The Human Condition

“He who despairs of the human condition is a coward,
but he who has hope for it is a fool.” ~ Albert Camus

“Remember, no human condition is ever permanent.
Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too
scornful in misfortune.” ~ Socrates

“Every man carries within him the entire form
of our human condition.” ~ Michel de Montaigne

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how
all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage
to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear,
which is inherent in a human condition.” ~ Graham Greene

Sometimes when I don’t feel so hot, I remind myself that it’s all part of the human condition. After all, as the Buddhists say, Life is Suffering. That noble truth makes things more easy to bear (sometimes). But then there are times when nothing can make me feel good about feeling bad. Go figure. These days I’m taking my general confusion and frustrations out on my novel characters. They’re each more miserable than the other, and most certainly more miserable than me. Graham Greene would approve. I have to say there is something cathartic about piling up all this suffering onto these fictitious characters, none of which are very likeable. You’ll notice I haven’t posted any of my writings on my NaNoWriMo blog this year though, and that is because I don’t feel it’s appropriate to inflict this latest novel draft on anyone else. There is enough suffering out in the world without me adding my own miserable take on it. So far the story really is all doom and gloom. Everyone’s distasteful secrets splashed all over the place, just the way they do it in the tabloids, and I guess it could make for good reading if you like delving into other people’s misery. I don’t, generally speaking, so I’m not sure why it is I’m spending all this time writing something that basically offends my own sensibilities.

My principal character hasn’t spilled the beans about what she has to hide so far, and I’m hoping it’ll be something really juicy, like maybe she has superpowers and is able to kill people by just thinking about it or something. She’s on the run right now, and there are people from her sordid past who are trying to catch up with her. She may or may not have created a new life for herself to put it all behind her, but one way or another, she won’t be able to outrun them forever. I’ve been putting off dealing with her story by writing about all these other unfortunate characters who are dealing with loss, cheating, lies, heartbreak, kidnapping, rape, self-hatred and self-delusions, freakishly small penises and so on. The longer I draw the whole thing out, the more pressure I put on myself to make this woman’s past truly horrifying. You know, just so the wait will have been worth it at least, otherwise it’ll end up being totally anticlimactic, and that, in my opinion, would be worse than just writing a bad story. “They say write what you know”, I keep reminding myself. One person’s nightmare is another person’s reality and vice versa. Goodness knows I’ve got plenty of personal history to draw upon, between things that I’ve personally experienced and things lived vicariously through others (real of fictitious). Whatever the big secret turns out to be, it’ll end up being part of the human condition, and that’ll just have to be good enough for me. For all we know, maybe her big secret is that for all her independence and the efforts she makes to remain uncommitted, she keeps a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings hidden under her bed? Not that I do that anymore obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t tell you about it now would I? :-)

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4 thoughts on “The Human Condition

  1. Tina: don't be jealous. It's just automatic writing for the most part. It remains to be seen if there'll actually be a cohesive story at the end. Doubtful. But then I hear that's what revisions are for (AFTER Dec. 1st obviously!)

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