Jul 14, 2013

I don't know what beauty is

Sometimes people tell me they liked a certain piece of writing I did, or that I inspired them and helped them feel like they weren't alone, or that I wrote well in a particular post.

I do not understand it. Every post of mine is a first draft, apart from checking back for grammatical / spelling errors; almost every post is done out of the need to simply let it out. If I'm feeling like crap, I feel the need to let it out here, do a little emotions file transfer. My mind lets go and my fingers do the uploading. And ten minutes later I feel better so I put my heart aside and get back to whatever I was supposed to do.

Even the pieces in my college application creative writing portfolios were conceived in the same manner. I cannot conjure something out of will, and I can't edit my work once it's done - it always turns out forced, disjointed, unauthentic. And if I'm not feeling it I just can't write.

I don't know why people call my posts beautiful, or which are nice. I don't even know how the words come. I'm terribly uneloquent in real life and I cannot express myself verbally. When I write, my fingers create the words, not my brain. I don't know how it happens. It isn't me thinking up these words. It's too eloquent to be from me.

I don't know how it happens and I don't understand what people say. When I write, it's for myself. Often I hope for others to see it in case anyone feels the same way and I help them with their emotions, help them articulate what they're feeling and help them realise they aren't alone, but I usually just type to vent steam. And I haven't done a proper piece of writing in such a long time. I was scrolling through my blog posts just now (I can't do it as I type because I'm typing on my phone, here in the dining hall at Berkeley College, Yale, squeezing on the piano chair with Kevin who's playing a Final Fantasy piece) and I didn't feel any sort of beauty at all, and then I began to get all worried and a bit disgusted. And then I remembered how Rohan said my previous post was really nice, and then I got scared. Because what is nice? How do I know what's beautiful anymore?

It's a weird kind of worry, but I suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of despair. Despair at the uselessness of creative writing and at how many years I haven't properly exercised this passion (that was relatively new-found to begin with) and at how I don't know how I create this "beauty" that others claim is there and how I can't even differentiate beauty from waste anymore.

Yeah, by the way, I'm in Yale now. New Haven, Connecticut! Loving every minute of it. Check out my photos on Facebook :)


Fang Jiunn said...

Most of my poems are first drafts too you know. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Meaning that one conveys and meaning that one receives intersects mostly, but not all of it all the time . If someone feels a resonance of the emotion that you wrote and that makes something beautiful for them, why would it be waste? Almost nobody got that poem I wrote for you, but because I wrote it only for you that you are the only true recipient of the meaning I wanted to convey (ugh convoluted sentence). If you write for nobody, then everybody becomes the audience, and anybody can find beauty in their own resonance to you.

Hannah Karen Ho said...

wah wah fang jiunn :,)))