Have I shared this one before? I can’t recall.
Yilmaz, who may just be one of my favorite creative personalities on YouTube, went on to create another piece of work that covered creative crises. The two sort of form up a personal form of first aid for writer’s block. The funny thing was that while I remembered the first video, I forgot a few lines from the second video until I just watched it a few moments ago, and I think I found some of the problem.
Rewind back a few years for a moment.
I was just over here, minding my own business, writing a bunch of stuff that very few people paid any attention to. I was writing particularly poor work whenever I had the time, and I wasn’t really worried about much more then just having a self-important outlet. Then I wrote somethings about Loki, gathered an actual readership beyond my wife and three friends, and that was awesome. I started paying more attention to what I wrote, how I wrote, and what those words meant to me in the first damn place. This was a very good thing because, prior to this, I wanted to be a writer but strongly suspected I didn’t have the ability to be recognized as one. I just wrote a bunch of pretentious garbage on whatever the blog du jour was, and basically stroked the hell out of my own ego constantly. I needed a good kick in the ass to remind myself that my writing was only going to be worth a damn when I made it worth a damn.
So I had some readers, and I had a new sense of purpose and intellectual ethic…but I also found myself getting more and more conflicted and anxious about writing. The Loki debate, while somewhat eternal, is pretty damn easy to talk about; it’s not difficult to debunk most of the “con” arguments, the people against Loki’s veneration have nothing really invested in their viewpoint other then some idiotic desire to police the spirituality of others, and the entire debate itself is just a bad joke and I suspect it will always remain one. So when I delivered the punchline to the appreciation of some, it felt like I had found my niche as a writer; break down various stalemated arguments with a bit of wit.
The problem is that the Loki arguement is very simple; we can talk all day about which scholar said what about Loki…but at the end of the day there is no Asapope, and all of those arguments are just pissing contests, and no one from any national organization has the authority or the right to say differently. Anyone telling you differently is just trying to sell you something.
Every other issue in Heathenry is vastly more complicated, and as they conversations around American Heathenry turn more and more towards our nation’s history of prejudice, it becomes harder and harder to say anything. Not for lack of certainty, but for the certainty of dissension. You see, the way I write some of my work is I look at the argument as objectively as I can, I find where my own philosophy lies, and then I write about that philosophy while keeping in mind of all if it’s weak points. By addressing those weak points in my own work within the work itself, I give my dissenters less ground. This is why it took so long to write about Meta-Folkism; there are an infinite number of loops and pitfalls that need to be addressed before you go live with that material. Being accurate and correct demands a lot of research, and countering your own shortfalls requires exponentially more. Now imagine trying to breakdown the absolute tangle that is racism in the United States of America, and my problem becomes quite clear. As the conversation has deepened, so did my work load. To write material I was satisfied with was taking months and months of just working through all the details, all the while the narrative was continuing and changing the nature of what I wanted to write.
And, also, it was breaking my heart. There is that too.
I’m well aware of the stereotypes that guide how many Folkish persons view “Heathens United Against Racism” and anyone who thinks like us; that we are a loose confederation of witch hunts, eager to find racism in anything and everything as we giggle to ourselves and while looking to pursue some ineffable high score…when we aren’t each others throats. The truth is far more somber, of course. I speak only for myself but I gain no joy from calling people out and, to be quite honest, it makes me pretty nauscious most of the time. I don’t savor looking at and listening to the ethnic based biled I see on a daily basis. I don’t savor affixing people with some label of racism. I’ve spent the last year and a half parsing the sources of Circle Ansuz as I try to discover how accurate their findings are, and I’ve hated every minute of it; I would rather do just about anything else.
The very real truth of it is this work is grating, painful, and heart-wrenching because even at this very meager, shallow water level I’ve seen more amoral, banal hate then I ever wanted to know existed. Then I see some people defend this very bigoted, very hateful material….defend their ability to be racially excluding for little reason that has anything to do with someone’s UPG….and say that I’m just doing this to harass them. Or to cause trouble. Or to attack famous names in Heathenry for giggles. Trust me folks…there are more enjoyable hobbies out there to pursue.
The only mirth I have when talking about racism is a very dark humor, ripped strait from the gallows. I’m not here because it’s funny to call people a racist; I’m here because I would think less of myself for backing down because it go to hard to go on. Because I know that, no matter how much it bothers me,….that it bothers those it targets far worse, and what kind of human being would I be if I turned my back on those so marginalized? My Grandmother was a women who taught me racism was bullshit despite growing up in a depression era coal town, and my Grandfather help secure a German concentration camp in World War II. If the actions of my ancestors are supposed to drive my own, how the hell can I back down just because I’m uncomfortable?
So I stick with it. I’m not going anywhere…but, somewhere in the middle, I ran out of gas and I tried to write material in mind of my audience and my philosophies and…I stopped actually writing from my heart. Every sentence I wrote was being weighed against all of the other things I should be writing, Every idea I wanted to express was held as better or worse then every other idea, and I got nowhere. I had completely throttled myself and I was hating every minute.
And….I’m done with that. This has to end somewhere and it ends here.
I’m going back to writing what I feel is important and just going with that. Sometimes that’ll be very Heathen. Sometimes it’ll be philosophical. Sometimes I’ll be doing a Let’s Play because I’m tired of big important things, and all I want to do is talk random nonsense while playing Skyrim. I’m not pulling punches, mind you…but I’ve been so worried with saying big important things that I’ve I stopped saying anything at all…and I’m done with that.