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Provocative and Provocation.
Where is the difference exactly? People keep asking me if I’m still writing. Yes? No? Maybe? In my head? Being a writer, for me, is like being alive. But me and reality have always had a mostly strong difference of opinion. Living and thinking and imagining is not exactly quite the same as writing. However, I once said at seventeen or eighteen – the time when you’re your bravest and most honest and most almost certainly your most self-assured – that I was a writer before I was a woman, before I was woman you could classify into a race. I was a writer like I was a human. I was alive and therefore I was a writer. Or, you know, something along those lines of my being a writer was glued to my very existence as it was my very existence, so that with every breath I took I was writing. Even though, technically unless you are writing you are not writing.
It’s always been that way. Except after you introduce yourself and your work to the world. And then if you are not churning out work you are not writing. And if you are not writing you are not a writer. Even if you think about your work all the time. Even if you get to know your characters as you apply eye shadow to your lower lid, and you know exactly who Marty is because this is the same thing she would do, and this is the same conscientious decision she would make.
But are you writing? Or are you making up imaginary people in your head to justify your behavior?
And back to Provocative versus Provocation.
Because in another story, where Marty doesn’t exist, someone named Shaniah does. And I like her enough. I’ve outlined her backstory. I could make her sympathetic. I like her. I get it. But she represents something. Something which I believe just is.
But depending on your position relative to Shaniah is she provocative? Or do you interpret the cues necessary for provocation? Is anyone one thing? Or are we what we are solely based on the perspectives and experiences of those interacting with us?
I am not writing right now. I am thinking. I am living. I am drinking again. A lot-ish. I’m not doing drugs and here here for me! But I am thinking a lot. I don’t just want to write down random things that I think up and just shoot out of me. I want my characters to be somebodies. I want them to represent complexities. I want them to provoke yes, but I want them to be kaleidoscopic. I don’t know what or who Shaniah or Marty is… yet.
I hope I figure them out.
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