Circlejerk

Isn’t that a great word? Circlejerk. it just rolls around the mouth coming to an abrupt halt. I wonder if the word jerk was originally onomatopeic? Circlejerking is what I think some misguided people do when they blog about issues they feel passionately about (good up to this point) get all their friends to read it then all congratulate each other on such ‘right down to the bone’ rants. This is just a thought by the way and not directed at anyone I know – the only blogs I read are large public ones.

My actual word of the week is ‘stereotype’ – seeing as I’ve had time to use my brain this week this word has been spewing out of my mouth rather frequently. From the arguments used in the abortion/fatherhood debates to widely anticipated Sex and the City movie stereotypes abound. I want to say I am drowning in them but that would be a cliche. It’s painful to be aware of these things, it makes you lose respect for people. It also forms part of my reluctance to write – trying to get around then will be like walking on glass (I saw Derren Brown do this, but only after putting a plastic bag over his head first. I find this man fascinating and last week dreamed that I found him in some unknown suburban house while on a school trip and had a delightful natter with him).

I should write though. I believe this blogging to myself is a great help. Aside from creating a secret identity as the great Snarkista it allows me to a) think, b) without judgement, c) out loud on a page. I’m not sure if I’ve thought anything at all for a very long time except within the context of a debate – talking with others does bring out some good arguments and I am often surprised at my capacity to think. Not in an egotistical way either, more like when you run for a bus and not only catch it but don’t have a stroke. Was that too cliched? I avoided the obvious ‘heart attack’ but I’m still not really satisfied…

I guess that is what they mean by the ‘inner editor’ at NaNoWriMo. I was going to do that last year, made a profile and got all ready, but 2 days before the start I was struck down by a meddlesome plague and missed the first week. By that point all my ideas disolved and I called it quits. I like to pretend I’m realistic but usually it’s just a lack of confidence (my second most hated word after ‘potential’).

On the plus side I have been reading, which I believe increases my knowledge of writing. Still reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, occasionally I want to say “Are your flies undone? Because I can see your peen.” I don’t think it is because of the character’s either, but the writer’s voice – obviously embodying the sentiment of the time (and potentially some resentment towards his wife). It got me thinking about the author’s voice: in a large number of books you can guess the gender of the author. It is possible to write in a gender neutral style, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (only HP book I’ve read, and I didn’t find it particularly interesting or special) and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Some books are written to reflect the gender of the main character, such as Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which has a hypermasculine protagonist, or Marian Keynes’ Anybody Out There? which is centred in a very female world (but not in a gross Bridget Jones way). F. Scott Fitzgerald was both very involved with Tender is the Night as it took him years to write and a massive ego as he thought it would define the great American novel. I suppose that for those reasons it has quite a heavy imprint of him on it.

Considering authorial voice I wonder what my voice is – it’s easiest to express in blog form which is why I think blogging helps, because it makes the voice stronger. When writing fiction it is very easy to slip into ‘this is what a writer sounds like’ voice. It’s similar to the voice people get when they read poetry. I want to write. I’m not sure what. But I think I should start sketching.

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