I’m not good at creating. I’m not a creator. I’m not a visionary. I can’t make something out of nothing. I never could. I’m not a very creative person. But what I can do is remake. Remodel. Shuffle around a bit.
Words aren’t like art. They’re more stable. More predictable. More courteous. With words, you can skirt around anything. Art isn’t that avoidant. You say it or you don’t. With writing, I could tell you I needed to go to the loo a thousand ways, without ever actually having to say those words.
I don’t create words. They’re already there, existing. In our brains and in the dictionary, and wherever else words tend to exist. I didn’t make them up. And that’s probably a good thing, because if I tried I’d probably steal that idea, too.
I steal words. I don’t make them. I steal them from the back of my mind, the place where laanguage sits, where I learnt all those years ago to store the worlds until I’d need them again.
I couldn’t be an artist. I wasn’t good at it. I couldn’t stare at a blank piece of paper and see something blossom out of the white. I couldn’t shut my eyes and see what I wanted to see, to be able to put it on paper. That, and I’m just not a very good arist.
I don’t work in colour. I work in black and white. I don’t work in between the lines. I work, quite comfortably, on them. With them. I like the lines.
I like the boundaries of language. The rules. The way it works. I’ve carefully followed the rules of language my whole life (except when I was two and I wrote the ‘J’ and the ‘S’ the wrong way around in my name), meticulously learning and re-learning the English language to the point where it pains me to see a ‘their’, ‘there’ or ‘they’re’ out of place.
I’m not great at thinking of new things. Only how to remaster the old. Never making something, just editing what’s already been made. A lot of the time I think that I’m not even fit for writing, I’d be better as an editor. Someone who perfects and shapes what’s already been created, waiting for the actual creators to do the thing, and then I can swoop in to steal it.