Writing is truly one of my passions. I can write all day long, just give me an empty page and I am in my own world. Stories and ideas just flow out of my fingers. I am most comfortable on the page, I feel I can convey any idea that I’d like to. I even love writing about writing. I love words, their sounds, their alliteration, puns, plays on words, stories, ideas, poetry, or whatever form they may take. There is just so much you can create from them. I cherish that gift dearly, but my challenge is to be able to vocalize that inner voice. I have to be able to express myself more comfortably in person. I also love to read, I devour words, stories, ideas, philosophies and poetry. It is all nourishment to my mind.
My method is pretty well stream of consciousness which is probably why I enjoy Kesey and Salinger. I generally just sit down with an idea and write out whatever flows through my head. It reflects my narrative. I actually edit it very little, if I do edit it is generally while I am still writing. I will just go back to a part I`ve already written and change or add to it. I find that I am far more satisfied with my writing when I write this way. I find when you try and perfect things you lose the story and meaning, you are just not speaking in your natural voice. I do much the same with poetry. I generally write in one day or sitting, then I do a small bit of refinement. I try and end them in a coherent manner, but I may not always accomplish that. Sometimes the ideas and thoughts just end and I am on to the next one.
I am lucky in that I have this narrative voice running through my head constantly. It sometimes weaves a story and at other times it is more of a conversation. It is especially active when I am walking, though it tends to be also active in the morning and evening. As I am walking my mind fixates on a subject and then I just let it go where it wants. That can end up as a letter, a story, a poem, or in fact as this post. That’s pretty well how it was written today while walking around Lost Lagoon (I just had to get some fresh air after three days). I generally go over broad themes in my head and then refine them further. This works for the most part, but I do tend to forget to touch all of the points I might want to make. Especially when during the walk I spot some raccoons and stop to enjoy their antics instead. Then I have to try and pick up the thread where I left off if I can. The good thing is for the most part I can recall what I was thinking while walking. Now with my cell phone I can always record those thoughts I figure are important enough.
So if writing comes so naturally, why can’t I do the same with conversation? Well I can and I can’t, it really is dependent upon how well I know the people I am with. If I am comfortable around people then I will just be myself, as annoying and silly as that can sometimes be. The same goes if I am speaking in front of a crowd, mostly because I don’t really care what they think. For smaller groups of strangers, or in new situations, or with someone I admire I tend to be tongue tied. I am worried about appearances, which is generally not at all the way I feel. There are times I try and perfect the conversation beforehand, rehearsing how I will say something and trying to figure out reactions and what my counter reaction will be. It’s a lot of pressure and so unrealistic. Then whatever you say doesn’t come off as genuine, even if you mean it. I am fixated on the instant reaction, of saying too much or too little, or just the wrong thing. My friends would probably argue the too little or wrong thing point. Though funny enough everyone else generally has the same affliction and is more worried about what they will say.
I think writing something down and giving it to someone generally gives you some space and time. It insulates you from the response. It only exposes you from a distance, which seems much safer. Though there is a danger there too. If your meaning is misinterpreted you likely will never get the chance to clarify yourself. Many people will interpret what you write through their lens and experiences. What you have intended to say might just miss the mark completely. At least with conversation, and for sure with good conversation, there is a flow and if what you say doesn’t land right you can correct that or at least explain where you are coming from. So that is something I must push myself to do more of. I’ve tended to be a very private person in my life, except with a chosen few. Time to put myself out there more, but that’s for another post.
So I will close this chapter with this. For the most part my method of writing will be off the cuff as it is here. Though it will be slightly different in that since I have a ton of ideas crowding my brain at once, and I can only write about one at a time, I will set up pages that I want to write about. I will then add little ideas I want to touch upon on those pages so I don’t miss anything I feel is important. It’s funny that I write poetry much the same way. I just come up with a line or two that suggest some sort of theme, or I come up with a theme and then create a couple of lines. Then I just sit down with them and let my ideas go where they may. Over the years I have often written down a line here or there that sounds great. Generally I can fit them into something I am writing, but some just don’t seem to find a home. I feel really bad for those lost scraps of lonesome orphaned musings. I sincerely hope they eventually find sanctuary in the land of the misfit verses or stanzas.