I read extremely much and with pleasure. And I like to write, but have a hard time getting anything published. Why? Maybe because critics think they can tell me whether it’s good or bad?
Writing is creative. And I consider myself a very creative person. Not only that I have written, recorded and performed live a lot of music is a fact. I have been documenting and writing a lot for many years. E.g. I irregularly write down my thoughts in a notebook. Or even in the Notes app from Apple. I also always take notes during work and conversations.
Also, I’ve started thinking about writing myself. But not in the form of documentation, but in the form of literature.
For example, there’s an envelope with a letter I wrote to myself when I was a teenager of about 13. That was in 1983 or 1984, and I wasn’t allowed to open it until July 9, 2000. That was my thirtieth birthday. I always knew exactly where the letter was. For over 15 years I moved it and put it in a place where I would definitely find it when the time came and I “got” to read it. I think I chose such a long period of time to be sure I wouldn’t remember what was in it. When I read it, I was flabbergasted. I actually asked if I was still in love with Uschi Greulich and dating her (I never managed to convince her of me).
Of course I can’t and don’t want to compare myself with literary greats. Even as a musician and guitarist it was clear to me that I am not Carlos Santana or Zakk Wylde. But already at the time as a musician I was not very interested in that. Because there were quite a few people who came up to me, gave me respect and told us and me that we were doing awesome shit. That was our elixir. Our drug. Our motivation.
So why shouldn’t I write? Even if there’s only one person besides myself who likes what I write, it’s of value for me to write.
When someone comes up to me and asks me how I like something, what I think of it, or if I think it’s cool, I first pay respect to that person. Whether it’s a painting, a photo, a dance, a performance, a piece of music, or something written. Someone has taken the time to give free rein to their creativity and has created something. Not everyone can do that. We have to appreciate that first.
Our kids deal with it very pragmatically and much more freely. They are creative all day long. They look at things and take it as a basis for creating something themselves. And if you look closely, there’s always something of their own. That’s creativity.
So the question is how do we deal with criticism? Or how I do. Of course I think it sucks when someone tells me they don’t like something I’ve created. That’s a natural reaction. But on the other hand, it’s just the taste of the critic:in. And I accept that, as long as the criticism is:
- honest and
is. Everything else is driven by some “hidden agenda”. It is quite remarkable that different critics often come to the same conclusion. Honestly - that can hardly be the case. It smells a bit like manipulation or opinion / mood building. This is exactly why I couldn’t be a good critic. Even if I think something really sucks, I still have respect for the achievement of having created something creative. Ok - the grease spot of Beuys is ev. borderline creative.
I just did it. Just like that. Without thinking if it is good or not. Whether someone likes it or not. And one thing I noticed: when it’s done or when I’ve written 500 words again - it’s a sucky good feeling. It’s fun. It cleanses my soul or makes room for something new. And I have hope that someone will like it.
Unfortunately, I wrote the first short story in English. But I will still translate it into German. Then I am currently writing two stories.
One is titled “When it suddenly happened “ and is about climate catastrophe. Fynn is the main character and lives in Hamburg. He is a half-hearted climate activist. When disaster strikes, he decides to flee north with three friends and an old VW bus.
The second is titled “Braindump “. Rick lives on the Kiez in Hamburg and is annoyed that he can’t hold on to his dreams. They are brilliant ideas or he composes complete songs. He wants to find a way to “record” the dreams. Thus begins a ride into the murky waters of neuroscience and a daring endeavor.
Neither is finished. And I don’t know when or if they will ever be finished.
And then there is an actual finished “recording” of a dream. The reader has no idea what or who it’s about. But still, it was fun to write it down. Dreams are fascinating. I compiled it as a PDF and it can be downloaded here.
Anyone can write if she or likes. I find it fascinating and great to express myself with words. I will keep writing and maybe one day a work will actually come about that I publish. Who knows! Until then, I’ll keep reading. Especially Bukowski. For me he is the epitome of an anarchist among writers.
Currently, by the way, I’m reading “Ask the Dust “ by John Fante. One of Bukowski’s favorite books and authors.