he vanished and was replaced by his son. Maybe the projection of my subconscious had morphed into a more relatable form. The son was similar to me. A struggling creative working a dead-end job and just getting by. Trying to write music but not feeling motivated or inspired.
He asked me what my motivation was behind wanting to write, and I didn’t know the answer. He told me that he writes and records music because he loves it, he doesn’t care if anything comes from it. And that’s where we differ, because I do want to do something with this hobby/passion/talent of mine. I want to see where it can go, if it will go anywhere. He’s a bartender, and he said he gets to hear all these stories, and observe these relationships, and it gives him things to write about in his music. He’s a university graduate just working the same job he’s always done, because he enjoys it, and he doesn’t want anything more.
I want something more. Maybe my motive at the moment is success. (nailed it that time) Whereas maybe the motive should be something else. Maybe the motive should be a love, or passion for storytelling.
He said writing his dissertation was easier than he ever thought it would be because he was writing about something that interested him. And he said maybe that that’s my problem, maybe the reason I can’t/don’t want to sit down and start writing is because I’m not interested enough in what I’m writing. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s certainly a theory. He said maybe instead of sitting down and slogging through the boring bits at the start of the book, maybe I should start part-way in when it’s exciting and interesting and I can get passionate about what I’m writing right from the start, and then I can go back and add all the other crap.
That’s a theory.
Until tomorrow, what is my motive?