What Writing Means To Me
Normally I’d have a quote here but I decided to compile some sound bites of things people who inspired have said. Listen to it because it’s what the inside of my soul is saying.
I’m going to break down how and why the message in the audio above has been integrated into my every day life and writing; which happen to be one in the same.
I’ve always wanted to create and express myself with no restrictions because rules make me feel like I have to pretend; fuck being anybody but who I truly am. So when Ray Lewis talks about being pissed off for greatness, it got me to understand the predisposition of my frustration. I spent the majority of 2012 writing my 1st book and it was filled with all the antidotes, catchy phrases, analogies (which I live by) or just very generic rhetoric that was so safe it made me sick to my fucking stomach. I got dumped the day after my 29th birthday (quite possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to me) and 3 days later I quit my “job”. That weekend I deleted every page of my book; there were 300+ pages and about 10 months of work. I just knew I had to not become a version of myself that people expected me to be, I had to show them who I am and divulge shit about me I never ever spoke about; that book changed my life because I was able to transfer my anger, frustration and leave a piece of my legacy in the form of honest, which had more to do with me being comfortable with my truth than it did sharing it.
My writing doesn’t belong to anyone else because I don’t belong to anyone else. Like Denzel said in American Gangster, “…nobody owns me though…” because again, my writing and I are one in the same; forget how it would look, how would I feel about letting someone own me? That’s how much writing means to me. I don’t write for whoever is reading this, I write for myself. I don’t write with an agenda, sure I might have topical writing, sports, funny and otherwise but I’m just saying what’s on my mind while entertaining myself. I don’t care if any of you drink coffee, I don’t care if any of you have sex with coffee but that’s the thing, I can make something so boring as coffee and make it funny because it’s funny as shit to me to make boring shit interesting. I’ve done myself the great disservice of reading what other people write and while it may be well written, all their subjects and predicates are in order; I feel NOTHING. Why don’t I feel anything? I don’t laugh, I don’t hurt, I don’t cringe or smile and that’s because they don’t write for themselves; there’s always an agenda. My agenda is myself and my writing is a reflection of nobody owning me, just like Denzel said in American Gangster.
The crazy thing about calling someone crazy is that people assume that it somehow makes them superior but if everyone “gets” you are you that much superior to a “crazy” person that the world actually marvels at because they’re that much more advanced? See how I could just take your inferiority complex and flip it on its ear? What you’re getting as a reader is a finished product; in your eyes at least. For me? My writing is never finished because I’m never finished and you have no idea the nerve and balls it takes for me to hit send/share for all to see. There’s a comfort in writing because all the people who’d otherwise say I’m crazy come to my reading (yes my writing is a fucking event within itself) and examine it, marvel in it and grab inspiration and/or entertainment from it. That’s the unbelievable gift of writing, not the words but the feeling it gives me because I can package all the worst possible shit in my mind and call it a “novel”. You mean to tell me I get to say anything I want and people will think I’m a creative genius? I wrote my Forks in the Road series at probably one of the worst times in my life but I wrote it and they were two books in which I just wrote the shit I hate about myself out loud and people found it super entertaining without realizing that it was therapy for me. I get to put all my rotten bullshit and all the worst fucking thoughts imaginable into writing and detox my mind while you all are entertained; so who’s really “crazy” here?
Last year I made a terrible fucking movie based on the Forks in the Road books; the movie fucking sucked and everybody saw it. I’m not used to failing, was I embarrassed? Not really because I’m a creator and again, my work is me and I’m not perfect, so I won’t pretend for my work to be either. Having a bad fucking movie (I mean it fucking stinks and I can’t even watch it) under my belt made me tighten my shit up. I watched everyone who had nothing to say about my successes have the most to say about my failure and that’s their prerogative but it made me understand something. I carry a lot of bravado with me because I do truly believe in myself and know I’m once in a generation; I’m fucking irreplaceable on every fucking level but anybody can make a shitty movie. I’m not anybody and watching people talk about me like I was just some guy made me realize that they were waiting for this day. If you ever notice when people joke about me, they say I’m Haitian, which I am, they say I’m a Knicks fan, which I am, or they talk about me having a “murse” (it was a messenger bag and it was FOUR YEARS AGO). They don’t have much shit to talk down on cuz I’m the shit and didn’t wait for them to crown me, I knew I was the best and still am without anyone having to validate me. Now because they didn’t “crown” me, they were just waiting to coming to cut my head off but here’s the thing, they can’t take a crown off my head that they didn’t award me and while they may think they cut my head off because of the terrible movie I made, it’s just how it looks to them. Like Basquiat’s painting, what is art? It’s the eye of the beholder and I’m ok with watching them presume what they think they see me as a failure. This terrible movie (which I take full responsibility for being such a shitty movie) made me see what’s real and what’s not in terms of how people don’t want me to be me. Their version of me is an asshole (true) and a loser (not so much) but the thing that separates me is my ability to see further than 1 misstep and I do it thru my writing. Let’s keep it all the way clean, since OPUS has launched, my pen has been otherworldly and not a single person can fuck with what I put out article in and article out. Notice the silence again? When everyone pointed and laughed at me for making a bad movie, which I did, writing had my back and was right there for me as the partner in crime to show that this crown is firm. That’s how much I love writing and writing love me. When I doubted myself and losing money and eating water for dinner; writing kept me from killing myself, no exaggeration. Success changed everyone but me because I knew my ability before I had it and thru it the only thing that changed was the level of angst people had for me because they didn’t want to see me do good; they rather me be their version of me but I’m not.
My version of myself is the honest version of myself. I don’t give a single fuck what you think about me because it’s your thoughts and if you can’t tell, I’m pretty good at expressing myself, I don’t think I need you to do it for me. So whatever name you may call me or think how much you feel about me; I don’t give a shit at all. When people are miserable they want me to be as well while writing is my salvage and I speak my truth. Whatever version of you people want you to be, they presume you’re everything but honest or real because you don’t placate them with it. If we all spent more energy on being who we really are and want to be instead of being miserable and pointing at everyone else for who we want, assume and presume them to be, life would be way better. For now? I’m ok with being perceived as whatever you want because I’m truly comfortable with me and who I am. As I get older, my self-awareness grows and I learn my balance is 3-fold; how much I hold on from the past, how much I live for today and how much I plan for my future. When I merge those 3 is when I truly find balance; not when other people hold onto their past with me because I’m not that person anymore. Not when people in front of me think today is all that matters and they can’t see the bigger picture. Not when people only always talk about what they plan on doing but give you no reason to believe and have no cache or merit to prove they can actually deliver. My ability to merge these 3 is what makes me who I am and it’s found in my writing. I always ask, “What happened to the people who are willing to die for what they believe and love?” And corny folks will say, “They died.” And that’s the difference between all of them and me; I’m willing to die for all of this shit I believe in, my writing being who I am at the top of that list. So since you corny people say all of them died, it means that I’m the last of my kind and you’ll never see another like me again.