Skip navigation

On writing

From 9/20/2003 5:05 PM

What would you do? What would you do if all your best thoughts came to you just as you were wanting to fall asleep, just when you’re too lazy to get up and grab pen and paper or sit in a chair and type? What would you do if you wanted to become a writer but every time you got around to writing you forgot what you wanted to write? Or maybe you couldn’t find the words to put your thoughts into because in your mind your thoughts are a jumble of words, pictures, sounds, and smells and tastes? What if every time you wrote what you thought you wanted to write but it never came out nearly as nice as it looked inside your head? What if you got discouraged every time that happened? Would you get discouraged? What would you do?

You want to get lost in the music, hoping that something creative will come out of it. What if that never happens? You’re living in the movies, where they sit at their dining table with a laptop and epiphany occurs in almost every such scene. Not everyone is so lucky. Life is never like the movies. When will you learn this?

How do most people differentiate between reality and fiction? Is it an ability we’re all born with? Well maybe I’m missing it. There’s something missing in me. I’m not perfect. I’m lacking something. Missing. Something. Blabbering. ON. And On. And on.

What would you do if you drank coffee so you could live like they do in the movies? Perform the rituals they perform? You’ve lived so far deceiving yourself with the notion that drinking coffee will make your life interesting, like it makes theirs. Driving a beat-up Volvo will get you there. Does anyone else understand what I’m talking about? I don’t think they will. They’ll read the line about the beat-up Volvo and think “What the hell is he talking about? Which movie did they drive a beat-up Volvo in?” It doesn’t ring any bells. A good writer can ring bells. Like by mentioning a ‘66 Corvette to a crowd of baby-boomer Americans. That conjures up images and memories. A beat-up Volvo, on the other hand, means very little to the majority. It’ll sound foreign, and as long as a writer remains outside the reader, he’ll never succeed. That’s why textbooks don’t succeed. Who wants to internalize quantum physics?

Will reading books on how to become a writer make me a writer? Where do I know to begin? How did they begin, the famous ones? Will it help me really to find out? When do I stray from this path of Math & Physics that I’m currently on? It’s not taking me anywhere. I don’t want to be on it. But there’s no other path around. It’s this or nothing at the moment. How do I know when to start creating that other path for myself?

I don’t want to be mechanical. To buy software that helps me in my writing seems like vanity to me. It’s not heart-felt. Is that how most writers write? I hold writing as something more divine (for lack – at the moment – of a better word) than that. Yet – yet – I just cut-and-pasted that note in the parentheses, from the end of the previous sentence to where it currently is. That was mechanical. I guess I was wrong. What would you do? Tell me. What the hell would you do?

What would you do if you couldn’t read in a bookstore or in a library? You want to be like those committed readers who can read anywhere. They hang out in bookstores, sitting in the corners, fully absorbed in their books or magazines. But every time you try it your thoughts wander and you just think about how you’d rather be in the comfort of someplace else. Does that taint the art for you like it does for me? Isn’t a true reader able to read anywhere? I don’t think so, but you might.

Is reading the best way to prepare yourself to write? Who knows. Who do I ask? Why is it that all my writings lead back to this one topic? It’s driving me mad. Can’t I, for once, write about anything besides writing itself? Is this my cue to stop?

Leave a Reply

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

Powered By Indic IME