What keeps me going?

I’m one of those people that often question what I’m doing. In a way I feel that is a good thing, as long as my doubts don’t stop me from continuing on my chosen path. I suppose a lot of people reading this blog could question my authority concerning my subject matter, but I have been clear from the start that I write from a learner’s point of view. I’m a lyric writer with an L-plate if you like. (An L-plate is what people get in England when taking their driving licence. A red one before passing the test and for some time after passing the test it is a green one, to show everyone else that they are new behind the wheel.) Having had some moderate success and acknowledgement in competitions, I assume my L-plate is green, but I am a long way from being able to throw it away.

There is no arguing that it is the feedback that is my drug as a writer.  This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but it is the truth. It started all the way back during my first years in school, when my first ever essay was read by the teacher in front of the class. Since I was a bullied child and quite invisible in most situations, it was an enormous feeling of joy and a big buzz to be recognised for something; especially for something that was born from my imagination. Somehow it was all me. And for once, something that was all me got chosen as an example of something really good. Even more amazing was the fact that my essays continued to get read all the way through school. It became my thing, and it probably inflated my ego in this area a bit too much.

After finishing school there was a void where that recognition of my writing had been living and looking back, I can see why I was always walking around with a feeling of a mixture of restlessness and depression. I was totally lost without a platform where what I wrote could bee seen. Nothing else mattered. At least not anywhere near as much.

I suppose I’ve been lucky in the way that I’ve always found one platform or another for my writing and managed to get my words seen. Thanks to that I have been given the feedback I’ve needed. The stakes for being seen have been raised though. Since social media entered our lives the noise is so loud, the pace is so fast and the time anything we do is given to make an impact before it is swallowed by something else, is getting smaller and smaller. 7.6 billion people are fighting for their particular high when it comes to recognition in just the same way as I need to get my high for my creative words. We may all physically be living on planet earth, but most of us spend a very big part of our lives stumbling around in cyber space from one app to another in a hunt for a “thumbs up” or a smiley, to help us feel alive.

Personally, getting a lot of likes on Facebook or Instagram for some sort of comment or picture doesn’t do anything for me. OK, it’s nice, but I can happily live without it. It is much, much harder when a song lyric I have posted for my friends of Facebook to see gets more or less ignored. Then I feel totally abandoned, the restlessness comes over me again and I start craving a sugar rush to numb the emptiness inside my soul.

Unfortunately, I have now moved on to heavier drugs to get a real high from my writing. It’s going to take a final place in a competition, a win or getting signed, to get that same rush as the semi-final places gave me a few years ago. While I feel there is a slight possibility for any of those to happen, I will keep going, since I really need that high. Until then I must make do with some smaller, but hopefully more frequent highs, from a like or two for my lyrics on Facebook.

As by chance, I wrote a song together with Fredrik Holm a few years back that talks about being lonely in the social network world. Coincidently I called it “Lonely”.

I will leave you with that song of ours. The singer, once again, is Tine Sylvest.

Take care until next time and happy writing!

Åsa

 

Lonely

Queuing up on Sunday

at a Supermarket chain.

The modern place for worship

that stops you go insane.

 

You buy a clever gadget

to get the rush you need.

And silence every symptom

of a soul that bleeds.

 

Chorus

Lonely in a social network world.

You Facebook, Chat and Twitter,

exes to last baby sitter.

Lonely in a social network world.

Lonely in a social network world.

 

Back home and all is quiet.

You go online to keep

the emptiness inside you,

from breaking down and weep.

 

Chorus

 

Bridge

The cyber cloud makes you forget

how warm a smile can be.

When given by a friend you love

and very rarely see.

A tweet is fun, a chat is quick

but eye to eye means more.

Take time to reconnect to life

and talk, just like before.

 

Chorus

©Åsa Sandberg 2013

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