For me, writing is an eternal and mostly nocturnal thing. I read somewhere that you should write what keeps you up at night. That’s what I’m trying to do right now, but it’s an elusive thing, like trying to remember a dream. The harder you try to give substance to those wispy thoughts, the less substantial they become.
Writing, contrary to what I may have thought in the past, is not organized nor is it scholarly, or even pretty. There are a whole herd of disorganized, irrational, unattractive thoughts bouncing around in my head trying all at once to get onto the paper and yet, in a way, stubbornly refusing to be captured. Once something is written – saved, put ‘out there,’ published, it may look to the reader as though it is organized and scholarly – in fact I suppose that is the whole intent. But how it gets there, the harvesting, shaping, rummaging around, rearranging, the whole feeling of giving birth to something that wasn’t there before, that’s the thing. That is why I pour words onto a page. It’s not the finished product so much, it’s the process. Sure, there are some moments when a complimentary or thought-provoking comment on something I’ve written does tend to make the stiff back and sleepy midmorning slumps disappear. But this is personal, private – it is the fulfillment of a need, it is the exercise, the act of learning myself what it is I need to say, it is the way I connect.
I write because there’s something fundamental about me that only comes to life when I’m writing. It isn’t about becoming a fabulous published author, the fame and fortune. It is something that is just essential about me, a need to tell stories, to run an idea through the mill of my imagination and put it out there for others to share. Spoken words are so fleeting. Written words stay. I want to keep arranging words, choosing just the right one for maximum impact. I know I am in my “zone” I know what I’m supposed to be doing when I am writing.