Rants

Rant #9 – Why fourth wall?

In short, I just like to talk.

But talking to people in person never is really easy. There is this underlying pressure to be interesting, to cater to the specific tastes of the one opposite to you. Each word has to go through numerous mental filters and the flow just isn’t the same. Over here though, I can lay bare all my thoughts, coherent or otherwise, relevant or not. It’s just me and a screen who doesn’t judge, who never gets bored of me, who would never doubt my intentions and never make me feel insecure about the validity of my opinions, almost like every man’s dream girlfriend. Interestingly enough my blog posts do go down when I’m in a relationship.

Writing my own blog has been always on my mind, since before high school. Atleast everytime I decided to start writing a journal, I only failed after buying one, but the blog never was even created. It wasn’t until sophomore year in college did I finally end up making one. I had too much to say and nobody to listen.

Deciding the name was no problem. Fourth wall breaks have appealed to me since even before I knew it had a name.

The fourth wall

The imaginary glass wall in the front separating the audience from the stage. When a character in a play, or a novel, or a movie acknowledges the fact that they are indeed a fictitious character and address the audience directly, they are said to have broken the fourth wall.

That was the effect I hoped to achieve. The blog was meant to be conversational, like as if the voice in my head was given a microphone. Often as I’m typing, there’s a parallel train of thought running in my head that critiques and comments on what I type – yes it gets confusing, it’s like the thoughts breaking their own internal fourth wall, of sorts – and if it feels like it could echo the thought of you guys, I add it in as well, in italics.

I didn’t want people I knew reading it in the beginning. This was going to be my repository of free thought and I will not have people who supposedly know me question its authenticity based on their versions of me. I am going to be writing about how hard it is for me to get a damn haircut, sappy poems about girls I met and girls that left, I can’t have people I see on a daily basis reading that. So the blog was kept anonymous. It took me about half an hour to comb through the various old Gods of Greek, Roman and Norse roots and settle at Fessonia, the Roman goddess of relieving weariness. The purpose took precedence over gender, being a female god is still much more appealing than a mortal man.

The more I wrote about people and things around me, the more I could look inward, know myself. There’s a great deal of difference between running a memory over and over in your head and penning it down. Once it’s on paper, you’re no longer the main character, you become a third person reading a story and it adds a whole new perspective to the experience. You notice details you didn’t before, you figure out reasons for things that just didn’t make sense. You realise a post you saw on Facebook a long time ago phrases it in a much better way and proceed to attach it.

The quality though, could never satiate me. I guess it’s something everyone who does creative work goes through. The idea is so pure, and elegant and nothing we create out of it seems to do any justice to it. It’s hard to keep the motivation going. Sometimes there’s too much to say that it’s hard to get it all out before I start forgetting details and other times months fly by without a spark. So the need for validation eventually creeped in and I began telling a few specific people about the blog, people I knew can be counted on to be honest critics. Turns out while I could never meet my own standards of perfection, having seen the write-ups evolve through multiple drafts, to a stranger it is still something that was created out of nothing and that in itself fascinates them enough. Nobody’s as hard a critic of your work like your own self.

And hence a decision was made. No matter how hard it gets, 2018 will have 52 write-ups published. One each week. A long rant, or poem or a mini quote, something new will be made every week and that’s a promise.

Fight me.