Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fiction Scares Me

In my last post I said I would write a fiction short story by Aug. 6th. I am hemming and hawing about this one. Why you ask? Because frankly, fiction scares me. I have never written fiction before. I always thought I would never be any good at creative/fiction writing. So I'm a little scared about this project.

So far I have absolutely no ideas on characters, plot or anything. I'm not even sure I know what genre I would like to try writing. I'm also not very good with writing dialogue so that's another thing to scare me.

Some other news is that this past Sunday I actually went to a church. I was totally against the notion for a really long time but found that I actually enjoyed the service and it was a church I wouldn't mind going back to. This shocked me. I have resisted religion for a very long time and my faith had also wavered for a long time. I'm really not sure what to make of it. I guess time will tell.

Well, until next time.....


  1. You know sweetheart, our lives are always changing and taking us new places. Be glad for the blessing of your faith resurfacing a little bit. You never know what may happen, but it's worth the try anyway. Love you, Mom

  2. Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome

    Since the beginning of time, humans have always told stories to each other. Tens of thousands of years ago there was the oral storytelling tradition, and of course images on cave walls told stories or communicated information from one cave-sweller to the next. Throughout history, through the millennia, there have been various advancements - both technological and cultural - in the sophistication of storytelling. At some point theatre was introduced, perhaps most famously with the ancient Greeks. In the middle ages the printing press was developed. And for hundreds of years there have been novels. With few exceptions, these forms of fiction offered intermittent and usually brief escapes from people’s daily lives - perhaps a few hours each week at the theatre, or later, a couple hours a day with a novel. The majority of people’s days were spent hunting, farming, conversing, recreating with others - activities where people were engaged, in the moment.

    In the recent past, however, things have changed. Today, we have an extraordinary range, and amount, of fiction that we are exposed to. Oral storytellers, plays, and novels are obviously still with us. But now there are also movies and television, the internet and the infinite range of alternate realities it presents, social media, incredibly immersive video games, and more. This is not to mention the ubiquity of advertisements - on TV, billboards, in magazines, and increasingly, everywhere else. All ads, even if it’s just an image on a page, tell a story. They are fiction. The news is fiction. That doesn’t mean these forms of fiction are not “true” but they still are a representation of reality, an observation and retelling or showing of reality - a mediated event - rather than the unfiltered experiential reality itself. And it is not only that there are so many forms of “fiction” available to us today, but that we spend so much of our lives immersed in them. Arguably, for many of us, we spend more hours of our day in fiction, in this observational reality, than in the moment of reality.

    This total immersion in the observation/retelling/showing of reality inevitably alters the way one perceives himself and reality itself. If hours upon hours each day, day after day, are spent as an observer (of TV, movies, innumerable ads), it is inevitable that you will begin to view your own life as Fiction. After so much time spent as an observer, chemical, neural or physical changes may occur in the brain, rendering the mind unable to shift back from this observational state to an experiential state (think of this like your eyes’ initial inability to focus on an object in the distance after you have been reading for a long time). The neural mold that is formed in the mind when one is observing - that initially is malleable as we shift to and from different perspectives - eventually solidifies.

    Our modern mediascape forces upon us an ever-increasing degree of self-awareness. Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome is the dissociative endpoint of this larger phenomenon: one is not just figuratively or subconsciously viewing one’s life from afar, but consciously, perceptually so.

    The more you read into it, the more you are likely to begin to understand it.

    Your soon to be Step Dad

  3. Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome was first proposed in the 2009 novel Swimming Inside the Sun by David Zweig.
    What is Depersonalization

    Depersonalization is defined, in part, by the DSM IV [official psychiatric manual] as the feeling of “being detached from one’s mental processes or body; as if an observer.” People often describe the experience as watching oneself as if in a movie, or a dream; viewing one’s life from a distance; feeling as though time is passing in a strange way where one is not in the moment. This sensation is often combined with extreme anxiety, and sometimes the fear that one is going crazy.

    Since at least the time of Camus and Sartre, and arguably much earlier in different forms, writers and thinkers have described this unsettling experience of being outside of your own body, of looking in on your life rather than being able to be in your life, of going through the motions as if an automaton.

    There are many theories as to why this phenomenon occurs. The most prominent one points to childhood trauma, or a present terrifying experience where one disassociates with oneself as a sort of defense mechanism. Depression and anxiety additionally are often listed as potential triggers. There is also some evidence that depersonalization occurs more often in highly individualistic cultures, namely the west. A new theory, however, Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome, first posited in the 2009 novel Swimming Inside the Sun, proposes a different explanation:

    You can do this!! Being scared kicks in the adrenaline which makes you more than capable of achieving this!!

    Soon to be.