i’m a writer (not really) – (en)

As a young adolescent, I wished to be a writer because writers seemed glamorous and sensual –I am smiling an adopted-orphan smile as I write this. Writers lounged around places with colorful names, as Chiang Mai and Rangoon, inhaling opium in a yellow silk attire. They wet with wine their whistle in Saint Germaine, and penetrated tabooed marshlands with faithful exotic girls or lived in the harbor of Casablanca blazing pot while languidly caressing a pet gazelle.
I was odd. Free souls are peculiar and there is no place they could stay without getting exhausted. Not only of the place itself, but also of them, the mundane folks with the ability to confuse your inner peace with some kind of insensibility, that lifeless crowd-in-bondage shading your horizon. Really, it was not they were that bad. It is that they felt just obliged to pretend they were virtuous. I did not want to eat of that bowl, so I was surviving in an emotional black hole. At the same time, there was nowhere to go, but everywhere, through the books, going along the heart’s desire to fill the emptiness, to abandon the mind, meandering under constructed stars as an avid addict with a daily dose of daydreaming that healed the heart, soothed the soul, and strengthened the imagination. I was deceiving myself, I knew I was, and what I really longed was not just playing, but to play the real game, to transform the acts of joy in mere acts. You could not create art just out of good intentions.
I struggled and fought to cross the door separating that phony world from my inner self, but the whole wall resulted in an insuperable illusion, and I finally achieved what most do: neither taking life too seriously nor seeing it as merely grotesque; choosing a occupation and practicing it, grabbing one’s share of the common pie, munching it and, without conviction, declaring: It’s delicious! I acted as a man who, being responsive to artistic stimuli, reacts to the reality of dreams as it does the philosopher to the existence, observing closely, but just observing, and trying to enjoy the observation. It was not exactly delicious. It was too much, now and then, but not enough. I was as circus aerialist bobbing on the tightwire –and I could fall off into a vortex devoid of reality at any moment.
Then, I began to travel, and the world became the book as soon the pretenders in the plain receded until they turned into scattered specks. I wanted to travel not with the intention of going anywhere, but to move. I travelled for travel’s sake, not absorbed with arriving. Ten thousand miles, ten thousand times, not interested in different landscapes, but to see through different eyes. Travelling the world over to find beauty, in search of those free souls, those you would recognize because you feel good, incredibly good, when you are with them. And that brought back strength and some sense to my life. That was the glory of foreign travel: I did not want to discern what strangers were talking about, but, still today, I cannot think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Your whole existence becomes a series of fascinating guesses. That has been the best part. And still is.
I went all the way –otherwise, why even try? I lost the rational mind and became soul. I spoke fire, laughed smoke, and madness spilled forth from all my pores. Wine and a straitjacket, that pretty much sums it up. I explode like an artillery shell, and I wished all my bits would be found on the writing table. But they did not. They did not because, once back, I lost the soul and again became a coherent mind, an intellectual of shorts. And let us face it, while an intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way, an artist says a hard thing in a simple way. In retrospect I think I know what happened. I was losing my soul and I knew it, and because I knew it, I have still got some soul left to lose. Then, probably, I did not go all the way, and those who escape hell never talk about it –and nothing bothers them much after that. If you can so thoroughly dissect your child before is born, you will not get horny enough to actually father him. People who understand everything make no stories. Today I feel I have wasted enough time leaning on my elbow in front a blank paper, reflecting to myself: alright sucker, now what?
Nowadays, practically everybody has half a mind to write a book –and does. In the name of being social, writers learn to ignore their natural instincts. Society keeps dictating do’s and don’ts which they keep obeying day in and day out. This is not writing. Great writers are immoral people, they live dishonestly. The manuscript they write must prove to me that it deserves me. If this proof exists: is writing.
My view on writing? You see, I believe that you cannot be taught to write. You can be taught grammar and punctuation, but you cannot be taught to be a writer. That has to come from within. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Cervantes was a sword-wielding fugitive from justice. Coleridge was a drug addict. Pope took money to keep a woman’s name out of a satire, then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Bukowski, probably all these things altogether. Do you still want to be a writer? And if so, can you?
I’m a writer (not really) – Dugutigui

Acerca de Dugutigui

In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).
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43 respuestas a i’m a writer (not really) – (en)

  1. Amigo ,usted enseña y se agradece de corazón lo transmitido.
    Un abrazo grande!!!

  2. puzzleblume dijo:

    Made smile. I think you are completely right.

  3. kaldina dijo:

    Yo también soy de las que cree que los buenos escritores son malas personas. Sin embargo fue un acierto que no empezaras a escribir (o por lo menos a publicar) joven, nuestra escritura es reflejo de nuestra vida, se nutre de nuestras experiencias, conocimientos, expectativas… Te dedicaste a vivir, a envenenarte, a disfrutar, a inconformarte y conformarte, a conocer, a arriesgarte. Ahora tienes buen material para escribir. Considero que parte de la crisis en la escritura actual es que a los escritores les falta vida.

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      Yo no soy escritor ni tengo las más remota intención de serlo. En realidad soy lo más alejado posible de un escritor: ingeniero de minas ¡jajajaja! Y es esa profesión la que me ha permitido viajar alrededor del mundo perdiendo la cabeza todos los días. Hasta las 7 de la mañana. Este post, en plan parábola sibilina, iba dirigido a la mayoría de esas personas que se presentan (en Internet) como “escritor”, algunos incluso como “autor”, cuando en realidad no tienen ni puta idea de lo que ser escritor significa y encima no han leído nada —no es tu caso, tu realmente sabes escribir, desde mi punto de vista. En mi tiempo la gente joven conocía un par de posturas sexuales y unos cien autores. Hoy conocen cien posturas y dos autores. En otras palabras, quieres escribir un blog, bien, pero no pretendas que eso te va a convertir en un escritor. Algunos quieren vender incluso sus libros y —descubriendo una faceta mía que desconocía: masoquismo— he comprado un par de ellos de los cuales los respaldos y las cubiertas han sido con diferencia la mejore parte. 🙂 . Bueno, besitos y a cuidarse.

      • kaldina dijo:

        Si, estoy de acuerdo, la escritura está en crisis, es una lástima, es más, los libros que más se venden carecen de profundidad y de forma, con historias básicas que buscan sólo captar la atención de un director. Que mal!

      • Dugutigui dijo:

        Bueno, que eso no te desanime, yo siempre puedo comprar tus obras 🙂

  4. cupitonians dijo:

    You most definitely are a writer. If you were not, you wouldn’t have been able to captivate people’s attention till this part of the post – the comment section. You have such a way with words and I agree with you, the words, they have to come from within and can’t be taught.

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      It feels good to be sitting here alone, in a small suburbs’ bar, smoking and drinking a sweet café au lait. I had always been good company for myself and some moments are nice. Some are even worth writing about, maybe this one, as I’m reading on my phone your comment. Thank you for your kind opinion, but I am not a writer. I’m a reader. And the post was my opinion as a ratty bookworm that can find in today’s literature little of my interest. I’m a happy engineer unable to follow the gloomy path that a good writer must have to tread all alone. Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I’d rather boast about the ones I’ve read. Thank you!

      • cupitonians dijo:

        You are like a person with the most beautiful voice on the face of the earth but one with crippling stage fright. Do you sometimes re-read what you write? You really do have such a way with words.

      • Dugutigui dijo:

        Will you marry me? 🙂 🙂 🙂 No, seriously, writing has never been for me. Since I can remember life has been what motivates me, dragging me as a blind fly into the web. I have also been there, but the typewriter refused to do the rest of the job —and the computer has finished the damn thing 🙂

      • cupitonians dijo:

        Haha, sure. BUT look at the words you are saying. Instead of a «Erm, no thanks», you say things like «life has been what motivates me, dragging me as a blind fly into the web». Come on, give me your talent! Please?

      • Dugutigui dijo:

        You have your own great talent. No secret in mine. Perhaps having lived, no more.

  5. anea dijo:

    You are right! es .. they were immoral but have left something behind their works of art .. and a little crazy in creation is; 🙂
      «Everyone is an artist» Joseph Beuys

  6. heila2013 dijo:

    «I was losing my soul and I knew it, and because I knew it I’ve still got a soul left to lose.» Very nice sentence!
    I do think that writing can be learned, i.e. taught. Like in many fields, learning is easier and more efficient when the student has talent, imagination, etc., but generally I think that the writing skill CAN be acquired, developed, and refined. Just by reading one can already learn so much about writing and even more so, when a teacher explains writing techniques, rhetorical appeals, how our words affect our readers, etc. etc. I am enrolled in a writing course write now and I am learning so much. (Thanks for stopping by and liking my post. 🙂 ) Heila

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      If what you mean is a person who writes, yes I agree with you. There are millions of books written today this way, books in which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. They are there because many times it is the reader that sucks. They waste their time over their writing, trying to accomplish what geniuses sometimes accomplish. They are the writer-architects that plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up.

      But if we talk about a person who Has Written and will still be read in 50 or 100 or 1000 years, in that case, I completely disagree. Skill alone cannot teach or produce a great story, which condenses the obsession of the creature; it is a hallucinatory presence manifest from the first sentence to fascinate the reader, to make him lose contact with the dull reality that surrounds him, submerging him in another that is more intense and compelling. These Writers are the gardener-writers. They dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. For them writing is a genital process, and all of its stages are intra-abdominal, they do not write, they bleed. And to bleed onto a white sheet of paper, you must have lived first, and lived along the madness and the obsession. It is vain to sit down to write if you have not stood up to live.

      Thanks a lot for your opinion!

  7. Jameka Brown dijo:

    Writing is breathing! Nothing else to it. Great post. I agree, you cannot be taught how to express what is within, it is natural a natural action. Thanks for the like’s on my post. I have a new blog site, http://www.futurebodystory.com. Keep it up, you’re very insightful!

  8. What a wonderful post! So thought provoking and real. I agree with you that writing comes from within, and flows much more easily when you are traveling and experiencing a world other than your own. 🙂 I love your blog though, thank you so much for stopping by mine! I’ll be back again, quite soon.

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      I have nothing new to add, but I read every $#$%$# word of your comment, so I want you to know I was here. 🙂 On other hand I am not part of the bunch who practice this common rite of partial autophagy (biting the nails), but I am anxious to see you around again 🙂 I love your blog too. Thanks a lot for your comment!

  9. Tania Bello dijo:

    «I was rare. Free souls are rare and they have no place they could stay in without getting tired of it. And of them. Of mundane folks with the ability to confuse inner peace with some sense of insensibility». That’s beautiful! I feel that way right now, being young is one of the hardest things, there is no manual of how you should live your life when you are growing up.

    Amazing post! I felt incredibly identified!

    I send you my greetings from El Salvador 🙂

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      Do not worry! It is a disease that is improving with age. Also, if there’d be a manual who would have written it? And most importantly: who’d follow it? 🙂
      All the best. You are very nice!

      • Tania Bello dijo:

        I would like one manual hahaha, but maybe at the end it would become useless: life is totally unpredictable!
        You are very nice too! 🙂

      • Dugutigui dijo:

        It’s. Every one wants a perfect ending. Myself —now— I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s a delicious ambiguity. Thanks for your opinion.

  10. genlaura dijo:

    Reblogged this on Laura Decretica.

  11. genlaura dijo:

    Wonderfull! I write because some people want to stay (invisible), in contact with me. They dig inside my memories and knowledge, hoping to get a good story for today 🙂 Why do you write?

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      Thank you!
      Yours is a good reason to write, and you do it very well.
      Why do I write? Well I’m not a writer, but a blogger, and I’m blogging because I’m bored.
      Thanks a lot for your comment!

  12. I don’t want to be a writer–a writer wants to be me.

    thank you for pointing out that EVERYone and their mother thinks they can write–merely by virtue of owning a keyboard. it is a hard time to come out…

    you are one of the greats–you blend imagery with prose seamlessly…you make me WORK to read!! accckkkk…my eyes. But I am always so pleased when I do.

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      🙂 🙂 🙂
      You right, so much good human beings to save the world, so that bastards can keep creating art, become immortal —if you read this after I am dead it means I made it 🙂 🙂
      So many with something to say and instead writing it, they politely speak it, writing from the head, instead writing from the heart.
      You know I also enjoy very much your posts, reveling in the voluptuousness of the life that surrounds you 🙂
      Thanks for your comment!

  13. ksbeth dijo:

    i write because it is like breathing to me.

  14. joyannaadams dijo:

    LOL! Not only are you obviously a genius, you have dozens of women who would probably have your baby! All good looking too! Just think what you would do to all those DNA clinics….

    Dugutigui…I don’t want you to be bored. What can we all do? You’re too amazing to be bored. I am going to worry about this now.

    Anyway, I also agree with everything you wrote. I made up my mind ten years ago that I came from a long line of obsessive writers and so, it’s okay to get shit off my mind, and I really don’t care sometimes what I say…because if it stayed in there, I’d probably get gangrene of the left frontal lobe. Ksbeth has it…she breathes. Probably lilacs and honey by her picture.

    Not sure about the «bleeding» part. But then, life is a torment isn’t it? That is if you are walking through it awake. It’s all absurd….so..gee…I now have to bleed. Hmmmmm…..I’ve suffered enough. I want to be happy, but I’m only bored when I have nothing to read….sooooooo
    Here’s a toast to all the readers! God bless us, every one!

    AHHHHHHH……Dugutigui……I need a penguin in a mukluk.

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      I am thirsty, and very susceptible to flattery 🙂 Yes that’s what I probably need, a star unit of the harem of one of the better-class sultans and have my own within a week 🙂 🙂 but are buzzing in my ear the mustn’ts, the don’ts, the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts, the never haves … and then I listen close to you: Anything can happen, child. Anything can be … and I hope you’re right! 🙂
      Anyhow. I already have four serious offenders at home (they offend me from time to time 🙂 ) They come from different women who would probably have my baby – but nothing else beside some cash, no hard feelings though 🙂 – so they only have half my genes… and there are the chances that we will one day discover that DNA has absolutely nothing to do with inheritance 🙂
      The problem is that I’ve become, ultimately, a sane person (as opposite of insane) and sane is boring even when you feel you’re the only sane person, and you look like the only insane person, still boring, and boring isn’t the worst part, but being boring and stupid, a long succession of days and nights that are fine, but not good, not bad, not great, not lousy, not exciting, not anything. I mean I think I know what I have to do, but the only activity as a cynic I find contagious is yawning, that is, with other people, at other people, and I’m doing nothing else… yawning!
      Regarding my post, all my posts, the one serious thing I want to convey is that nothing is to be taken too seriously. In any case, on obsessive writers, I would never underestimate the power of obsessive writing, they are the only that have little left in themselves and the only ones that could have me.
      To finish I’ve never been in love, but if a penguin can find a soul mate, I’m sure we can, too.
      Thanks a lot for your great comment!

  15. joyannaadams dijo:

    I was in love once, crazy over in love, with an actor from Britain: Tom Baker. I volunteered to supply the music at an event that was held here in St. Louis where he was the starring speaker….just so I could meet him.

    I was lusting after his…brain! Anything else would have just been desert!

    And the one thing he said that night on stage that I remember the most, is that ‘nothing in life is to be taken too seriously: unless of course you’re dear friend is dying in the hospital…just not anything else.

    Great minds think alike.

    At that party, I had to get drunk just to go up to him…and he started talking about something for a good 20 minutes he talked to me alone…and I was so drunk and so in love, and he was so brilliant, it went right over my head. I walked away and went and sat on the other side of the room, knowing I’d never see him again. And I didn’t.

    And that’s love.

    You know what’s great about love? You end up taking life too seriously.
    (And YOU thought I was going to say «Never having to say you’re sorry!»

    • Dugutigui dijo:

      Well that’s a beautiful personal story (that I don’t want to spoil with my personal logic).
      It that’d ever be my case, I’d take a step back. Draw in a deep breath. And ask myself, ‘So what?’
      Then, after answering, I’d ask myself again, ‘So what?’
      And then a third time, ‘So what?’
      Chances are I’d come to realize that the issue at hand was not as dire, serious, or important as I first thought 🙂
      Thanks for sharing your deepest feelings!

  16. «I spoke fire, laughed smoke, and madness spilled forth from my pores. Wine and a straitjacket.» Intense! Thank you for the follow.

    Cheerleading your thoughtful journey.

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