A Crisis of Definition

I made this blog to keep myself writing. So far it’s been working, though I’m not sure I’m writing the kind of thing I should be writing. I tell myself that I’m developing my voice, and that may be true. (Someone told me they read my blog in my voice, so that’s something.) I like playing with styles and making note of the little quirks I have. I’m seeking definition. Of style, of content, of personality, flow, humour. But I’m worried there is no definition, or if there is, it’s always a-changin’.

Is that a bad thing or a good thing? Some may see it as flaky, others may see it as being open-minded, malleable. I lean towards thinking the latter–the world is too complicated to take hard stances on things. Presented with new information, to deny a positive change for the sake of maintaining a solid personal definition seems stubborn, even ignorant. But that assuredness must be nice. You can definitely get things done when things are definite.

I wrote a poem recently about my “brand.” Half the stuff in there I never would have associated with myself a year ago. Hell, I never would have written a poem a year ago. If you can even call it a poem. Poems are hard for me to define, too.

It’s funny how university and new friends and professors and lovers can mold you. I’ve discovered so much that I love and hate in the span of a year. Sometimes both at the same time.

It’s like someone has to look for a cutoff point, a time to say “This is it, this is me, this is how people should know me. Those who like me will like me, those who don’t won’t.” I’m not there yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever be–that shit is scary, man, it’s self-mutilation, it’s abortion. To me, “Cutoff Point” sounds like a Stephen King novel.

But I’m talking creativity, here. This year I’m writing surrealist fiction and poetry. Last year I was writing a young adult novel about psychics. The year before, sci fi and horror flash fictions. The year before that, cowboy wizards. And comic strips the year before that. Every year, I’m so glad that my cutoff point wasn’t the year before. Sure, I’d develop a specialization, and probably grow to be more successful than by changing every year. But would I really be happy writing about cowboy wizards my whole life, even if it made me rich (which it obviously would because come on, cowboys AND wizards)?

Should I do it? Should I stop changing? Evolving? Should I turn this blog into a place for surrealist fiction and poetry and nothing else? Maybe so. Maybe so.

But I wouldn’t help wondering what I’d be writing next year if I didn’t.

– H.

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