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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: elsewhere :: profile


05.04.16

Recently I took time out from my dissertation to write a personal essay for an anthology on home. Some writers describe the act of writing as an exorcism, others compare it to getting a tooth extraction. I didn’t get why until now. Instant publishing platforms like fb and diaryland encourage lazier or unfinished writing, at least in me. At first I thought I would draw on old ideas. But I soon realised that I was reviewing past work because I didn’t trust myself. I had to move beyond the old, the opacities of the more naive self of the past, writing ‘bird by bird’ through each issue as it surfaced—for example, is this me trying to have revenge on the past?—until the writing started to tell me something I didn’t know. It was hell-raising yet carthartic, to encounter what I had suppressed or displaced. In the most honest writing, the myriad evasions we make on a daily basis are exposed. This is a freeing/scary thought.

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Having something to say first makes you one kind of writer. I am the kind of writer who discovers what they need to say through the act of writing. This is another freeing/scary thought.




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