Like some of you, I read a lot. I love fiction and literature. Like many of you, I dream big dreams while going through the daily grind. Like all of us, I dream of doing something that involves the things and ones I love.
A few days ago, i came across a comic, illustrated by Gavin Aung Than and written by Chris Guillebeau, titled “11 ways to be unremarkably average”. While I’m glad to say that I escaped doing #2 (to some extent) and #3 (to a large extent), I don’t think I’ve been quite so lucky with the rest (#6, especially, is by and large unavoidable if you live where I do).
But it’s #8 that got to me, and still continues to get to me, the most. I can’t count the number of times I dreamt of writing something, to have something to my name in print, published. But there was always a problem: It wasn’t meaningful enough, or epic enough, or heartfelt enough, or original enough, or good enough.
I wasn’t enough.
I’ve always been reading, but recently, I’ve been reading more. A whole lot more. And while I’ve admired the works of those authors I’ve read, their beautiful stories, their wonderful expressions, I’ve never been motivated enough to write something about them, or write something as a result of them. Until now.
In many societies, writing for a living is a surefire way to live your dream and go hungry from it as well. Where I come from, it’s a guaranteed way for most people to look at you funny and admonish you to start being more realistic about how to earn a livelihood. Thus it is in the pursuit of authenticity that we become what Nick Carraway described in that memorable last line of The Great Gatsby. We all are humans striving for our dreams, but always and eventually we become the boats being beaten back by the current, “borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
But there is always a tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and we beat on, breaking against, always onward and forward. So while there is much to discourage one from writing, let me (mis?)appropriate another famous quote, this time from Margaret Atwood: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Let’s not let the bastards grind us down into that average unremarkability that lies in wait for us all.
This blog is a beginning, a way forward, into fighting for what we dream in, for making it a reality. Where I go from here, where we go, no one knows. But the first step towards any journey is, always, “away from here”.
It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Chris Guillebeau, “The Art of Non-Conformity” (http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-be-unremarkably-average/)
Gavin Aung Than, “Zen Pencils” http://zenpencils.com/comic/92-chris-guillebeau-11-ways-to-be-average/
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare, Macbeth (a partial quotation)
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale