So I am on a mission. Well, I say a mission, I am actually on two missions and this particular post will introduce you to both of them. Firstly, I am looking to broaden my reading horizons, I have mentioned before that I want to read more non fiction, I also generally want to read outside my comfort zone and it’s not really going very well for me so far! I decided to start with some adult fiction in a genre I don’t usually go for and well… I wasn’t the intended audience and next, a poetry book, Milk and Honey.
the thing about writing is i can’t tell if it’s healing or destroying me
That line though.
Here’s the thing, I didn’t really like Milk and Honey, I don’t know if its just that I’m not experienced with poetry or if it was the intensity of the content but I didn’t get on with it that well. This line though this is all about the second mission. You see, I am currently in a long going battle with writer’s block so for me the writing or lack thereof is kind of destroying me.
Last year I decided I wanted to read more non fiction, so when I spotted Amy Poehler’s book on the International Woman’s Day I knew I had to have it and literally within the first few pages I made so many notes of things she’d said I couldn’t not make a post about at least one of them!
So what do I do? What do we do? How do we move forward when we are tired and afraid? What do we do when the voice in our head is yelling that we are never gonna make it? How do we drag ourselves through the muck when our brain is telling us youaredumbandyouwillneverfinishandnoonecaresanditistimeyoustop?
Well, the first thing we do is we take our brain out and put it in a drawer. Stick it somewhere and let it tantrum until it wears itself out. You may still hear the brain and all the shitty things it is saying to you, but it will be muffled and just the fact that it is not in your head anymore will make things seem clearer. And then you just do it.
So you know I started doing posts that aren’t just book quotes to replenish my now long gone quote book? (did get a few pretty special looking ones for Christmas though…) Well, I have a new thing I heard that I liked that isn’t in a book that I’m going to share with you. Strap yourself in.
Nothing kills a man faster than his own head
– twenty one pilots, Trapdoor.
so #relatable it hurts.
I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, I never have been. Its partly because I find it hard to commit to anything and partly because I am too hard on myself if I fail, which I always inevitably do because I start having an existential crisis about whatever it is that I’ve set myself and then it all sort of… stops.
However, 2017 will be my last year of being in my twenties. I turn 30 in September 2018, so I feel like I need to do something or at least work towards something over the next two years, so there are a few lifestyle changes I think I should maybe get started on at some point, but thinking about them made me remember this quote:
I make a promise to myself: I will be stronger than my sadness.
– My Heart and Other Black Holes.
I spent a lot of time letting my mental health take over and my physical health suffered because of it on more than one occasion. So, rather than set myself a multitude of goals that I will never get around to starting, here is one that I NEED to get working on. I can’t let my sadness get in the way of me enjoying my last vestiges of youth. So, here we are.
If you’ve not read My Heart and Other Black Holes, I thoroughly recommend it and if you are able to commit to resolutions, let me know, I’d love to see what changes you’ll be making and why!
So, not only did I lose my bookmark which allowed me to highlight wonderful book passages, but I have now also lost my quote book. Yes, I am a nerd who keeps, or rather kept, a note book full of quotes from books, off the telly, things people said I thought were profound, song lyrics… All that kind of thing and now it is gone. So, now I’m gonna have to rebuild my library of quotes and I figured lets keep them somewhere with a backup, so here we go. And the first one I’m starting with is sort of on theme because its from the soundtrack of a book adaptation.
I pour my aching heart into a pop song
I couldn’t get the hang of poetry
– Suck it and See, Alex Turner, Submarine soundtrack
If you’ve not seen Submarine, I thoroughly recommend it, not only did I enjoy it so much better than the book (I think the book, being written like a teenager’s diary made the main character just seem really whiny and irritating), but its directed by Richard Ayoade who is amazing and the soundtrack is written by Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys fame.
So, the other day I posted a picture of Instagram of my cat and captioned it with a paraphrased quote from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which then made me think… Despite it being one of my favourite passages, I’ve never mentioned it on here before and as this is where I like to store things for future reference and nostalgia, I figured I would do just that.
“The Beatles, they had it all figured out, okay? ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’ The first single. It’s effing brilliant, right?… That’s what everybody wants… They don’t want a twenty-four-hour hump sesh, they don’t want to be married to you for a hundred years.
They just want to hold your hand.”
You may know, if you actually managed to sit through this entire video (and if you did, I’m sure you deserve a medal) that I have never really been into the Beat Generation, but always wanted to explore them a little more. I read On the Road a little while back and even though Kerouac’s writing style is very different to what I usually like, I kind of fell in love with it. On the Road is the perfect book for people like me who aren’t really sure who they are yet and have fantasies of roadtrips. This has a similar narrative structure to On the Road, but fictionalises a real life event, that is the murder of David Kammerer. If you’ve watched Kill Your Darlings, which you totally should, the story won’t be new to you, but it was still interesting to see it from Jack Kerouac’s and William Burrough’s points of view. Also I am still on the look out for more Burroughs to read, so let me know if you’ve ever read any of his work and if its any good!
Anyway, in the opening pages of this book, I found the following:
I’ve figured out a whole philosophy on the idea of waste as evil and creation as good. So long as you are creating something it is good. The only sin is waste of your potentialities.
You know when you find a phrase or a quote and you’re like, that is so true, I should live by this? Well, I need to live by this.
Any of you guys ever read the Beat Generation before? Got any recommendations?