Poetry or Politics, Wtf should I write!?

I just want to write.

They say to become a great writer you have to write everyday, no excuses, and it doesn’t matter what you write, just write everyday.

But here is my biggest problem, I want to write everything.

I have gotten into the habit of writing everyday, sometimes I work on this blog, sometimes I spit out an article that I might pitch to someone later, sometimes I work on my screenplay, but in any case all I want to do is write!

And I want to write everything! I want to write books, novels, essays, articles, screenplays and poems. I want to write comedy sketches and speeches for leftist candidates.

I just want to write!

It seems that to get ahead in this industry you have to pick one discipline of writing, one discipline and one audience and you have to speak to them through one voice.

But I want to write everything because I want my work to have an effect, I don’t want to just write for the sake of writing. I want my writing to change the world. We don’t just need stories about the world or think pieces reflecting on the world, we need to change the world!

In college I wanted to write comedy sketches, and I did, but my Youtube sketch show flopped because, well let’s be honest, it was just a 21-year-old and his friends making goofy videos when they were visiting each other from college.

In other words, it sucked and I wasn’t funny.

I also wanted to write films, screenplays, and for television, and if I can be honest I still do.

But getting a foot in the door in that industry is hard, and every time I had a foot in the door it would slam on me and break my ankle.

And guess what?

I also want to write poetry.

To be honest I think poetry is my strongest medium, it’s freeing, it’s expressive, it’s both a craft and an art, and I actually get more likes on my poems than I do on most of my political posts. Poetry is where I feel I can throw out all my inhibitions and both be myself and provoke thought in the world. I can be expressive yet subversive and provocative all at once.

Yet poetry is probably the hardest kind of writing to make a living off of, especially in a cold-hearted world like one that elects people like Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

And if that weren’t enough, I also want to write about politics, socialist theory, and organizing, which you had to have noticed considering the fact that I advertise this as a socialist blog. I used to be very philosophical, until I realized I was a Marxist. Marx made me realize that philosophers merely reflect on the world, but it must be changed. Theory changes the world, philosophy just reflects on it.

As a Marxist I am subversive and I love subversive literature, and I always wanted to change the world through the texts I write. I started blogging about socialism and politics to hopefully spark ideas and influence change. If I can get one more person to become a socialist from reading my work, then I have done my job. I hope that hardcore socialists can enjoy my work, I also hope that people curious about socialism can get some insight into who we are and how we think.

And if that weren’t enough for you, I originally wanted to write novels, and guess what, I still do!

When I made the decision to become a writer I began pouring my heart and soul into writing poetry, stories, novels, and screenplays. I was 17 when I finished my first novella, and I was 19 when I finished what was probably my best one, which I published on this blog under its old title, Poems and Other Shit (Read my about me page)

I know I should a discipline and just stick with it, but hell, is it so wrong that all I want to do is pour myself onto the page for a living? Is it wrong that I want to both change the world and entertain people? Is it wrong that I want to be a journalist, a theorist, a novelist, a poet, and a screenwriter all at once? I don’t see why that should be out of reach, other than issues of privilege and class but putting that aside, I don’t think I should have to pick one discipline of writing when I enjoy so many of the different mediums so much.

It’s taken me 12 years, but I think I am starting to get a hang on this whole writing thing. It can be frustrating, I’ve had many a doors closed on me, and my ankles broken many times.

The good news is I have strong bones, I heal quickly.

Will I every be in a position to write it all? Most likely no, I probably won’t get to write for TV, comedy, and films while also writing novels and poems while also running a blog about liberating the working class.

But I’d rather try my whole life to do at least one of those things than spend my life doing none of them.

Published by James J Jackson, Jr

I'm a poet and leftist political organizer from Sacramento, CA.

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