WGWC: The Tao of a Writer (Revised) - lmvalle Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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WGWC: The Tao of a Writer (Revised)

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG IS A RESPONSE TO THE WGWC, WHICH IN A SPATE OF BOREDOM AND GENUINE INTEREST, I DECIDED TO PARTICIPATE IN. FEEL FREE TO COMMENT BELOW.

 

 

"The temple bell stops.
But the sound keeps coming
out of the flowers."

Basho

For some, writing is leisure; for others, writing is means to achieve. Some write purely for fellowship and myriad other opportunities. Then, there're writers like myself, who do so for reasons that can't be translated into a recognizable message. This dream of writing has in fact died several times - in the sense that I've lost general interest and desire- yet it lingers deep inside of my heart, its true nature winding along the spades of time. Ultimately, as I examine my position as a writer in this challenge, I realize my life - and by extension, myself- is writing, and the path by which all else I do is given purpose.

 

It is a philosophy that I follow before anything else, a perpetual continuum of goals and aspirations both realized and unrealized. Life is my text, infinitely malleable and perceivable. With respect to GIO, Gaming culture is just one small aspect of this sprawling narrative I choose to explore.

In order for you to understand me as a writer, as well as my inspiration, I must communicate to you in a means that allows you to understand my experience beyond the limitations of text, so we'll play a simple thought experiment. This will require an imagination - hard, right? - so bear with me. I'll even provide a picture to assist you.

 

 

            I want you to imagine a river flowing nonstop. Consider its color, feel, smell, and texture, as well as the place surrounding it. Perhaps a jungle surrounds it? Perhaps a forest or a savanna? Maybe a field skirting the edge of a gigantic mountain range? It's your choice. Now, imagine this same river, diminishing over time, gradually receding and disappearing until nothing but small puddles and moist dirt remain.

Consider the darkness of this soil in contrast to the arid soil surrounding it. Imagine the cracks forming as the moisture disappears and the ground is lashed by heat. Finally, visualize the channel where this river once existed, merely a memory lost to all but those who knew it was once present. All that remains of it are now faint lines, hints of the past for the uninformed perceiver to recognize.

 

            That image is my relationship with writing. It's a cyclical journey that has flourished and diminished many times, even died. Yet, it's also central to conveying who I am as a person, one whose life is writing itself. 

 

 

Like the river in my example, I was born a writer, with an unending imaginative consciousness. I understood Shakespearean as a child in elementary school and often read his plays, laughing at his grotesque double-entendres and profane re-imaginings of common literary tropes. I lived and breathed the myths of Edith Hamilton's Mythology and later, the African Trickster tales of Kwaku Ananse and Eshu, creating my own whenever the time called for it. I wrote many stories, and soon would begin developing a project I've been working on for well over a decade. 

However, there were few people of authority outside of my family and those few faculty who weren't bigoted that actually recognized I had a viable talent. Most dismissed me as a barely literate POC and thus set their expectations very low when it came to my writing. However, I remain to this day an extremely stubborn person, and took each of these challenges as an opportunity to prove myself. I would face these challenges soon in high school and later throughout college, and despite the added complications of Epilepsy and Brain surgery, my desire to write would somehow survive, whether it was blogging - I once had an enormous following when I still visited Myspace- or pursuing fiction. 

During these periods, my interest in writing waned several times, to near extinction in fact. My entire writing future once hinged on something as capricious as being accepted for publication. Needless to say, that work - and others- have been published, or I would not be writing this blog.

 

In closing, return to the image of the river.

Imagine the channel from before; the river bed dried with clay older than the grass surrounding it. Consider its firm, yet dusty texture that crumbles underneath the pressure of your hands. Imagine the heat of the sun bearing down upon it as you run your fingers along the cracks in the ground. Notice the faint lines at either edge of the river bed, telling a story of a lost history. Then, imagine rivulets of water and dew gradually accumulating. Visualize the claylike soil as it yields to the moisture; new growth now appears as small puddles increase in size. There's just enough water for amphibians to lay their eggs, and as the seasons continue, this stream of water will expand completely, until the river bed has regained all it once lost and teems with new life.

However, that river bed will eventually dry up again, and repeat this process in an endless cycle. That is how it always will exist.  

Hopefully, you've grasped through the highs and lows of my writing history that this lifestyle is something transient. I can't always control when or how my interest or writing evolves- potentially a problem in more serious situations- but I can always rest assured that its imprint will remain, similar to the sound waves resonating in the flowers of Basho's poem. As such, I could hardly care less about being recognized by others as a blogger or writer. I simply "write", and with respect to games, I am rewarded not by the number of views my pages receive, but by the opportunity to experience a new form of narrative storytelling and the opportunity to exchange perspectives with others. 

I've told you my Tao. Now, tell me yours. What path do you follow as a writer?
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