Love Your Scribbled, Secret Notebooks

I used to write sad, short, unassociated erotica when I was like…..a fourteen year old Catholic school girl. I’d wait for a quiet empty house when the family was away or out. I’d write the words lightly in pencil so I could erase it. At that time in my life all of the stories centered on lust–which to me was just scribbling whatever would cause that physical rush through my body. I wanted romance but only a romance that had a specific goal–caressing and touching, kisses and naughty terminology and oh my I thought I was going to burn in hell. I believed that that’s what love was. That it had nothing to do with yourself.

Kerouac's first belief....
Kerouac’s first belief….

It was my secret. Now I’m trying to find that mastered fear and write like that again, no erasers for me. But I felt that same fire the first time I learned the hard way what justice meant for the unjust. I felt it the first time I felt power in my talent. I felt it in the first and last time I was abandoned, left to the wolves. Or the last time someone held a mirror up to my eyes and I didn’t liked what I saw, and I ate change like Lady Lazarus ate men.
For those of us who know that deep burning, driving, nameless desire–then it’s no shock to assume that for you as it is for me, it changes shape and form but never its taste. When I went mad and almost killed myself, it was there too–that taste. I tasted nothing for years, a good ten years, and then, there it was, right at the back of my tongue while they shot me up with anti-psychotics and a sedative. In the wild deathless chase to the end, turns out I wanted to live. And so, as there was nothing left of myself I hadn’t destroyed, I used what was left–that small spark. I couldn’t figure out why it was still there, miniscule. It took five years for me to see its growth. I began nurturing it, I bent over it in the dark like a shawled mother owl hovering against the slightest change in wind. I told no one. Because who would have believed me then? I certainly didn’t know what I was doing, what happened to the girl I used to be, or why I was there, existing in a shitty apartment, like a fucking caged animal half-beating. Job, college, fiancé, car, house, all that I thought it took to make the package–gone. And that’s the less painful part, because I hadn’t been living for those things or even in them. I had let myself become so afraid of myself and my wants and needs, I had alienated myself so far. I had let the monsters in my head torment me, instead of show me. And after the six or so years, I took that desire or whatever it was and built a woman out of it. Out of me. And here I stand. Hungry.

Scribbling our lives away in jobs and homes and with the process of doing, but that fire– it is the same feeling and same need for release. This is why I write. The harder I write, the more intoxicated I become, and the bigger the need. I think it’s pretty safe to say that that is why artists starve. But I do know that because of it, I am more alive than I ever dreamed possible.

[Kerouac’s Beliefs & Techniques for Writing]
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

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