“me + richard armitage” metawriting taxonomy

[For people who are feeling like, “where’s cheerful Servetus gone?”: Please don’t worry. I’m still going to be writing more frivolous stuff. I’ve got some important decisions on the table in the next month, though, so I’ve got to make sure I’ve thought through a bunch of stuff, and I’m going to try to speed up my publication schedule in order to keep up with all of this stuff. I’m grateful for whatever you read and comment on — but a lot of the stuff that’s coming up I’m writing for me as opposed to fans of Armitage.]


I mentioned in the comments on some of the “me + mr thornton, episode 4(a)” material that this time, I was going to publish some of the associated meta-writing. Meta-writing might be defined as writing about how the writing process goes for the writer; here I am understanding it as the trains of thought that run through my head while I am writing a post, themes that often force me to write them down to keep from drifting away from my analytical focus. So perhaps a term like meta-discourse would be a better descriptor — the discussion my mind is having about the discussion that I’m writing down.

I tend to see these elements of writing as pesky and distracting, because I’m writing to achieve flow, to connect fully with my intellect on the purest possible plane, to get that mystic high from the filling in of the gaps in the writing process as beautifully and precisely as I can. For me, this discourse manifests itself mostly conceptually rather than literally; in other words, I don’t find myself reacting to myself as writer as much as I tend to develop alternative scenarios that start off as unrelated but then reveal that I am using them to have the same discussion that’s appearing analytically. For me, the metadiscourse manifests itself mostly on four or five levels, although these are not always entirely distinct from each other:

  • emotional/personal: a reaction to something I’ve seen or recognized via Armitage, but usually has little enough to do with him that I would call it OT or perhaps projection. The most unfiltered Servetus I can get at in writing. Hard to acknowledge or admit or publish until it’s been heavily edited because it’s usually unbelievably painful to let out, and embarrassing to concede publicly. In worst case scenarios, could justly be called whiny. The closest I get to being literal. Feels like urinating acid to write, and I have found no conceptual way of discussing this stuff that is not painful. I don’t know why none of this writing is ever joyful, although perhaps that might change in future.
  • creative/figurative: putting myself in the scenario of the drama in which Armitage has acted, usually in the role that Richard Armitage plays. The fact that he’s played so many roles that speak to my personal issues facilitates this level of writing, and indeed, one could read the whole “me + mr thornton” series as an analytical version of this level, but this kind of metawriting usually manifests itself dramatically rather than analytically. Usually the point is the dramatic conflict and the way that Armitage gets me to think about that in relationship to my own situation, so other characters may also be rewritten to fulfill the creative potential of the scenario and the final writing may have little bearing on the initial scenario. Insofar as this stuff manifests itself in story form, the stories often have incongruous elements, for example, medieval stories that have recognizably non-medieval elements. Sometimes manifests itself as therapeutic, unpublishable fanfic.
  • fantasy/discursive: usually, conversations between the real Servetus with characters that Richard Armitage has played that are oriented around the problem of the post. May have sexual components, or end in sex, but usually involves characters rather than Armitage, and tends to be oriented toward problem-solving. Usually deals with concrete challenges I am facing at the moment; that is, things that are fairly close the surface and which I may feel negative about, but not stuff that is so dangerous that I would be able to allow myself to avoid or even prevent myself from thinking about it.
  • sexual/metaphorical/defensive: writing in which the fundamental issue in the operative problem is manifests itself in a fantasy about some kind of sexual encounter with Richard Armitage. Often about power / control, self-esteem, or creativity issues. Rush feelings from thinking about sex allow for exploration of material that I find so dangerous I have a hard time letting myself think about it literally or figuratively.
  • dreams. Not sure what to say about this because I don’t usually know what it means. The most confusing level, and the one on which I feel most frequently “taken over.”

I’m going to try to publish a piece of each of these types of writing as they emerged alongside the “me + mr thornton, episode 4(a)” posts over the last two weeks, so I can force myself to think about how the creative and writing process works for me. It’s my perception that I’m best as an analytical writer, and this is the sort of writing I’ve published so far, so I need to see how these other pressing matters that won’t go away illuminate the analytical issues. Or, perhaps, I’m not supposed to be an analytical, expository writer — in which case I hope a look at the metawriting helps me see that, or why it might be the case.

~ by Servetus on June 4, 2012.

3 Responses to ““me + richard armitage” metawriting taxonomy”

  1. I was browsing the internet today and saw an article titled “How to Exercise Your Brain” and my immediate reaction was: read Me & Richard Armitage. Reading your posts is a mental workout and leaves me invigorated much like a physical workout. Some posts are like long distance running over rugged terrain while others are like a leisurely walk in the woods. And then there’s everything in-between.


    • Thanks for the encouragement, sloan. This post was sort of like a shorthand outline for a lecture — probably needed more illustration with examples 🙂


  2. […] kinds of experiences sometimes lies in the sort of other experiences they facilitate, as, for me, the rush that comes from thinking about certain issues in the context of sexual fantasies makes it o…. In this case, I kept taking the tonic, and exposing myself to a drama about issues that troubled […]


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