Because my life is the greatest story I will ever write.

            Ernest Hemingway has been celebrated as one of the greatest American writers, winning the Nobel prize, and gaining critical acclaim for his works, but the greatest story he ever wrote was his own life. I aspire to be a writer, but not to reach the height of success that Hemingway has topped. I write because it allows me to grant meaning to my life, because it helps me exercise my emotional lens and perceive the tides of my life as high or low.

            Through writing, my emotions and thoughts and beliefs flow as fluidly as the blood through my veins, and when the ink hits the paper, who I am bleeds onto the sheet as well. It becomes an intimate process as I let go of my consciousness and immerse myself fully in the writing process. I write about love, ambition, friendship, but mostly love or sex (what else does a male my age contemplate about?). I am normally unable to form a solid view of how I view my life, but after I have exhausted myself after writing I sit back and read through the pages, seeing not a jumble of words, but a mirror instead. Through the fiction and the stories and the “lies” I’ve inscribed onto the pages, I am able to see the truth. How I feel or view a certain aspect or moment in my life suddenly becomes clear, and I understand myself better.

            Writing isn’t supposed to become the end to my life, but the means to it. Henry Miller, a novelist and essayist, once said, “the best way to get over a woman is to turn her into literature.” I don’t live to write, but I live by writing. Whenever a girl crosses my mind, I lead her to the pages in front of me and let her walk off into the blankness of the paper. Rather than coping, rather than lie and comfort myself by giving myself a happy ending, I create a fictional world where characters play out their lives and through their interactions I discover how I view each person in my own and what they mean to me. But most importantly I find myself in the pages. Fiction is my reflection.

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Comment by Jason Lam on February 5, 2011 at 4:12pm

I think I already explained my view on Hemingway's suicide during discussion. It just seems so intense and passionate for anybody to feel so strongly about their craft that the inability to perform compels them towards death.


My process of writing as self-discovery IS retroactive, though. The last sentence, I think, defines it so. To proactively create the narrative of my life, though, I think I would try to live my life the way I would write about it: with spontaneity, with unexpected twists and turns, to find meaning in the smaller details, to be open about it. I don't really know how to live, but I know that I am living, and that's the most, I believe, I can really do.

Comment by Jonathan Thomson on February 3, 2011 at 9:34pm
How do you feel about Hemingway's suicide?

Your process of writing as self-discovery sounds retroactive. How, then, will you proactively create the "narrative" of your life?

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