I Struggle as a Writer.

Subject: I Struggle as a Writer.
From: Tian Min
Date: 1 Mar 2023

For so long, that's what I was—what I am. I studied the piano for two decades, and the thousands of dollars my parents paid to McGill amount to less than a scribble I issue forth from my second coffee of a slow morning. Art is a practice, and my great calling is to the shape of words. No greater acts are possible for me.

And yet, I lack the slightest inclination to writing what I see as shallow lies. This is no more than my pretension, see, and yet it traps me in its great delusion. I see the story, fiction in itself, to be a vehicle for propaganda. This thought has tormented my heart of hearts, and now I see that there is no avoiding it. The craft of writing must abandon story.

I say that, but a reader with a critical eye (or too much booktube in their diet) will quickly see that everything I wrote so far has also been a sort of story. A loose one, with many essayist flourishes and a not-so-subtle injection of the authorial self. I hope that the reader so far (YOU) has enjoyed this piece so far, because that is exactly what I want you all to know, that writing can exist outside of structure.

What can you really call this work of writing? I post it on an open letter site, so maybe it is that? But now I say, "I only posted it on opnlttr because I want to get engagement", now what could we call this? An advertisement? Probably not, but is it not the strangest thing that this work of writing, the very thing you read and keep on reading, is asking if it is an advertisement? In this work, we discuss the very work, the one that you know was not completed at the time I wrote this. (Except for the final sentence. I will make that one the last I put to the page, so think about how it makes you feel knowing that.)

Putting my pen to paper (my fingers to keyboard) has made me more honest. Lying about small things was something that hurt many people as I grew up. Now, I choose to be truthful, even at the risk of being a wannabe gadfly. I think, therefore I am. Thinking, therefore being. I think right now, and put those idle musings into a form that you may now perceive and read in your own thoughts, like a meta-record. A record that tells you what it seeks to do, and shows itself to have a fake awareness. I say a fake awareness, because all it gives is an illusion of something being real. Your mind hallucinates a voice in this, and through this makes the text a living thing.

In "The Whale", Aronofsky's obese professor demands of his online college students, "JUST WRITE SOMETHING HONEST". Am I doing that right now? I try, at least, and that is all I promise. A promise is a wish, and so this proves that I am reaching out to you.

Hi, I am Tim. Read this: