So here I am still
Exactly 10 years ago I started writing Motorways of My Mind. 10 years and 208 entries.
I have been looking back over the last few days at all the posts I have written over this last decade, I didn't realise there were so many, I had no idea I had so much I could put down on paper because sometimes I get those blocks of staring at blank pages, sometimes I risk repaeating myself. Some entries I like, some I love and I am very proud of to the point where I genuinely like to read them as a reader, not the guy who wrote them. Some I really don't know why the hell I wrote them. Sometimes I write thoughts, sometimes I write fiction. Sometimes I write just plain bullshit. But I never wipe it clean, I resist changing anything - it is a part of who I am, it is my honest journey and I need to understand the road.
People ask me what this is all about and I tell them it is a journey, but it can be whatever you make it. You are the reader. You might see something fictional that I write in a different light to me, and to be honest, I like that. We are all different and see life in different ways. I do say after all in my profile in the comments section if you ever leave one, that one reason for writing is to provoke a reaction to what I put on paper. Telling stories is all about that. A horror story might not be so horrific for some, a sob story might not make some people cry at all. There is no one way, even if I intend it as one thing, I like how it can be seen in a different way, usually.
There has been a lot of reading along the way before I started writing. After studying Journalism with the idea of that career in my head since school, one day I realised that tabloid reporting wasn't really for me. I had to write things my way, how I saw them, how I feel them. More often than not it is in a creative way that I attempt to pour my words on a page. Even one of my university lecturers once told me that I had to reign in the creative and roll out more of the academic in my study writing. Reading is the whole reason for writing in my mind, it goes hand in hand. A fundamental reason to why I read I have already written about, maybe here is where my literary life was born: How six pages changed my life.
I have been inspired or influenced to write by many writers themselves. In his book 'The Manual of the Warrior of Light', Paulo Coelho writes: "A warrior knows that the ends do not justify the means. Because there are no ends, there are only means." I have read this book many times but it was only recently that I realised this is my blog all over. Reinforcing that was an interview in the Guardian newspaper this month with the Swedish electro-pop singer, Robyn, who said: "I was interested in songs that didn't have a beginning and an end". One of my favourite tunes from her is "With Every Heart Beat" - it certainly feels like that kind of tune to me. I don't know where I am driving from on my motorways, and the destination is unknown. But I keep going, because I like to drive.
I am not thinking of the goal, I don't even know if it has one - maybe it is to just try to take you on a journey down the motorways of mind, maybe to expose myself a little. Whatever it is, I am purely concentrated on the journey.
I am also thinking of words and my love of them, how you put them together to tell something. I speak therefore I write. I say things that have meaning (Handwriting, My world of words, Nomadic words), I also often say things to myself, out loud, where many people wonder what the f*#% I mean (Deep thought of the day, Another deep thought, #15), or at least it might mean something else to them of course...
In his book 'The Four Agreements', Don Miguel Ruiz writes: "The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic: But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you" Like Luke Skywalker tries to evade the pull of the dark side like his father succumbed to before him (did I also tell you I am a Star Wars geek..?) I try to stay in the light of the dream, I dare to be a dreamer and I like to write words as so in this very real world.
Why am I telling you all this? Good question. I think it's my love for writing that I repeat myself, my raison d'être or at least my raison to be here. I had to find some way to use my ink, a place where it (and things...) could flow, hence the motorways of my mind were constructed. To put a cherry on my cake or a full stop to my sentence, I offer you another recent quote from a recent interview with the Italian writer, Elena Ferrante, what she says is probably the closest thing to my way of being, as if she wrote it for my 10th Anniversary:
"If you feel the need to write, you absolutely should write...we shouldn't be put off writing until we've lived enough, read sufficiently, have a desk of our own in a room of our own with a garden overlooking the sea, have been through intense experiences, live in a stimulating city, retreat to a mountain hut, have had children, have travelled extensively.
Publishing, yes, that can be put off; infact one can decide not to publish at all. But writing should in no case be postponed to an 'after'".
Grazie mille Elena, di cuore. As I have said on other occasions, I am open to guests if you want to join me on this road trip on here...
Again, reverting to my profile, I say go back to my first couple of posts where I stay true to what I do:
That very first one exactly 10 years ago: Motorways of my mind
The one after that to reinforce what I was thinking: What, when, why, where, who (and how)?
So here I am still. As I said, I am only looking back on this decade of writing sprawl to see how far I have come. Even my tag line under the blog title backs me up on that. But don't just take Oliver's words for it, you should try one of modern history's most famous civil activists:
If you can't fly, then run.
If you can't run, then walk.
If you can't walk, then crawl.
But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.
- Martin Luther King Jr
Also try your own words. It's your journey.