The I and the Self

Just finished Pete Holmes’ Comedy Sex God on audiobook. Pete is one of my favorite comedians and I’ve followed him via his podcast, talk show, and Crashing, his HBO show. That show was semi-autobiographical and this book is more of his history. The book centers around faith and interpretations of God. It’s an interesting read, and very funny, I recommend it.

In one of the passages the author asks questions about the I hate/like myself for …” kinds of statements we ask ourselves occasionally. Who is the I and who is the self? Isn’t it the same person? The me?

I won’t go into the details as not to spoil the ideas here. It’s one of my favorite bits in the book. Anyway it reminded me of the advice I’ve been hearing about writing for yourself. Ben Norris wrote about this topic recently.

Getting in touch with yourself to express what you’re thinking and feeling, forgetting everything else. If you dig into that well your rational self can read it later. Perhaps others can react to it as well but that’s not the goal.

Apparently Hemingway said:

Write drunk, edit sober.

Was he referring to digging into the self, without inhibition, while drunk? Then reflecting later, while sober?

I’m not drunk at the moment but I like this idea of multiple selves with the lens of writing applied to it. Write to get ideas out of one mind, so the other can understand.

Chad Moore @cm