(“We can write what we wanna write… we gotta make ends meet before we get much older.”
Yes, reader, yes. The title and opening quote of this post come from “You’re The Voice”. Perhaps, after gigoid, a pearl from aural grit.
I quite like it, though, really. Bit of a ‘God’s jukebox’ thing, I think it was, the other morning, tunes bustling into earshot with an important message, “talking here to me alone”. John Farnham (and four-person songsmith committee)’s monster triumph of the spirit hit features lyrics that might be “really about” self-expression, world peace, or just trying to create a pop song, with metaphorical guns being held in people’s faces, demands of the (highway)Man, this “you”, these “we”.
It has been a long-standing understanding of mine that all writing can be interpreted as being about wrestling with the act of writing in some way. Well, words can be interpreted as being “about” pretty much anything, obvs. Linguistic ambiguity, like beer, is cause of and solution to the world’s problems.
I mean, though, the nub of my crux, what am I actually on about? I write about writing a lot. I write, when not posting here, about how much “writing” I’m not doing, or think I’m not doing, when I am, in fact, writing. I get stuck. I agree quite a lot with BS Johnson’s assertion that ‘Telling stories is telling lies.’ I’m fascinated by writing in itself, not so much by content, a lot of the time. I love the way words work, that people like to work with words. I love when people think they’re being really clever with words, sentence structures. I love when they manage it and when they fall on their arses. I love how different concerns can be foregrounded so vehemently, or drily, or comically/badly, subtly. I love and hate the absurd consequences of words, personally and globally. Words, these weird collections of glyphs, strings of sounds or characters, that people take so seriously, that are used to justify or excuse, or predict or prevent, command, forbid, caress and charm.
Words stop me writing, a lot of the time.
The writer Will Self is enjoying an opinion gig at the BBC, where he’s undertaking a project to introduce greater lexical variety to the populace through his postulates. I agree with what he says in a lot of ways, but then I’ve always been a bit of a Word Babcock, adjusting my glasses at the knowing reference, digging the sesquipedalian shuffle. Anyway, Self has been among the recent input – with the teaching – getting me thinking about gigs, about my interests, about writing, what I want or need to write about. This activity that, when I let it, helps me work out meaning in life.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am writing happily, without as much of the self-consciousness, apathy or loathing that stops me from bothering. Just getting it out, y’know? As the Pope said to JFK.)
So, yes, that, and, I’m going to be a dad in October.